September Seville

So… rather annoyingly this is the second time I’m writing this blog post. My laptop decided to crash just as I was finishing up my first draft and guess who was the wally that forgot to press save. I thought there was a thing called ‘Auto-save these days!’

Anyway… rant over and let’s get into it, because I truly do not mind writing about the beautiful Seville again. A breathtaking City that now has a piece of my heart. I will most definitely be going back.

We decided to spend a week in Seville because although known as a city break that could be done in 3 or 4 days, we wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather and have a few relaxing days by the pool as well as enjoy the hustle and bustle of the City.

Hotel

We stayed at ‘One Shot Palacio Conde de Terrejon 09’, which was absolutely beautiful. The interiors were extremely well done and the hotel was clean and modern which is a must for me. Although the décor, was an instagrammer’s heaven, I did have some niggles about the hotel. Now.. this was only a boutique hotel and the rooms were small however, other properties  that I have stayed in before seem to make small rooms/storage work. In this hotel there was hardly ANY storage in the bedrooms. There was one tiny wardrobe that we had to share between two of us and as we were staying a week this was most definitely not enough room for our clothes. Because of this we had to create make-shift storage around the hotel room, you walked in our room and literally had my underwear in plain view … sorry housekeeping!

Another frustration that I had with the hotel was the pool and sun-bed area… or lack of. The photos of the pool and the sun-bed’s are SO deceiving on the website, it is made out to look like a fairly good sized pool and we thought we’d have the opportunity to lay in the sun if we wanted to. Now although Seville, is intended to be more of a city break and it is likely assumed that you will be out and about exploring, I think it is important (especially in a city that has an average temperature of 35 degrees in September), to have the choice to chill and use the pool. Well, don’t get your hopes up here – there were literally 7 sun-beds. There  was a queue (and a fight!) each morning to claim your sun-bed for the day. The pool area opened at 11am and I would make my way up to get in line at 10:30am.  This was serious business. Once we had learnt the standard procedure, we pretty much were able to get a sun-bed most days, although once you had it, you had to protect it like it was your child, dog, phone… you get my point. Even going to the toilet, the unlucky people who had failed to make the 10:30am queue would be watching you like hawks to check if you were leaving. They were like hungry lions eyeing up their prey! One day Brad and I made the mistake of nipping down to the room to grab some crisps for lunch (Big up Lays) and came back up to find our towels dumped in the corner of the pool  with two Lion’s having stolen our sun-beds. We were literally gone 5 minutes. I’m a scaredy cat and so obviously did not confront them and for the remainder of the afternoon we were subject to sitting on the pool steps. Don’t worry they had me giving them evils for the rest of the day.

Last thing that was slightly disappointing about the hotel was the breakfast and the bar. Firstly the Breakfast for what it was, was extortionate! It was 14 Euros for a bit of toast and jam, but on your doorstep you have so many beautiful, hidden cafes that serve a delicious, fresh breakfast so I would avoid committing to breakfast in any hotel that you are staying in. The hotel bar also closed at 8pm most nights. For a city that is renowned for eating dinner late, we would come home after dinner some nights and fancy a night cap. The fact that we’d get back to the hotel at 10:30pm/11pm which is early in Seville and couldn’t get a drink at the bar, we found really odd! We made do and bought some bevvie’s in the local shop… also FYI the fridge in the hotel room is minuscule, so only buy food and drink that you know you will consume.

Must See:

Now we REALLY slacked on our itinerary, for various reasons that I’ll go into in another post, but to sum up in a nutshell, Brad and I were super drained and in great need of .. doing nothing. So… we didn’t actually see as many places as we had intended to… which is just an excuse to go back!

One place that we did make it to and I would recommend thoroughly is the Plaza de Espana – without a doubt the most beautiful building I have ever seen, there were two weddings taking place when we visited! The Plaza de Espana is surrounded by a beautiful park, full of wildlife, exotic flowers and the greenest tree’s you have ever seen. We visited in the evening but you could take full advantage of the surroundings and have an afternoon picnic in the park. We saw the Plaza de Espana on our last night and I wish we went sooner because if we had time we would have gone back during the day. Also, if you’re a runner, then be sure to pack your trainers because this is a runners paradise!

Plaza de Espana

Another famous site in Seville and what has been described as an ‘architectural nightmare’ is the Metropol Parasol. Now, I would definitely recommend paying to walk up this monstrosity, but warning… it may give you vertigo! My eyes could’t work out the building, I was clinging onto the rails for dear life! All worth it though because the views that you can see of the City are breathtaking and if you do not end up paying to go up the structure, then there are ton’s of coffee shops and restaurants surrounding it.

Metropol Parasol

Lastly, and not necessarily a ‘tourist site’ but worth mentioning are the coffee shops and restaurants in Seville.You can wander round and find some incredible places, that really will not break the bank. For one week my boyfriend and I took £500 spending money, this covered our entry into any site’s that we wanted to see, taxi’s and 3 meals a day. I think that is pretty good! We did have chill days but I found Seville to be very good value for money. Any pizza lovers – there is THE best pizza place that you NEED to experience, you will never taste pizza that fresh ever again. For the life of me I can’t remember the name, but it is on the corner of the square, near the two pillars and the burger shop, if that helps!

Anyway, I think I better round this up here, it has turned into quite a long review of Seville and I could go on and on! It honestly was pure magic and my eyes are peeled for a good deal on flights to go back to see any tourist sites that we missed and of course most importantly… for that pizza!

Thanks for reading, Charlotte xoxo

Me Too.

Anger. Sadness. Depression. Anxiety. Insomnia. Fatigue. Panic. Everything that I have been combating the last few months. In no way am I writing this to generate a huge response… , I feel that I just need to get how I’ve been feeling and WHY I have been feeling this way out there somewhere, written down, even if no-one see’s this at all. I just want to let this go and satisfy the initial aim of getting a blog, which was to share my experiences and treat this as a safe space and like my diary. I’ve been back and forth about letting this go live, this has been sat in my drafts for months! I’m even scared this is going to be too strong a topic for my blog. But this is real and these are my feelings that I have slowly built back up to being strong and positive, one day at a time.

In April I was signed off work for one month due to anxiety and stress. Unlike every other time my anxiety has kicked in, I knew the cause of this episode. My workplace. Or more specifically the Chairman of my workplace. Or even MORE specifically – the Father of my direct boss. I work in a family office and PA for the Daughter who is inspiring and motivational, hence this was a very tricky and difficult situation. I do not want to go into details as they are crude and really won’t make for a pleasurable or insightful reading experience but my work environment was all wrong. He was sick, often had toilet accidents (yes number two’s included!) and had a potty mouth that made me cringe and feel uncomfortable – this is not something I go to work for.

I pride myself for working hard and trying my best, but in this environment, I was tense, angry and frustrated. There was no room to even think in my own mind as it was just filled with degrading and disgusting comments that nobody should be subject to. Comments about my appearance, about sex, about my body – even though he was sick and apparently didn’t know what he was saying, this is still inexcusable and measures should have been put in place to protect employee’s from this behaviour.

After a few conversations with my direct boss (his daughter) and being signed off by the Doctor – I think she saw how serious this actually was. I had lost myself, I was emotional and angry and felt that she should be accountable for my welfare. I was left in an office with this monster when she chose to hardly ever show up (I don’t blame her, I question how she is still sane when bought up with a Father like hers).

One month off work did me wonders. I caught up on sleep. Walked a hell of a lot. Lots of time to think my own thoughts instead of my mind being possessed with anger and negativity. I’m so proud to say that I am through the other side of this anxiety hurricane I was experiencing. I am back to work (Yes with the same company!) My boss has taken measures to move my office so I am away from the chaos. There was definitely some settling back in issues and I was super nervous to return to work but 3 months on and I can truly say I am so glad that I found the strength to push through and speak up. My mental health suffered being in that awful environment and it is super scary having honest conversations (especially when blood is thicker than water!) but I was true to myself and made it through the other end.

Now.. onwards and upwards!

Charlotte xoxo

The Magic Of Prague.

So as mentioned in my previous post, I have been meaning to write a review/travel post on Prague.

Instead of doing Christmas presents, my boyfriend and I decided that it would be more meaningful to go away rather than spend money on material gifts that neither of us actually need. We got a really good deal on flights and a hotel and spent what we would have paid for pressies to each other.

This trip really was magical and it was so meaningful to have at the beginning of a year. My outlook on money has changed and going away made me see that it is important to spend your money on ‘experiences’ that create memories, rather than on ample of items that you do not actually need. 

2 minutes of joy that I get from buying new clothes or receiving a parcel has well and truly been trumped by memories created that will last a lifetime.

We went to Prague for 3 days which I feel is the perfect amount of time. We arrived really late on the Tuesday night and our flight home was 8pm on the Friday. I didn’t leave feeling as though I had missed out on anything and we ticked off everything that we had put on our to do list.

We stayed in the H7 Rubicon Palace which was a 4* hotel. This was perfect, it looked luxurious, it was clean and it was only a 10 minute walk from everything. The Hotel was only 35 minutes from the airport. As we were tired we jumped straight into a taxi (which cost us 700 Czech Crowns) but the Metro was close and there were buses that you could pre-book if you were after something cheaper.

Day One: 

Day One we woke up early and over Breakfast (in our hotel) we planned out our day. We got ourselves a map and located everything that was on our list and planned out when to do these and how to group these. There is so much you can group together and even see on the same day that our plans worked out really well without going back on ourselves too much.

Day One was freezing (although not the coldest of the days!) and we had it in our heads that day, that we were going to wander round, to get our bearings and get lost if we had to. We didn’t however, find ourselves getting lost at all, Prague is actually very straightforward to navigate around. One of our goals was to not use google maps for the whole time we were there and to revert to the dark ages by relying on our good old trusty paper map. I thought we would have no chance, considering that I have the  worst sense of direction ever and use google maps everywhere around London but we kept to our word and I felt super chuffed!

On the Wednesday morning we wandered down to the Christmas Markets and the Square, which is home to the Astronomical Clock and loads of cute stalls, cafes’ and cathedrals. It is honestly so beautiful. There is one café, that we went to which is so cute and very handy when you lose feeling in your fingers! I spotted it and my boyfriend thought I was mad when he saw that it was only outside seating, but there were fire pit’s and blankets that warmed us up, as well as the most amazing Hot Chocolate! 

After our first pit stop we wandered around the Jewish Quarter and attended a tour of the Synagogue which was really interesting. We finished around 3pm and made our way to the National Museum, which took FOREVER to get into, and in -1 degree’s this was not ideal as for the majority of the wait you have to queue outside …and it isn’t much warmer either when you make it inside! I would definitely recommend booking tickets in advance… your fingers will thank you! Once you’re inside though, it is worth it. The structure of the building is amazing and to learn about the history and culture of Prague is a must.

After the National Museum, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up before dinner. After all of the walking we had done that day we had certainly built up an appetite and I was craving a beast of a burger, so we decided to go to the Hard Rock Café (situated in the Old Town Square). I would definitely recommend going to Hard Rock, the atmosphere was great. As usual they have a band playing, but the setup in this property was really cool, as the bar and band are on the Ground Floor and everyone eating is on floors 1 and above so you get to look through the middle over the band. The beer is super cheap in here as well! I really hope it’s not true when they say 1 beer is equivalent to 8 slices of bread!!

One point worth mentioning and I do not know what I was thinking but avoid wearing any sort of heels. Your feet will hate you and you will struggle to navigate around Prague’s cobbled streets! I put on a chunky boot and I struggled with this, most people don’t even bother getting changed for Dinner and stay wearing what they have had on all day. You’ll look silly tottering around in heels. Even though mine weren’t proper heels, I felt stupid!

Because of my vanity, the balls of my feet were KILLING. Like pain you will never believe. So I begged my boyfriend for us to get a taxi home. We made it back to the main part where the taxi’s gathered but warning… not all of the taxi’s at night are legal taxi’s. We got in one that tried to charge us 700 Czech Crowns (THE SAME PRICE AS OUR FARE FROM THE AIRPORT) for a 2 minute drive round the corner. My boyfriend was oblivious and I stopped the car to get out and we did manage to haggle him down… but just a caution. 

Day Two: 

Day Two of exploring Prague and probably my favourite day. We walked and walked and walked and walked … and walked! On the agenda for day two we wanted to head over to the other side of Prague, crossing Charles Bridge, to the Castle side.

On our way down to crossing the bridge we purchased river boat tickets for a 1 hour boat ride down the river. In hindsight, I think this would be the only thing I would change about our trip. THE BOAT WAS SO SLOW. I could of canoed faster down the river! You couldn’t even hear the tour guide as the boats get pretty busy and everyone was just talking over the poor person trying to give the standard tour guide speech. After a tedious hour, we arrived back to land, crossed the Charles Bridge and headed over to the other side of Prague.

Walking around Prague, you will see so many churches and cathedrals and they are all just beautiful, so we spent so much time stopping and starting and taking photos. First on our list for the day was to see the John Lennon wall. Because of all our stopping (and our slow boat ride) we didn’t actually get to the wall till around 3pm. It was beautiful and is lovely to say that you have seen it and get the photo, but you wouldn’t spend much longer than 10 minutes here.

The John Lennon Wall

After we then headed to the Petrin Tower. 

The Petrin Tower is something you HAVE to do if you are visiting Prague. You will not get better views of the entire City and it is worth facing your fear of heights, getting scared that the Tower is going to come down because of the wind (you can literally feel it swaying), and losing your fingers to frostbite (SO chilly up here).

It was beautiful though and we went at what seemed like a perfect time, getting Prague with the sun going down and all of the City lights on.

The view from the Petrin Tower

After the Petrin Tower we headed to a Mexican for dinner. I can’t remember the name and it’s a shame because they did the best Nachos!

Day Three: 

Our last day. We explored the Metro on our last day and jumped on the Metro over to the Castle which is right next to the Petrin Tower. The queue for the Castle is again a long one, but it moves and is free to get in so I would recommend sticking it out. Inside the castle walls they have Christmas markets which are super cute, tons of food stalls which are far too tempting. Yes I did have a waffle AND Doughnuts! I couldn’t resist.

After our Castle visit we were getting ready to say goodbye and picking up any last minute gifts and goodies from the Markets. By the way, there are these desserts called Tredenliks EVERYWHERE. You can get them with all sorts of toppings on, but let me tell you, if you’re a Nutella lover like me, then you are in for a treat!

We caught our flight home and definitely suffered with holiday blues. I had the best time, we made the most of every single hour and I took home a valuable lesson… material goods really are only there for a short while whereas memories last forever. Prague was truly magical.

My 2019 Goals And Resolutions

It is the time of the year where we have all over indulged over Christmas, lived in a blur of not knowing what day of the week it is, and dreading the return to work. I have absolutely adored not setting an alarm, cherishing my sleep and spending quality time with my loved ones. But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and my end was facing reality and getting back into a much needed routine!

I’ve been really trying to put some resolutions and goals in place for 2019 and I think for the first time ever I have not set these around my physical appearance. My resolution is not to lose 1 stone in a certain amount of time. It isn’t to tone my thighs so my legs look better in that dress for my friend’s birthday. It isn’t to start going to the gym twice a day for January to lose the Christmas bloat that I gained through spending time with people who make me happy.

This year my resolutions are based around things in my life that I feel will help my mind and boost positivity. As mentioned in some of my previous posts my anxiety has been creeping back at certain points and I really want to get my mind back to the best it can be. I want to feel completely happy again eliminating any worries that could be feeding my anxiety.

I have been really open with my money problems and very poor spending habits in the past which has now left me with a horrible amount of debt and is going to hinder my future plans. I had a very honest chat with my Mum about this and I realised that not only am I putting this worry on myself but I am also causing her stress which absolutely breaks my heart. I feel like a complete failure and it is my Mum that is beating herself up about it as she keeps asking herself… “what did I do wrong.” Nothing Mum. This was all me.

It was a conversation that we needed to have and it ended with her telling me that she knows I can pay off this debt if I put my mind to it. So my only real ‘solid’ resolution for 2019 is to make a dent in this debt. I am trying to be very mindful, save and really think about if I truly need what I have in my ASOS basket! It is so true that spending your money on ‘experiences’ rather than ‘things’ is worth so much more. Instead of Christmas presents this year me and my boyfriend went to Prague for 3 days, we got a really good deal and it was so nice to have an adventure over the Christmas break. Honestly the amount it cost us to go and explore a new City, which gave me true happiness was equivalent to some of my mindless splurges that give me 5 minutes of ‘joy’ but are quickly forgotten.  I think I’m going to do a review and travel post on Prague so that I change things up on here! I do not want to be all doom and gloom!

Some other things that aren’t so much resolutions but more things to try and maintain are:

  • Try a new spin class (I have been saying this for SO long) and after a few bad spin classes at past gyms I have been put off. But seeing the sweaty glow from people leaving my gym’s spin class has got me kind of jealous! So 2019 is the year to try something new!
  • Keep up with my running. I am definitely no pro here and I can just about run 5k (I am literally at throw up stage!) but this is comparing myself to a girl who couldn’t even run for 3 minutes this time last year. I am very proud of myself and want to continue watching myself improve.
  • Reduce the amount of heat I put on my hair. Silly one I know, but in the interest of keeping my hair healthy (and of course saving time) I am cutting down with the straighteners!

Anyway, here is to a happy and healthy 2019 everyone!

Charlotte xox

An Update: Keto Lifestyle, Exercising Like Crazy and Thinking Too Much!

I failed… I am reading my last post and I am sat here chuckling to myself! I LOVE the optimism that I had but oh my god was I making things hard for myself!

October 6th was when I wrote the last post explaining that I was putting myself on a Keto journey, so technically I should be 1 month and 1 day into this now. HAHAHAHA! Definitely not. After 6 days of a Keto diet I packed it in. I felt so light headed and miserable and I had no energy whatsoever. It was such a struggle to get through the day at work because around 3pm I was hit with the worst migraine and the NEED to nap. Continuing with the Keto diet was just not worth it to me, I started it because as mentioned I was in a very ‘bleurgh’ place and I thought it could be a positive journey but for me it just was not. I came on my period as well for 2 days and the lead up to this I felt like I had been hit by a bus, the fatigue and aches did not help my motivation for persevering. I know with many things that you have to persevere to reap the benefits but I did not have any willpower.

For me the Keto diet was not just restricting myself to 20g-30g of Carbs a day but it was also a mental war. The mental energy that was zapped from me was too much. I constantly had to think about how many grams of Carbs and Protein and Fat I was consuming and this just did not work for me. “Fail to prepare… prepare to fail” could not be more appropriate in this instance, you really need sufficient time to prep all of your meals to reduce this thinking process and for me I lack the time to do this in my week. I value time with my boyfriend, friends and family over chopping veggies and meal prep in the kitchen.

I go to Dubai in 4 months and I began to put pressure on myself to lose weight, tone up, eat healthier but in all honesty, what is the point of doing this if I am stressing myself out and am not happy? This just does not work for me – looking back in the past, the times where I have lost weight, is where I have just not been thinking about it too much. Yes I was eating healthy and exercising but I wasn’t so obsessed with it. Day 6 of my supposed Keto diet, I ate a Weetabix because I felt so faint, and I gave myself such a hard time because 1 Weetabix biscuit contains 25.7g of Carbohydrates, almost 1 day’s allowance. I don’t like it when my mind goes like that … Dear Lord it’s only a Weetabix!!

I am lucky because I am not one of those people that dread the gym, I go most mornings before work, it changes my mindset for the day and it makes me feel good so trying to force myself to then go AGAIN after work was pure h e l l. Why was I trying to turn something that I love into something I dreaded? 1 workout a day is enough surely! I might have had a shot if I was going straight from work and my gym was down the road but after waiting for delayed trains to turn up and being on a train crammed against other people like some sardines for 40 minutes, the gym is the last thing I want to do!

Looking at my list of mini resolutions, I have actually upped my sleep. I really have felt so tired recently and I really feel like I need my sleep, I am struggling to wake up in the mornings, so early nights haven’t been hard to implement, I get to 9pm and my eyes need toothpicks to stay open, such a party pooper at the moment!

Overall I need to learn not to be so hard on myself and not to set myself ridiculous goals that I know I am just not going to achieve. I am going to continue to eat intuitively and exercising how I am, I need to listen to my body and not put strain on it by introducing a diet that is just not for me and does not fit into my weekly routine.

I do need a change in my life because I am still not feeling my best and I need some excitement and focus on something. I find it fascinating that when I feel like I need a change my diet and exercise routine are the first things to get altered and are what I associate with change. Maybe I need to start a new project or look for a new job… we will see!

 

Charlotte xoxo

Introducing New Habits

I’ve been feeling so ‘bleurgh’ recently. That is the only word that sums up how I have been feeling for the past month.  I  feel very vanilla and I don’t know why. I’m lacking oomph in everything, my diet, my workouts, my appearance, I just feel so bleak. All I want to do when I feel like this is sit in bed and scoff chocolate and biscuits. Yes I know, throwing myself a pity party and feeling sorry for myself. I seem to have acquired a double chin and a bloated belly, my mood swings have been crazy lately, bursting into tears many times in public for no reason whatsoever – my boyfriend said to me the other day “who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend Charlotte”. I’ve been selfish with other peoples feelings because I’ve been more concerned with making myself feel better, no matter how I do it, I have literally wanted to rip peoples heads off. The poor guy in Pret yesterday even got a glimpse of my dragon side because he was eating his food too loudly….. (in my defence there really was no need for him to be slapping his lips like that).

Oh the joys of PCOS.

I have been thinking for a while that I need to change things up, I do really need to start taking care of my body and implementing a routine that is going to nourish my body and support my PCOS, this last month has spurred me on to take action because I am honestly so fed up of feeling like this.

I have been doing a lot of research and on Monday 15th October I am going to be trying the Ketogenic diet . A Keto diet (according to the information that I have been reading) supports PCOS. The Keto diet is essentially well known for being a low carb, high fat diet where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. Usually when you eat something high in carbs your body will produce glucose and insulin, so now (if done correctly) my body will burn fat for energy.

I know you need carbs in your diet to provide energy, and with my busy schedule I am certainly not going to be cutting them out completely. Therefore, I am going to be eating 20-30 grams of carbs a day, 60-70 grams of healthy fats a day and a moderate portion of protein a day. I am not saying that I am going to love this diet but with how I am feeling I am going to give it a go and give it a good chance.

As I am going to be starting a new ‘diet’ (I HATE that word), I also thought that I would introduce some new lifestyle habits and report back.

  • Drink 4 litres of water a day (I am going to be peeing every 5 minutes!!!) This may seem like a lot, but I drink 3 and bit litres already and want to up this!
  •  Aim for 7 hours of sleep a night. Last week I had 3 nights in a row where I was asleep for 9:30pm and oh my god did I feel better for it. Some nights I know this isn’t possible as i’ll be at my boyfriends and there is no way that he will be going to sleep that early, but I am going to aim to get 7 hours sleep at least 4 days a week.
  • Read  more as a hobby rather than aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I feel good when I read, so why not do more of what makes me feel good?
  • Meditate a little every day – even if this is only 3 minutes. I use meditation as a last minute tool for my anxiety and it does calm me down.  I want to reap the benefits of this daily.
  • Organise myself for the week ahead at the weekend- I am going to use a Sunday afternoon as time for self-love, self-care and organisation. I want to organise my outfits for the week, my meals and my diary so I know exactly what I am wearing, what I am eating and where  I am going! This should save me from doing this in the week and hopefully free up some time for those early nights.

I also tried a Circuit class with my Mum last week and I loved it so I am also going to be adding in one circuit class a week to my workouts. Working out makes me feel so good (YAY for endorphins!) At the moment I go to the gym before work and it is solidified into my routine so working out 5 times a week is not difficult for me. But I want to be doing workouts where I feel GOOD about myself after, not just hating life on the running machine, doing it because in fact, it is easier to get to the station from my gym in the morning then from home.

I am going to aim to incorporate the following workouts into my week, listening to my body if I need to rest and not giving myself a hard time if I don’t feel it.

  • 2 x Bodypump classes a week
  • 1 x Circuit Class a week
  • 2 x Cardio Sessions a week
  • 1 x Weights/Resistance workout a week
  • 2 x rest days

I tend to do Cardio on a Monday and Friday, Bodypump on a Tuesday and Thursday (sometimes even a Saturday if I’m feeling it!), Circuits on a Wednesday, rest on a Friday and Sunday … I will most likely combine the weight session with my Cardio session on the Monday, so I need add in 1 more cardio sesh over the weekend which is doable.

Anyway, I am going to be taking on these new habits from the 15th October 2018, I will be taking note of how I am feeling, what I am eating, how much I am sleeping and hopefully this can help me to find my sparkle again.

Charlotte

xoxo

I Tried a Gong Bath!

“What an earth is a GongBath?!!?”… were my thoughts exactly when I had an email through my inbox notifying me of the event. In a quest to manage my anxiety and make myself feel positive I am trying just about anything that claims it will ‘reduce stress’ and ‘promote relaxation’.

A Gongbath is a form of sound therapy  – basically a gong is played in a therapeutic way to bring about relaxation. I need relaxation alright so I thought “why not, lets give this a go!”

The session was hosted at the Montcalm Marble Arch – London. Mats, duvets and pillows were set out for each participant – I walked in and first thought I was attending a group napping session! There were some lovely touches which made the 45 minute session seem more substantial, vegan protein smoothies, provided by KIN Nutrition to refuel afterwards and also coco chocolate energy balls which were delish!

The instructions for the session were simple.. all you had to do was lie on your back with your eyes closed. The gongs are then played very softly increasing the volume as the session progresses. The temperature also dropped as the session went on, hence the need for the duvet…I was shivering at one point!

The sound of the gong is meant to lull you into an ‘effortless state of relaxation’, rejuvenate you and be transformative in unblocking emotions. These benefits sold the session to me, I thought I would be walking out a new woman!

In reality and in all honestly I struggled with the session, I found it so hard to relax, my eyes kept peeking around and my mind definitely wandered. Don’t get me wrong, some people when I spoke to them after the session, found it amazing – one person even fell asleep because they were so relaxed! I just feel as though my brain is too busy at the moment, I felt calm but I know that I did not truly immerse myself in this experience, my ‘to-do’ list seemed to be far more important to me and I just could not clear my mind! This is something that I really need to work on, I need to be able to switch off at times and the fact that I just could not do this worries me.

I think one reason for my struggle in the Gongbath session is that I am relatively new to meditation, I do not meditate daily and I use it as an ‘if and when I need it’ tool.  I use meditation as a coping mechanism when I am already at a terrible stage, with tightness in my chest and the inability to breathe. Those who were more familiar to meditating probably appreciated the experience more than myself. I definitely would be up for trying this again though, I think now that I know what to expect I would be able to let myself relax more and really let myself cherish the experience.

Writing this has sparked a thought … maybe if I introduce meditation into my daily routine I won’t use it so much as a last minute technique for managing anxiety, maybe doing a little daily will prevent me from having to do a lot when the panic strikes, when my chest is at the peak of tightness, when I can’t breathe and when my heart rate is up to 20000 bpm (Just kidding, that’s impossible!)

I suppose as they say, doing something is better than doing nothing, so let me try and adopt this mentality!

Any tips and thoughts on how to make incorporating meditation into my daily/weekly routine are much appreciated.

xoxo

 

 

 

Photo by Manja Benic on Unsplash

 

 

Setting a Five Year Plan

How do you make a five year plan when you want to squeeze so much in? I feel like I am still so young but am reaching a point in my life where I do really have to start making some adult decisions!

I am all for setting goals and aims to work towards, but right now my life feels so crazy and unorganised that I feel as though if I set some goals and put in place a five year plan then I am just setting myself up to fail. I hate failing.

I am ambitious and I work very hard, I constantly want my brain to take in more and with my career I am always looking for my next challenge. My personal life however I am very much the opposite, I feel scared of life, and I do things on the safe side and at the moment I feel as though I am stuck and not getting anywhere. If you had asked me five years ago, I could not see myself being in this mess…

If you ask me what I would like to achieve in the next five years it would be the below. I am 25 so I feel as though setting some goals and aspirations at this point in my life is significant, I am a quarter of a century after all!

Charlotte’s goals to achieve by 30 years of age: 

  • Clear all my debt
  • Have sufficient savings
  • Own a home
  • Be at the peak of my career
  • Be happy
  • Be expecting a child or be very close to having one!

I look at this list and with how quick time is flying, I truly believe five years is not enough time to achieve all of these and it is making me anxious and very nervous. I look at other people and think “how are you so together?!?!”

For example, as mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been suffering from anxiety because I have recently accepted and taken note of my debt. I really, really, really should have listened to my mum when she told me to set money aside for a rainy day.

How am I going to clear this debt AND own a home AND have sufficient savings? If I am focusing on excelling in my career then do I have time for a baby?  If I am stressing about these things then how am I going to be HAPPY?!

Life is flying so quickly and I never appreciated this when I was younger. Is it best to just live life day by day?

Is setting a five year plan unrealistic and putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves? On the flip side is this way of thinking just burying our heads in the sand and not addressing our problems?

I would love to hear some thoughts on this, I am such an organised and together person at work but when it comes to my own life I feel hopeless!

Charlotte

xox

 

 

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Anxiety.

I honestly feel like I may be having a heart attack. My anxiety has been that bad over the past couple of days.

Today is the 4th day I am suffering with lots of worry,  an extremely fast heart rate and a tight chest. I’m not sure how much longer my body can cope with this.

My anxiety is definitely at its all time peak and I am knowingly having to take myself aside and calm myself down. I have been finding that the app Buddhify has been extremely helpful, in calming down my breathing and heart rate. There are so many options of meditation and controlled breathing exercises, so even if I am at work, I can take myself off for a few minutes so that nobody sees I have gone missing.

I’m not particularly sure what has triggered this surge of anxiety, I think I have got to a point where life has caught up with me and I am really worrying about the future. Will my money troubles stop me from getting a mortgage? Am in the right job for me? Will my hard work ever pay off?  What if I miss an opportunity because I am in the wrong place that day?

I do remind myself that there is so much more to life to spend precious time that I will never get back to worry about the above but I do believe you need to have a balance of reality and positivity.  I try and brush my troubles and worries aside and tell myself that life is too short and look at lovely quotes on Instagram and Pinterest and try and kid myself that reading those will make everything ok…but in reality that really isn’t going to solve my problems, or debt issues! I need to face these and solve them.. and THEN believe that life is too short and start living.

I think I may have even solved my question by writing this post… Having this realisation four days ago triggered my anxiety. I just need to learn to cope with it.

Life is definitely a journey and each year I can say I do learn so much about myself, but the more I learn the more I look back and think.. what were you doing Charlotte! I want to scream at myself, I wish I could go back and change things.. but I can’t.

So time to get on with it I suppose!

 

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Permanent Holiday Needed.

Rest is such a vital factor when it comes to leading a healthy and balanced life. It is just as important, if not more important, as eating healthy and exercising.

It is no secret that I do not sleep enough. I probably go to bed around 11pm and wake up at 5:10am. I am an hour shy of the recommended amount of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and believe me, I am the type of person that needs my 8 hours sleep!

It was evident on my most recent holiday, that I was mentally and physically drained. I went away with my lovely Mumsy for a week, a week that we had intended to switch off and chill and oh my god did we do just that.

Packing my suitcase I had every intention to visit the hotel gym, go on a few long walks with my mum and keep up some sort of fitness regime so that I didn’t completely die when I got back in the gym when I was home. I had every intention to do this (as a quarter of my gym gear took up my suitcase!) but once I was away from life and my routine I just could not find the motivation to do this. I didn’t do ANY exercise for a WHOLE WEEK!

It was obvious my body needed to rest and recharge. I was falling asleep at 10pm most nights and I wasn’t waking up until 10am or 11am the next day. It was bliss. I laid on a sunbed all day (I definitely was not lacking Vitamin D at the moment), I read 3 books, I ate what I want, I had no stresses and I didn’t have to think about anything.

Fast forward 3 weeks and this new refreshed woman I had became is just out of the window. I am working my butt off at work, I feel like I need multiple duvet days and I can’t seem to get back into the gym . I mean I am going but I am just hating it, I feel even more tired and I feel stuck in a rut. I’m getting to bed earlier (I think that is down to Love Island having finished) and even though I am getting that additional hour, I still am really struggling to get out of bed in the mornings!  My snooze button has never been so active!

The good news is, is that I have had 2 periods come through, two months on a trot, which is positive – I’m on the Noriday  Contraceptive Pill which is meant to stop your periods so although this is good, I am a bit confused as to what is going on!?

From next week I am going to be upping my Vegetable intake, I’ve signed up to Hello Fresh UK so that my meals are pre-planned and I will be able to make healthier choices, I have had a glance at the meals and they are full of vegetables and balanced.

I will record my meals and see if I feel there is an improvement with my tiredness.

Other than that i’m not really sure what I can do to help other than, win the lottery, move to a sunny country and start my own business!

Anyway… roll on the next holiday, 33 days (not that i’m counting!)