Why We Should Celebrate Small Wins

At the moment, I think it’s fair to say that even though we’re all staying at home, comparison is still king on social media.

It seems like my social feeds are full of people still appearing to live their best life – doing yet another online workout, sharing a healthy recipe, completing a home project or upping their Tik Tok game.

Kill Comparison

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Granted, this blog was born out of having so much free time on my hands it was impossible to ignore the urge to create the idea that had been in my head for months.

Nevertheless, seeing what everyone else is doing on social media has had me convincing myself that I should be spending absolutely all of my lock down time doing productive activities, because that’s clearly what the rest of the World is doing.

This of course isn’t true, and I’ve learnt this mindset comes from a lack of self-belief – something that we can all be guilty of at times – I’ve personally struggled with it for various reasons ever since I was a teenager. It therefore doesn’t make sense for us to be so hard on ourselves – we need to give ourselves a break, big time.

Take a moment to check in with how you’re feeling when you’re scrolling on your social media. If you’re feeling anxious, annoyed, angry or anything similar, consider either limiting your screen time or curating your feed so that you only see content that makes you feel good. There’s no point making an already challenging time even more challenging on your mental health.

Embrace a Slower Pace

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The pace of life has slowed down massively ever since lock down, so what constitutes a win for each of us has changed. Before all this, successfully nailing a presentation for the most senior members of the business I work for was a big win for me. Now, a big win is figuring out something technical with my blog, or having my latest bake come out of the oven looking edible and tasting half decent. On the weekend my wins included putting a load of washing on and hanging it up to dry and running the hoover round the flat for 5 mins.

Whether something is a win for you or not depends on the amount of energy you have available to give to an activity. With the constant air of uncertainty at the moment, lets face it, some days we wake up feeling meh, not really wanting to do anything at all. On days like these simply getting washed and changed out of your pjs is a win.

How to Celebrate Small Wins

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During such mentally exhausting times, celebrating your small wins can help you have the momentum you need to go from one day to the next without wanting to burst into tears every 5 minutes. Just Marie Kondo-ed your drawers? Soak in a hot bubble bath. Baked a delicious batch of scones? Sit down to enjoy them with a cup of tea and your favourite book. Did 3 online workouts this week? Binge watch a series on Netflix.

Even the smallest activities you achieve day to day should and deserve to be celebrated. We’re all doing our best with the amount of energy we have and we shouldn’t feel bad with how that manifests itself into our days.

What was your win today and how did you celebrate it? I’d love to hear, so please share in the comments.

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10 Stay At Home Date Night Ideas For Easter Weekend

One of the stipulations I have with my boyfriend about our relationship is that we have at least a couple of date nights a month – ideally once a week. Ordinarily, these date nights mainly consist of dinners and drinks out, a trip to the cinema, or a competitive round or two of crazy golf.

Conventional date nights have clearly gone out of the window at the moment – yet another thing we all have to adjust to because of the c-bomb. However, I’m also very conscious that I’m spending all day every day with my boyfriend at the moment, and he’s already starting to bug me. I want to keep things fresh in the romance department so that I don’t get to the point where I loathe the sight of him!

I’ve been scouring the internet to find some ideas for at-home date ideas that won’t break the bank, and that will hopefully keep the spark alive even when cabin fever seriously sets in for us both. (these tips would also be great if you have young kids and ‘normally’ can’t go out anyway)

Here’s my top 10 for you to give a try this Easter weekend:

1. Movie Night Pot Luck

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I got this idea from the lovely @mrshinchhome on Instagram. In a slight change to a standard movie night, her and her husband wrote down 5 films each that they wanted to watch. They folded each of the films they had written down up and put them in a jar. They then take it in turns to pick a film to watch in the evening. No more fighting over what to watch!

2. Board/Card Games

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I have to admit that when we’ve been skint at the end of the month, me and the boyfriend have done this before. It’s amazing how a game of Scrabble can become so heated – the dictionary has come out on more than one occasion! You could also play The Game of Life, Monopoly, or your favourite card game.

3. Ask Questions

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There are all sorts of conversation starter card decks you can buy online to build a stronger connection with your other half – anything from reminiscing on moments you’ve shared, to pondering the big questions in life, or conversations to get you in the mood. (ahem)

4. Have a Tasting Party

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This could be anything from wine, chocolate, ice-cream or cheese. Set up tasting stations in your living room or kitchen complete with little note pads for each of your tasting notes.

5. At Home Spa Date

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This idea is one I’m keen to try – run a lovely bubble bath for you to both and share a bottle of prosecco while you soak. If you’re feeling especially romantic you could then move on to giving each other massages with essential oils. Or, you could apply face masks to one another.

6. Country Themed Dinner Date

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Cook together to create a meal from your chosen country. To keep on the lock down theme (sorry I had to go there) you could try making home made pizzas, (Italy) paella (Spain) or a sweet and sour curry. (China)

7. Karaoke

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I would definitely be up for this, (I used to play Disney SingStar as part of pre-drinks with certain pals when I went on nights out in my early 20s) however, I’m sadly resigned to the fact that this one won’t be an option for me – my boyfriend just isn’t the type to enjoy this kind of thing. If, on the other hand, you and your other half are up for giving this a go, try searching for karaoke versions of songs on YouTube and google the lyrics to go with them, then sing your hearts out!

8. Picnic

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This suggestion is great if you actually have a back garden or balcony to make things that little bit more authentic – weather permitting of course. Although it could still work just as well on the floor in your living room. Set yourselves up with a blanket, some cushions, and all your favourite picnic style food. To keep things very British I’m thinking quiche, scotch eggs, sandwiches, and strawberries and cream.

9. Video Game Challenge

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It tells you the type of man that I live with that he would be absolutely buzzing if we tried this idea as a date night. Go head to head with your partner at game of your (or lets face it his) choice. I’m pestering my boyfriend to help me re-live my childhood and buy Crash Bandicoot Team Racing so we can battle it out on the track.

10. Build a Den

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I know this one probably sounds the most ridiculous, but bear with me, because I actually think it would make for a cute night together. Use your sofa cushions, blankets, duvets and chairs to make yourselves a little den. Add fairy lights to give it a more romantic touch, then cosy up and make bucket list plans of all the exciting things you’ll do together once things return back to ‘normal’. Bonus – if you have children you can leave this up for them to use as a den/fort the next day.

Which of these lock down date ideas are you keen to try? I’d love to hear if you have ideas of your own too – add them in the comments.

Why We Should Listen to Winnie-the-Pooh

Like pretty much every other person I see on social media just now, my boyfriend and I have signed up for the Disney+ free 7 day trial that’s on offer at the moment. (well done Disney for taking advantage of a time when literally everyone is at home watching TV)

Although I will most definitely be taking the time to catch up on my favourite 90s classics, (hello Aladdin & Little Mermaid) the first film I picked to view was one of their newer offerings – Christopher Robin. This post isn’t a film review, but if you’re after some feel good nostalgia and sentimentality then it’s worth a watch.

The main quote that’s stuck with me from the film was from Pooh himself – “Doing nothing often leads to the very best something”. I think it’s stayed with me because it’s so apt for how I feel we should be approaching the c-word situation we find ourselves in right now.

Doing nothing often leads to the very best something

The End of Busy

Busy has always been a buzz word associated with being successful – our societies thrive on being constantly on the go. However, things couldn’t be more drastically different now – there are literally hundreds and thousands of us stuck at home, with a lot more free time on our hands and no where to go.

That kind of frantic busy doesn’t exist at this point in time, and a lot of us are finding the ‘doing nothing’ that Pooh describes very difficult. But what if we allowed ourselves this time to breathe and decompress – allow the weight of a normally manic schedule to be lifted? What’s left could be seen as scary – what’s our purpose if we don’t have the structure of the routines we’ve become so comfortable with to cling on to?

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Your Head Space

Maybe we will have the mental head space to thrive – creative project ideas will come to the fore, new hobbies that bring us joy will come to light, and quality time will be spent nurturing our family and romantic relationships. I know myself that these are things I never could have anticipated I would have had the time to explore properly when we started out in 2020.

There’s a popular opinion circulating online that the main characters in Winnie-the-Pooh (and indeed the Christopher Robin film) are representations of different mental health issues. For example, Tiger has ADHD, Piglet anxiety, and Eeyore depression. I would have to say that I agree.

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Find Your Character

The human condition is prone to all these different facets of mental health. I identify most with Piglet – my first reaction to the c-bomb was worry, fear and stress. Now that I’ve had a little time to begin to come to terms with the fact there’s so much out of our control right now, I am keen to embrace my inner Pooh bear and let Piglet fade into the background.

As well as being kind and loving, Pooh is seen as being impulsive. By being fully present in each moment, he makes sure that every moment of nothing leads to the very best something – he’s swept away in the glorious opportunities that are presented to him right there and then. Moments to appreciate what we have, our friends and family, and the nature around us.

Which Winnie-the-Pooh character do you identify most with? And how will you be making sure your moments of nothing lead to the very best something? Share in the comments below.