Posted in Everyday Esther, Feel Good Everyday, life update

Wild Days Ahead

When life gives you lemons… just keep on juicing them up.

This year has been filled with highs and lows, open doors and closed ones too.

However the important thing is to make sure you’re doing everything you can to a) stay on top of things and b) keep being upbeat.

Rejection is just another day, another word, another world.

Tomorrow promises so much more excitement.

With that, stay golden and enjoy an erray of clips and pictures from my week.

Advertisements
Posted in advice, Feel Good Everyday

Things That Make Me Tick !

I have to admit that with the sunshine that plagued June and July now being long gone, it can be difficult to get motivated.

In light of that, I thought writing a post on what personally gets me refreshed and feeling positive!

A Night Out on the Town

Having stuff to look forward to is a real pick-me-up! Whether it’s staying in with the gals to chat about life and watch movies or going out, having a light at the end of the tunnel can make the week worthwhile.

Personally, coming downstairs in my student accommodation to see a crowd of familiar and friendly faces is all I need to lift my mood.

…Even if it does end in some questionably drunk photos uploaded to Facebook!

Exercise!

Exercise your body to exercise those demons – see what I did there, funny right? But it’s true. Whenever I’m in a rut, popping my trainers on and pumping the music for a jog down the canal or a gym session always boosts my mood.

This is always the best way to start my day and means that I’m ready for whatever comes my way. Essays? No sweat! Reading? Hand me the books!

After all, your  body loves releasing them endorphin’s even if you can’t walk the next day…

Discuss It 

Talk about it! This is what I do whenever I have writers block. Chatting to a friend about a plot for a story or theme for an essay can help cement what you want to do.

So, jump those hurdles together.

Conclusion

That’s it for today ladies and gentlemen! Don’t worry, I’ll be back same time tomorrow with more things to talk about!

I think I might start doing posts on a day in my life-esque thing which might be good. Come with me on walks, chores and days out!

Ciao for now!

E xxx

 

 

Posted in advice, Feel Good Everyday

Five Things You Can Do To Get Rid of the Winter Blues 

Hi guys,

Today’s post is going to be about giving ourselves a little Tender Loving Care.

Having a busy day-to-day life can be draining and sometimes means that we don’t really make time to take care of ourselves. a

It’s strange how big a difference cleaning your room or de-cluttering your inbox can make on a person. But believe me it does.

Especially now that we’re in the harsh winter months, with summer long gone I think it’s more important than ever to have fun and relax.

So here’s a list of Ten Things You Can Do To Get Rid of the Winter Blues!

  1. De-Cluttering

Haven’t worn it in a year? Get rid. Out of date makeup that you never use? Don’t start now, for the sake of your skin! All those emails that have been piling up in your inbox- say au revoir!

De-cluttering is one of the single most calming things in the world. Letting go of all the little things that build up and contribute to your daily stresses feels great when it’s done.

My desk is what I like to consider my holy space. It’s where I do all my creative writing, blog posts and articles- not to mention my university work. However, like any other student – it can get messy. Dinner plates, unopened letters, mugs galore and piles and piles of notebooks and pens. Every perfectionists worst nightmare.

It might take a while, but believe me if you surround yourself with nice, tidy spaces- your mind will be full of positive vibes.

2. Have a Spa Day

Nope, this doesn’t need to be heinously expensive. I can assure you, you don’t need to travel to the Dead Sea to obtain glorious skin.

Rather, pop into your local Superdrug or Boots and pick up a couple of the products on display there. Not sure what you want? Ask one of the assistants on the beauty counter for some help. They’ll be sure to give you advice on what’s best for your personal skin type and needs.

Some of my favourite products include;

The best thing about these products is that they don’t break the bank!

3. Read a Book

Aaaah yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Of course she’d say that she’s a blooming English student!” But believe me, there’s a difference between reading something because you have to and reading it because you want to.

I was in a reading slump for the longest time until I discovered Margaret Atwood and now can’t stop reading!

There’s also a nice solitude in reading that you don’t always get if you’re watching a movie or YouTube video. It’s a very personal experience and a good way to block out the rest of the world- even if just until Bakeoff comes on later on in the evening.

4. Go to the Cinema… Alone.

Ooh daunting isn’t it? But why should it be? Seriously, there’s something daring and independent about knowing that you’re going to the cinema on your own. It sounds silly but there are multiple movies I’ve been too where I’ve felt so at ease just being alone and taking it in.

So, find a local movie theatre (our ones The Savoy) and go see the re-launch of your favourite old Indie movie that they’re playing.

Pop on your cosiest jumper, grab the popcorn and head to the back to watch.

5. Rediscover a Forgotten Interest or Hobby

Mine’s writing short stories and poetry personally. However, yours can be anything from learning to play the harmonica (*coughs* me again) to developing a love for everything Tim Burton. Who knows? Who cares? Whose judging? Nobody.

Having a hobby can kind of be like having a super power. It’s something that sets you apart from the masses.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed that little piece by me, so now I shall say adieu.

See you in the next post,

E x

 

Posted in advice, Feel Good Everyday

Confidence: An Open Letter to my Sixteen-Year-Old Self

We’ve all dealt with the crippling effects of low self-esteem in life at some point. It’s a given when you’re growing up – what with all the hormones and anxieties flying about.

For someone whose dealt with panic attacks and self-image problems in the past, I think for me confidence was something I really needed in order to survive my adolescent years. Which is why I’m writing this open letter to my younger self, to assure her that yes, life is difficult but loving yourself isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So, what does the word mean to me?

My own personal definition of the word is very simple: feeling comfortable in your own skin. Such a simple concept in theory but in reality, it’s one of the most difficult things to put into practice.

When I was sixteen, I was a mess. Literally. I couldn’t speak to boys, I felt undervalued and like a waste of space in my friendship groups and seriously couldn’t understand why anyone else would want to socialise with me.

I would look around and see all these other people with their heads held high, being themselves and be in awe of them. How did they do it? Weren’t they terrified that what made them who they were wasn’t good enough?

My anxiety got so bad that I remember walking down the road, unable to raise my head and my breathing becoming more and more erratic.

Once, I was catcalled from a car by a group of twenty something boys. It was summertime and I was wearing a skater skirt and thin tights. I was completely fine in what I was wearing, looking back on it. However, at the time I was so embarrassed that I remember running home and changing.

And all because I didn’t have an ounce of self-confidence.

I now look back on my younger self and wish I could go back and shake her by the shoulders. Sixteen-year-old me wasn’t anywhere near all the things she thought she was and could have done so much more with her time and avoided so many problems had she simply grounded herself and said, “I have so much going for myself and so much to come.”

I also wish she’d have treated herself to a bubble bath every once in a while. Because honestly, feeling good is about loving all of you- the inside and the out.

Another thing I would have done would have been to introduce her to one of my favourite quotes a lot earlier on. I can’t quite remember where I first saw it. Had it been on a class wall as a poster? Or maybe I read it in a book? Wherever it was, it helps me to face up to my problems in time of need.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Eleanor Roosevelt is the author of that saying, and rightly so. People can only make you feel low about yourself if you let them. Remember Mini-Me that the persona you put out in the world is the one that’s going to be received.

If you come across as submissive and full of self-loathing then sooner or later someone’s going to take advantage of that and walk all over you.

But- if you stand up tall, slick on some red lipstick and walk with an air of confidence. Well, then the whole worlds your oyster. I mean look at how far we’ve come in those four years!

So, chin up- it only goes up from here.

Speak soon,

E x

Picture Source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/147000375317369862/

Posted in Love & Relationships

Love, What is it Good For?

This is a topic that I have been wanting to discuss on my blog for a while now.

I’m not criticising or even saying that this is everybody’s experiences but would like to merely observe and point out my own findings in this area.

Love. The strange chemical reactions that bounce around in our brains. It is literally like a drug, we crave it, we look for it.

I mean we all on some level want to feel the closeness of another human being. It’s like the itch that lives just beneath your skin when you have a secret to tell.

It’s almost like you’re saying, “Please get to know me, unearth all the hidden intricacies that live within me. I want to show you, I want to show someone.” And when you’re with them everything else melts away. Your heart picks up speed around them, there are very little boundaries between you.

You have essentially revealed your deepest darkest self to them. It can be dangerous.

But it can also produce a high like no over, all those endorphin’s seeping out from your skin like a thousand doves being released all at once. It can be freeing – but also binding.

Relationships and love in particular can also bring out our inner demons. Things that you previously didn’t have to think about all of a sudden seem relevant.

Envy, short temperateness and claustrophobia can also ensue in small doses. You can literally turn into a whole different person at times.

I wonder if that’s a natural response- to feel territorial?

It makes you wonder, what are they doing? Shouldn’t you go and see them? And little things that never bothered you or them suddenly come up.

Then again, that in a way is the gamble. You are literally showing someone every facet of your personality. Over time they’re going to see all your mood swings and emotional outbursts which seem to be over petty things.

All those things that beforehand you were able to tuck neatly away and show them a pre-made Marks and Spencer’s Own Dish rather than that shitty Tesco ready-meal that exists between the hours of 11-1pm before you’ve properly manufactured the pristine “everyday” appearance.

Wow, that was a bit of a ramble.

Sorry about that, but those were just my thoughts. My point is that relationships are revealing in the way that it is almost as though you gained access to your significant others mind.

But it’s definitely worth it in my own opinion. It takes a lot to “know” someone completely.

Ciao for now,

Esther 🙂

 

Posted in book reviews, books

Book Review: Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood

So, like most other human beings on the planet I got very stuck into Atwood’s book spin-off series, The Handmaid’s Tale (which I shall do a review on too so look out).

What has followed can only be described as Atwood mania.

I have been on a bit of a binge which led to me starting and finishing her novel Lady Oracle in a matter of days.

I ate that book up.

The only way to describe how good this book was, is to point out that it got me out of a writing slump that has been plaguing me for months now.

The book was very real and wasn’t so much plot focused as it was concerned with the psychology of the main character Joan.

This book is the epitome of the escapism that we all long for in our everyday lives.

Joan recounts her failed love affairs and the upbringing that led her to want to change identity and absorb herself in the fantasy world of the Gothic romances that she writes.

Atwood has a knack for what I would call composed chaos. Her novels are witty, manic and utterly intimate in the sense that she understands what her reader feels and wants.

I read a couple of reviews that criticised the book for having an open end, or for not feeling complete. But this I feel is exactly what she wants from us.

After all, why does a book need to go in a complete circle?

I like the idea of knowing that our heroine is still out there, trying to find her way in the world much the way that we as everyday readers are too. Her journey hasn’t ended- she’s just progressing to a different stage in life.

Without giving away too much, I really resonated with this book and felt the pain and rejection that Joan is subjected too. Her “let’s just get on with it” attitude is very admirable and her progression into adulthood is bumpy rather than clean cut.

This isn’t a novel that wants you to feel proud and smug about the characters transformation but rather accurately shows that sometimes we just don’t know what we want out of life.

Anyway, the magic, the charisma and charm of this novel will have you feeling satisfied and more self-reflective.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was certainly mine!

See you tomorrow,

Esther 🙂

Posted in Let's Talk Contraception

Let’s Talk Contraception: The Pill

Hi guys,

As a young woman growing up in the world the word ‘contraception’ has always been flying about.

It’s true that men are told to wear condoms but from my own experience the responsibility and caution has always fallen on young woman like myself to ensure safety.

When I say this I’m not being critical and I’m not saying that this is the same for everyone. Just that in my own personal experience it’s always been considered my job to ensure that I’m having safe sex.

When I go to my GP I am almost instantaneously bombarded with leaflets asking me, “Are you on the pill?” and repeatedly advised to use a different form on contraception to condoms which are considered more preventive no matter what it is I initially went there about.

I honestly am not opposed to the idea but at the same time it’s terrifying. I mean, you hear so many horror stories and side effects that it makes your shirk away from the idea.

So, I thought that as a young gal who is sexually active I would delve a little deeper and take you on a journey to consider all the pros and cons of today’s contraception together cause damn is it a confusing and tricky decision. confused.gif

Personally, the only form of contraception I am using at the moment are condoms. Yes, I am being very frank in this blog post because I want to discuss with you what I have been discussing with doctors, parents and friends for a while now.

And that is: What form of contraception is the safest?

Let’s start with ye olde classic- ‘The Pill’. This is the most common I think apart from condoms and one that I’ve actually tried… twice!

Essentially I’m going to outline my own personal experiences whilst on the pill and then take to the web to get some other opinions.

The first thing would be that hormones really do fuck with you. The pill effects everyone differently and for me those effects were awful. The first one I was on caused me to have severe clusters of migraines that lasted for around two weeks. I get them anyway and also have very poor circulation which all attributed to the fact that the pill had been causing my blood to not flow quite as well as was usual and was clotting thus causing the migraines.

My GP therefore decided to take me off of it and put me on a different one.

And this is where it gets interesting…

The next pill they put me on made me extremely depressed, paranoid and essentially just a mess. I still believe it related to my later issues with depression and anxiety that caused me to go on anti-depressants (also awful) and seek help from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapists. It was a very artificial feeling as though I was sucked into a mist of lowness that I knew was chemically induced but at the same time I couldn’t do anything about it.

It’s scary to think that one little pill can alter your body so much! And this is the reason as to why I am so hesitant to try the pill again. Like I said, they’re all different and it may just be a case of finding out that works for me but the experience was so awful that I’m trying to consider all my options before turning my body into a crash test dummy once again.

So let’s see what the interwebs thinks of the pill…

But imagine taking your birth control pill, feeling depressed and then taking an antidepressant to handle your mood swings and hypersensitivity. Adding an antidepressant could then contribute to even lower libido, which would surely be noticed by you and your partner.

The above is via https://bodyecology.com/articles/dangers_birth_control_pill.php and accurately describes what I was trying to explain from my own personal experience.

The article also lists migraines and blood clotting as side effects of using the pill, again,  something I experienced with the previous one. I was seventeen at the time and the fact that this seemingly innocent pill was making such drastic changes to my body is honestly terrifying. I am under the impression that the different forms of contraception should be explored in Sex Education in schools more with the pros and cons weighted so that young girls and boys can research it better.

Another blogger also challenged whether the pill was safe or not stating that;

One study looked at healthy Danish women over a 10-year period and found that birth control pill users were twice as likely to experience a blood clot compared to women who did not use birth control pills. While the risk is still statistically small—approximately 6 out of 10,000 women—it’s still a risk, and it’s a life-threatening one.

dr whoR.E https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10932/14-things-i-wish-all-women-knew-about-the-pill.html who has clearly done a lot of research on the topic. She too discusses the general consensus that young woman today just assume that because the Pill is on the market and pushed at us that it is therefore completely safe to use. The reality is that the effects could impact our bodies long term with some irreversible consequences.

The Pill was something that was considered revolutionary. This is something that the bloggers above have picked up on that I’m not disputing. It is amazing that we can now get on with our lives and freely do what men have been doing since time began and have sex freely and without the consequence of an unwanted pregnancy (however STD’s are still a thing). It is also highly convenient and can even lower your chances of getting ovarian cancer. Periods can become a thing of the past, no more will they creep up on you or happen at all if you take the type of pill that doesn’t have a break. But it still begs the question of what happens when you mess with your body to that extent?

What’s more is that the female pill is a shocking 57 years old! Whilst the male contraceptive only came out in 2016 and as most of us know was retracted soon after.

Over a year-long trial, the injection was effective in nearly 96 per cent of couples. However, researchers said more work was needed to address the treatment’s reported side effects, which included depression and other mood disorders, muscle pain, acne and increased libido.

New Scientist, ‘https://www.newscientist.com/article/2110729-male-contraceptive-injection-works-but-side-effects-halt-trial/’

Hmmm, unusual that the side effects cited above appear to be exactly the same as the female pill which is still on the market. Despite the male pill being taken off of the market for this reason it’s amazing that progress is being made in this field and as the article states, 75% of the men on the trial would have continued to use it had it been available.

Bottom line, I think the pill is a wobbly subject filled with grey areas and despite it taking a while – it is amazing that more options are becoming available for men so that the responsibility isn’t solely falling on women.

However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s side effects are still extremely terrifying.

I’m not protesting to be an expert and by no means is it my way or the highway. The pill is perfect for some people and maybe I might still find one that works for me.

Despite this, I think the moral is that everyone should do their homework when it comes to contraception and always consult a doctor on what form would is best for them as an individual.

Anyway, I was thinking that this would be a series that I would do on my blog. I’m honestly interested in learning and researching more about the different forms and contraception out there.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional but rather a curious gal looking to research for my own benefit. As I said before please do your own further research and consult a doctor on these matters.

Cheers for now!

-E

Other References: 

The Pill: Woman’s Best Friend?, ‘http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/7728971/The-Pill-womans-best-friend.html’ , 16th May 2010 via The Telegraph

The Male Pill is Coming- and It’s Going to Change Everything, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/the-male-pill-is-coming—and-its-going-to-change-everything/’, 24th October 2016 via The Telegraph

What is the Male Pill?, http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/contraception-guide/Pages/male-pill.aspx’ Last Reviewed on the 6th November 2014 (due to be updated)

Featured picture by JT Morrow.