Picking yourself up after heartbreak.

Breaking up with someone you thought you would be with forever is devastatingly painful. After the break up you feel like your life is in autopilot mode, the days go slower and although you try to keep yourself busy, your new-found loneliness gets to you at night.
Here are some tips to keep you going:

  1. Delete their number and previous conversations: Keeping numbers and WhatsApp conversations will make things much worse than they already are. You’ll be tempted to talk to them because that’s what you’re used to and that doesn’t help anyone in the situation.
  2. Delete them off social media: Stalking your ex on socials will make you upset, so why do it? Focus on you and forget about them, you don’t need to know what they’re doing.
  3. Remember why you broke up: After a break up we tend to look at the relationship with rose-tinted glasses and everything looks good when reminiscing but in reality the relationship wasn’t. That’s what loneliness does to you, it makes you forget all the pain suffered and crave comfort and company because that’s what you’re used to. But then you have to ask yourself, “did that person give me the comfort and company I needed or did I constantly have to beg for it?” If you have something that can remind you why you broke up keep it hidden somewhere on your phone, e.g. A break up text, a screenshot or write yourself a letter in your notes.
    Don’t let loneliness drive you into the arms of someone who doesn’t deserve you.
  4. Surround yourself with friends and family who love you:Don’t lock yourself away from the world for extended periods of time, it will make you feel like you have no one that cares for you, but you do.
  5. Let your emotions out: Cry, scream, go for a jog, write your feelings down in your journal and close the page, watch your favourite movies, cry some more. You’re allowed to be upset.
  6. It’s better to be alone, than staying in bad company:
    Self-explanatory, it’s better to be sad and single than being unhappy and in a bad relationship where your needs and feelings are constantly ignored making you feel sad all the time. You’ll get over your initial sadness of being single over time and be grateful that things ended.
  7. Being single gives you the chance to be 100% invested in yourself🥂: There are so many benefits to being single, you literally have all the time in the world to get to know yourself better. How is that not a blessing?
    • Being single allows you to take opportunities without consulting others and their feelings e.g. Travelling. You could travel the world and not think how would my partner feel?
    • You can take the time to figure out what’s important to you and what qualities you want in your next partner.
    • You have the time to start things you have been procrastinating about e.g. a blog, a business venture, reading your bible more, taking care of your health (although this should always be important, but it’s easy to forget about yourself in a relationship).
    • You learn to appreciate your amazing qualities: your beauty, kindness to others, your ability to turn bad situations around.
    • Most importantly, you can find peace in solitude. You learn how to enjoy your own company, do stuff on your own and not depend on anyone else.
  8. Don’t take things to the extreme:
    Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations because you’re sad. Binge-drinking and taking drugs will bring you pain, not peace.
  9. There’s someone out there for everyone:
    If someone isn’t treating you well, giving you the love and comfort you deserve or meeting your standards, dump them because someone else surely will. I’m a strong believer that there is someone out there for everyone so don’t settle because life is too short.
  10. Lastly, don’t rush the process:
    Break ups are hard and you can’t rush getting over someone. So take each day as it goes, don’t hide your emotions and learn how to find peace in being single, it’s worth it.

TOP THINGS TO DO FOR VALENTINES DAY IN LONDON

Now that winter wonderland is shut and the cold weather settles in even more, let’s talk about ways to spend time together and keep each other warm for everyone’s favourite commercial holiday, Valentines day. Below I list the top things to do on valentines day and thoughtful presents/experiences you can buy.

Make a photo book with Snapfish

Snapfish is one of the world’s largest companies for Online Photo Printing & personalised Photo Gifts. I’ve made a photobook with Snapfish and I was impressed with the pristine quality. What better way is there to say I love you or at least I’m thinking about you than making a personalised gift. Check out their reviews here.

For promo-codes up to 70% off click here

Spa day/Weekend

Why not leave the stresses of London behind you and spend a few hours of even nights at a spa hotel. For spa weekends and spa days I would check lastminute.com, spabreaks.com, the hotel website and TripAdvisor to ensure you’re getting the best deal. To ensure you don’t limit yourself, there are spas, all around the country so look far and wide, but don’t forget to incorporate travel costs and use promo codes.Last min.png

Go to a food/drink festival and explore new food options with your favourite person.

  • Craft Beer Rising – the UK’s biggest craft beer at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane 22-24 February 2018: https://www.craftbeerrising.co.uk/
  • Vegan Life Live – Where you can embrace plant-based living and discover delicious vegan-friendly foods to eat. Hosted at Alexandra Palace, London on 10-11 February 2018: https://london.veganlifelive.com/

Bowl the night away at All Star Lanes

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Photo by Matthias Zomer

Have a few laughs at a Comedy Club:

May the course be with you:

Junkyard Golf, Manchester

  1. Crazy Golf
  2. JunkYard Golf

There’s always time for tea:

  • If they’re a tea lover why not buy them a giftset fromTwiningsTwinings Gift Collection - Tea Tray with Tea for Two (Image 1)

Cooking classes anyone?

  • If you or your partner have a sweet tooth why not spend an afternoon at SpunCandy and learn how to make lollipops, candy faces and edible flowers.
  • If you like spicy foods and consider yourself a curry connoisseur spend time at Spice Monkey
  • Have your own tea party at home with Caroline Hope
  • Make authentic Japanese food in Yuki’s Kitchen without paying for flights to go there.

Want Breathtaking views of London?

  • The Shard – The Shard is the tallest building in the UK and you can see most of London. It has three restaurants and one hotel: Aqua Shard, Oblix and Hutong and the Shangri- La
    1. I had cuttlefish for the first time at Hutong— it was delicious but very expensive though (as expected) £51 for a set menu with several different items that we couldn’t finish, bottled water and non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Stay at the Novotel London Canary Wharf.
    1. I loved this hotel. I stayed in the first week of November 2017 and it was amazing, the views were stunning, I could see the shard, the cheesegrater building, the gherkin and all the canary wharf banks from my room and while eating at their 37th floor restaurant Bokan — London is magical at night.
      Word of warning, they charge a £50 deposit per person, per night, so be prepared. The hotel has several meeting rooms, a pool, sauna and fitness centre.
  • Sky Garden
  • Oxo Tower
  • Vertigo 42, A stylish resevations only bar in the city of London
  • Madison Rooftop Bar
  • Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
    • Stunning views of tower bridge and the shardigloos-3

New year, new me?

Monday 1st of January, 2018.

New year = 365 opportunities.

Happy new year everyone, hope you’re all well and excited for 2018. Just like most people, I have many goals for this year some personal, others not so personal.

MY GOALS:

  • Increase my engagement on apieceofsarah and discover more blogs specifically, travel, skin care, food and fashion related ones. I love discovering new blogs so please leave your blog pages below. travel bloggers
  • Travel more! The aim is to visit 4 countries this year, three of which I haven’t been to before. I love going on holiday so I’m more determined than ever to travel in 2018.
  • Step out of my comfort zone more e.g. not letting opportunities pass me by because I don’t feel ready.
  • Become healthier: exercise more, eat less processed foods, less pasta, cut out most dairy products and stop being so lazy.
  • Stick to my saving goal.
  • Take more pictures.

Linking back to my first goal, on new years day I was tagged by the wonderful Taiwo from stuffedshelvesite to answer the below questions and I was so excited and grateful because this is the first time I’ve been tagged to join anything by a fellow blogger.

Read the original post here.

RULES

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their post.
  2. Answer the 11 questions they asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with your own set of questions.
  4. Tag your chosen 11 bloggers and don’t forget to tell them as well!

The questions given to me:

1) What’s your best colour?
I love Black and Charcoal Grey.

2) Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
I really don’t know, hopefully with more followers who engage with it.

3) If you had $1000, what would you do with it?
Put some in my holiday fund and put 100 in stocks.

4) Who’s your best person in the entire world?
My mother, she is my rock.

5) Do you like flowers? If you do, what’s your best flower?
I’m not really a flower girl but I would say lavender (if that counts) or pink roses.

6) What’s a piece of advice you like (it may not have to do with your blog)
“Life keeps going even when you’re sad” “You’re the most important person in your life”
Also, my accountability post also kicks me into shape.

7) What country are you from? If you could change one thing about it, what would it be?
Nigeria! Igbo Kwenu. I’d love to change the infrastructure and the politicians.

8) Which do you prefer; novels or movies?
Action movies!

9) What’s your best piece of clothing/ accessory/ footwear?
Knee high boots, I love them.

10) What’s your best physical feature?
My smile, exhibit a below ☺

11) If you could be a well-known activist for a cause, what would it be?
Really hard question but an activist for people with special needs.

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Questions for my fellow bloggers:

  1. What’s your blog about and why did you start blogging?
  2. Who’s your style icon? Or maybe a fashion blogger/celebrity you really like?
  3. What’s your favourite skin care product?
  4. Where’s the best place you’ve visited and why?
  5. What’s your favourite cuisine?
  6. What’s your favourite restaurant?
  7. What type of person are you?
  8. With artificial intelligence on the rise would you buy a robot like Sophia?
  9. What’s your favourite book/movie/tv show?
  10. How do you like to relax?
  11. What would you suggest to someone who’s thinking about starting a blog or has one but is feeling discouraged?

Bloggers tagged:

@travelstreatsandeverythingsweet
@Josephine Grant
@sintimspeaks
@PopularIsWrong
@jaimeelolivia
@For The Wxnderers
@Its Kelle’s Space
@Melanie Jessica
@sarahjuneblog
@PAE Reviews
@LifeinRhymesandLines
@ladylikelaura
@kimberlyj.com

2017

Well, where do I start? 2017 hasn’t been all roses and daffodils, and running through fields of wheat because that’s the naughtiest thing I’ve ever done but 2017 still been a great year. I’ve gone from strength to strength and I achieved things that earlier in the year I didn’t think I could.

BAD Bs GET FIRSTS 

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I’ve done so well this year in terms of personal goals, I graduated with first class honours in Accounting and Finance. This has been my goal since the first day I stepped into my university in 2013 and achieving it has given me enough confidence to last a lifetime.

Getting a first was not easy! University it’s self is not easy, but getting a first or trying to get one pushes you beyond your limits and will have you questioning your sanity and ability.  I questioned my ability allllll the time, hence my self-doubt post. The stress I was under I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and I’m still recovering from my final year now lol. There were laughs, there were plenty of tears, late night trips to Co-op because our house needed  sweets and Monster to get us through the night,  late night chats in our kitchen cooking pasta bake, salmon and sweet potatoes because going to sleep meant having to face your degree the next day and the all day library sessions. This year I learnt the key to doing well in uni is starting assignments and revision early, prioritizing Uni over fun (but still take breaks, don’t let Uni break you),  sending drafts to teachers/asking for pointers, finishing your assignment the day before and staying up all night to do your Harvard referencing (or you could reference as you go along, but I never did that). After referencing until 9 am you sleep, wake up at 1 p.m to proofread your work and cut down if needed and then submit. I remember texting Kim and Swin to knock on my door if I was not up by a certain time because missing a deadline was my worst nightmare.

Me finishing my last exam:

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The joy I felt from finishing my last exam is a joy I want to feel all the time.  I spent so much time in the library throughout my university life that it became my second home but I’m grateful because it all worked out. Glory be to God.

Kim, Swin, Nino, thank you all for being such wonderful housemates and making me laugh because home to an antisocial house would have been upsetting.

WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK

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I told my mum I wanted a job by September and I got one in August, less than a month after graduating. Look at God. Plus, I actually like my job, which is a huge bonus, I’ve worked in places where I would dread going to work in the morning, not anymore!

HOLIDAYS

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I went to Tenerife for my birthday and although I did not travel as much as I did last year I’m grateful to have travelled at all because travelling is a luxury even though I like to treat it as a necessity.

BOOK SORIEE

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I got back into reading this year! This is a big thing for me because I’ve been complaining for years that I don’t read enough.

In the last 3 months I’ve read:

  1. Panther in the Hive by Olivia Cole
  2. We should all be feminist by Chimamanda Adichie
  3. Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe

If you want to read more too, join our book club “The Book Soiree”  and follow what we’re reading this month here.

Part-time Blogger, Full-time Babe 

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Lastly apieceofsarah.com turned 1! My baby! My everything! The love of my life! Writing gives me so much joy and starting this blog has bought out creativity that I didn’t even know I had. Blogging also helped me with my assignments. I had 8 assignments this year, achieved 6As, 4 of them being A+ including my final project. blogging has allowed me to help people far and wide and has given me guidance when I felt like giving up. My accountability, self-doubt, goals, procrastination and consistency  posts all acted as reminders as to why I have to keep on going, so I’m forever grateful that God gave me the idea to start this blog.

If you follow me on twitter you probably would have noticed my “65 days of happiness” thread. I did this for three reasons, to count down the days until 2018,  to cheer myself up and to make myself become more grateful for the big and small things that happen in everyday life. I think finding happiness in each day has made me more grateful than ever and reminded me of how blessed I am.

I’m so thankful for the love and support I’ve received and I can’t wait to show you what I have planned for 2018.

My overall goal for 2018 is to step out of my comfort zone, even more and give myself more credit because I love myself and it’s what I deserve, I hope you do the same too.

apieceofsarah.COM, PURPLE (1)

Empathy 

T/W: I talk about victims of sexual assault in this article.

So back in May I had one of the most humbling experiences in my life and it really made me want to talk about empathy.

empathy

ˈɛmpəθi

noun
“the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

I’ve always thought that I was empathetic towards others, but there’s always room for improvement, hence this post. We live in a society where people lack empathy for others because the other person’s situation does not impact on their life and it’s wrong. A lot of people lack empathy and respond to the misfortune of others with their cold and callous opinions which usually consists of victim-blaming. Or the person is pompous and starts speaking of how they would have done things differently and how the victim is “stupid, silly, entitled, lazy, should not have been out late at night” etc. the list goes on. I’ve seen this narrative used against rape victims (since the beginning of time), more recently Grenfell tower victims and even more recently the Hollywood sexual assault victims.

When someone is talking about their painful experience(s), the best thing to do is shut-up and listen with the intent of understanding. Not listening with the intent of responding or with judgement. This is where people fail, they don’t care about what the other person has to say, they just want to talk over them. People also lack the ability to perspective take e.g. putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. For example:

Benefit Seekers:

Benefit seekers are judged as lazy, entitled people who are living a lavish life provided by the taxpayer. This warped view is created by Channel 4 shows like Benefits Street and every tabloid that like to post a “Single mum with 6 kids by 7 different dads lives in an £2.5 million 8 bedroom Kensington town house that YOU pay for” on their front page.

People should be more outraged by wealthy individuals and corporations avoiding paying billions in tax, but, hey! focus on the poor who need the welfare system to survive. The UK is in serious need of a tax system reform, though, but I’ll save that topic for another day.

Now, yes, there are a small number of people who exploit the benefit system and commit fraud because they don’t want to work or because they’re greedy but you can’t tar everyone with the same brush. Most benefit-seekers are those in need, in low paid jobs, have dependents or disabilities, they need the welfare provided to them (which is usually just enough to survive btw).

Imagine your quality of life if you didn’t have a support system, you did not come from a loving home, you’ve unexpectedly lost your low paid job which did not allow you to save because your pay is minuscule, the family breadwinner has died or is extremely ill, your landlord has decided to raise your rent and now you’re homeless because you can’t afford it. Now, imagine there was no system to help you out and you were left to fend for yourself. I read a story this week about a mum who died as a result of her benefits being cut. She missed her benefits meeting because she was in A&E, when she, died she was found in her home wearing a coat and scarf leaving her 4 children behind. Her death could have been avoided, which is why it broke my heart. Hence why the benefit system is needed, to protect the most vulnerable in society.

Grenfell Tower:

I still find it crazy that this atrocity even happened. 6 months on and most of the former residents are still living in hotels. I’ve seen people complain that former residents should “not be picky, they should settle for whatever the council gives them.” which is ridiculous, they shouldn’t settle for anything, their homes were destroyed and they lost family members and friends in a fire that was completely preventable. It’s Rydon and Kensington and Chelsea council’s fault and they have blood on their hands.

T/W: Victims of Sexual Assault:

Rape is always the rapist’s fault. Victims are judged and condemned in many ways, thus perpetuating rape culture, it could be done in the following ways:

  • “Why did she wait so long?” The sad truth is reporting rape is not an easy or simple process and women are barely believed when they report rape or sexual assault. Instead of being listened to these women are condemned. Just because a woman didn’t report an assault, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
  • “What did you drink?” Someone could down a bottle of Rosé and rape will still be the rapist’s fault because he/she has exploited the victim’s vulnerability. Which will always be wrong.

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  • “What were you wearing?” whether you go out naked or dress like the Michelin man, rape is still the rapist’s fault. No one is entitled to your body, regardless of the clothes you wear.

The list of condemnation is exhausting, but not limited to the above. Men are not called out on their disgusting behaviour E.g. grabbing a girl’s butt, then turning around acting like you didn’t in a club, getting a girl drunk to sleep with her because you know it will be harder to sleep with her if she’s sober. This behaviour is predatory, it needs to stop, men must be called out by the men around them. I’m also tired of women only getting empathy because of their proximity to someone else, e.g when something bad happens, someone usually says imagine if this was your “mother, daughter, sister” etc. Women should receive empathy for being human, not because they are connected to you in some way.

Rape culture will continue to exist because victims are blamed, shamed and then silenced. All accountability is placed on the victims, not the men who rape and it is so frustrating. It’s frustrating to see disproportionate media coverage on false rape accusations, it’s frustrating to see how entitled men feel to women’s bodies, it’s frustrating to see victims vilified and not receive the empathy and justice they deserve because men are still viewed as animals who lack self-control. Men are not animals, nor are they babies to not know what they’re doing, they should be held accountable for their actions and ostracized or they will continue to rape. It’s that simple.

Discrimination against people with special needs:

If there is anything that grinds my gears, it’s this.

Too many people are vile and abusive to those with special needs and it drives me insane. If it’s not abuse on nights out when someone is minding their business, it’s abuse on public transport. Public transport is an important one, earlier this year I saw this video:

First thing first, the wheelchair space is meant for wheelchair users first then buggies. If your buggy can fold, then fold it and let a wheelchair user use the space. They need it more than you. If a wheelchair user is “taking too long” to get on the bus do not tut or sigh for once imagine if you were in their position, have some compassion and use your common sense.

How can you be so horrible and have such disregard for human life? Also I hate when people make jokes about people with special needs. No one asks to be born with special needs. I can’t respect you if you don’t respect them.

White Privilege and Racism:

White privilege is real, please click here.

Racism still exists and will continue to exist if people deny its existence. Whether it’s institutional, systemic, police brutality, etc. It still exists. Just because you:

  • “Don’t see colour”,
  • Interracial relationships are on the rise,
  • America had a mixed race president,
  • You have a black bf,
  • Some countries have it “worse” than others,
  • Rappers say “nigga” in their songs.
  • You’re a person of colour (POC) and like being seen as “compliant/good POC.” So you hate when black people speak up,

Doesn’t mean people should refrain from protesting the injustice they face. You should empathise with people and see how you can help combat the injustice they face instead of telling them to “get over it” or start victim blaming.

Last but definitely not least fat-shaming:

People go out of their way to be horrible to fat people and say/do nasty things for no reason. Whether it’s saying horrible things while they’re minding their business in the street, at a club or on public transport. Even on twitter, people decide to tear people’s appearance apart and it’s insidious.

This comic illustrates my point perfectly:

People become big through different reasons, the main reason not burning as many calories as their intake, they’ve had a baby, they have a medical condition, food tastes really good (duh) or they have been using food as a coping mechanism. This could be from when you’re young, being overweight when you’re young can set you up for obesity for the rest of your life and ruin your self-esteem. All the foods you were given are now bad for you and it’s hard to give them up. Coupled with a low esteem because of how you look, clothes not fitting well enough, your size not being catered to and fear that someone will say or do something, it’s not a fun life, sometimes you can feel trapped in your own body.

If you’re overweight and reading this, your weight does not define you as a person.

Those who are overweight already know what they look like, some are happy and comfortable kudos to them. I can only imagine how it feels to be 100% comfortable in the skin you’re in. Others are not happy and look at themselves daily and want to make a change but feel like they can’t. Losing weight is hard and they don’t need your unnecessary comments which are usually born out of spite, not because you care about their health. Again a fat person could post a pic of themselves and get hateful comments for being confident within themselves and people will hide it under the guise of caring about their health. When really they don’t like it when overweight people are confident because they think fat people don’t deserve confidence and should be hidden. Same thing happens to confident women who others don’t deem attractive, people love to shut them down relentlessly.

Fat Shaming v Thin Shaming:

I’ve seen a lot off fat vs thin shaming tweets and thought I might as well address it here:

“Thin Person: How come if a fat person posts a pic, society says “woo body positivity, slay girl etc.” But if I (a thin person) post a pic I’m told to go and eat something, stop showing of etc.” — Let’s be real, there maybe some body-positivity for fat people but usually its Ashley Graham in a buzzfeed article. Ashley Graham is like the poster girl for the body positive movement, she’s a plus size women with hour-glass figure and a relatively flat stomach, to me she’s a conventional fat. She’s not like other women (and this is no dig at Ashley) who have saggy bellies, several love handles, stretch marks everywhere and rolls. Those women are usually told to put some clothes on, hide, or even die if they share pictures of themselves online. If people are telling you to eat something because you’re thin, tell them you’re fine, you have a fast metabolism and to mind their business.

Or

“How comes if a fat person can ask me if I’ve eaten but If I call them fat it’s an issue”

—Whenever I see this type of tweet I have two thoughts.

  1. Is it only fat people that shame you? I’ve seen people get thin-shamed by people of various sizes but only choose to call out fat people because they’re fat. Unless the person is asking you out of concern e.g your mum, best friend or partner tell them to mind their business.
  2. Is it a family member who said this? From first hand experience I know how annoying family members can be with their fake concern and irrelevant comments about your body/why aren’t you married yet/why don’t you study more etc. If it is a family member (especially a distant one) tell them to mind their business or change the subject.

With the Fat vs. Thin shaming stuff it’s best if everyone just minded their business. It’s not hard.

From looking at the responses to the tweets above, you can probably tell that I don’t believe thin-shaming and fat shaming are the same, because I don’t.

“Thinness is not only the beauty standard but also a false gauge of health, wellness, energy, cleanliness, ambition, intelligence, and morality. A study from the University of Albert showed that “when a thin person is seen lying down watching television, people assume they’re resting. But when people see an overweight person relaxing, it’s automatically assumed they’re lazy and unmotivated.” Yet, clearly, this is not the case.”

-Taken from The Body is Not An Apology, very interesting article if you want to read more.

However, I do think both are damaging because no one should feel that their body is not good enough. I understand how statements like “Real Women have curves” and “How can you be a girl and have no boobs/bum you might as well be a man?” because it can make you feel horrible about your body because they are horrible especially the latter. The size of your bum or chest should not define if you’re a woman or not and not having curves is OK. I know it’s easier said than done but don’t let society dictate how you feel about yourself.

To conclude, society would be a better place if people empathized with others, showed some compassion when people are in a rough place and remembered that they could end up in a rough place too if their life goes down hill (God forbid). Society would also improve immensely if people thought about people’s feelings and how their actions affect others on a daily basis— not only when someone commits suicide. Remember your words have power and can have a negative or positive effect on people, hence why it would also be great if people remembered that not everything you think needs to be said. Therefore, before you say something negative about someone else ask yourself “is this really needed?” if it’s not then don’t say it. There’s enough negativity and pain in the world that you should not be adding to.

If you struggle with empathizing with others below are some tips:

  • https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/EmpathyatWork.htm
  • https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/empathy.html
  • https://www.wikihow.com/Show-Empathy
  • http://time.com/3562863/5-ways-to-be-more-empathetic/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw

The pain of feeling unappreciated. 

Unappreciated and overburdened. 


There is nothing worse than going out of your way for someone and when a similar situation arises, they don’t do the same for you or they don’t say thank you.  While you shouldn’t do things for others in expectation of receiving something in return; it’s still painful to know that,  that person wouldn’t and doesn’t appreciate you or your time. There are so many people who do not have the same heart as you and do not have good intentions for you, which sets you up for many disappointments along the road. Don’t get me wrong, there are good appreciative people in the world and if you find them, keep them close but there are plenty of users too. The person reading this may or may not be a user too, but only on self-reflection can you answer this question. When this happens to me, I try to remind myself that God will reward me for doing things out of the kindness of my heart, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

When you feel unappreciated you have three options:


  1. Say how you feel 

  1. Distance yourself

  1. Don’t go out of your way for them again

Speaking about your feelings –  If you’re like me, you probably hate speaking about your feelings out of fear of overreacting or saying something offensive because you’re undiplomatic, or you expect everyone to have a certain level of respect/common sense/unselfishness and most importantly to avoid conflict. You have to stop biting your tongue to avoid hurting someone who is hurting you, I mean, how else would they know how you feel? Depending on the situation is and how angry I am, I get my point across by writing down how I feel then speaking to the person later so I don’t forget the important points and to make sure I’m not over-reacting and to avoid saying something hurtful.


Distancing yourself – Self-explanatory. I avoid that person and situations where I would feel inclined to go out of my way for them, this could be late replies to texts and decreasing my availability.  If you feel unappreciated by everyone around you, take some timeout to enjoy your own company, but don’t overdo this as it can be unhealthy.


Don’t go out of your way for them again – This is hard when you have a giving spirit and you like helping others but you can’t let people exploit you and your kindness. Remember you’re not a doormat, so put your foot down. If I feel like I’m going out of my way for someone (based on our level of friendship and our past) I will stop and ask myself would they do the same for me and if that answer is “no” I don’t do stuff for them because I have boundaries to set. Setting up boundaries around unappreciative people takes some time, but it’s worth it and you won’t regret it because when people get comfortable they think they are entitled to your time and resources when they’re not. You have the strength to say no or refer them to other people when you’re asked for things, as there’s no point doing things for people who will just take and take and take until you’re left empty, you need to look after yourself.


See my previous post: “The Power of Saying “No” 


To conclude, being unappreciated hurts but remember that you always have options when it happens. 

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter & How to Make the Most of Them Now #SarahsBookSoiree

This post is a summary of why you should read :

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now

I’ve recommended this book to everyone since reading it. I personally think this book  spurred me on to create this blog, that’s how much its changed my life.

Clinical psychologist Dr Meg Jay writes about her experiences working  with twentysomething year olds who are trying to navigate their way through life and sometimes avoid their responsibilities because they’re scared of what the future holds. Or these twentysomethings are idle in both their love and work life and need that kick in the right direction to stop them wasting one of the most important periods of their lives, their twenties: The period where people lay the foundations of their wealth and tend to be free from commitments like marriage and children. The book also warns of the dangers of being idle in your twenties and why you should not let time pass you by.

The book is split into three sections:

  1. Work
  2. Love
  3. The Brain and the body

Work:

Contains several stories and anecdotes relating to those who have stayed idle in their twenties and rather than taking charge of their lives, were waiting for someone to come along, and carry them on their journey, kinda like a bouy in the ocean, swaying from side to side wondering where the sea would take them.

If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, and that is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.

Charles de Montesquieu, Writer/Philosopher

Work also discusses the dangers of social media, how young people  complained that their “life should look better on Facebook” and then got upset when they saw  other people living “better” than them. Which is why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others because it does nothing for our lives and leads to you feeling less empowered and more helpless.

Another issue discussed were how people avoided the uncertainty the comes after making decisions because they were afraid of the unknown.

It talks about unthought known which are things we know about ourselves but somehow forgot. These could be dreams that we have lost sight of or the truth we sense but don’t say out loud, people tend to be afraid to say these thoughts to others due to how they may react and hide them from themselves because they are afraid of the outcome.

Love:

Discusses the dangers of dating without purpose as it leads to people panicking then settling down when they suddenly hit 30 with people they don’t actually like and are not compatible with. The dangers of cohabiting are mentioned and how it elongates dead relationships because people don’t realize they’re no made for each other until a long time after and sometimes have to stay due to signing a long term tenancy agreement.  It also talks about the big five personalities: openness, conscientiousness, extraverison, agreeables, neuroticism. These personalities give you an idea of how you react in different situations.  It also states the obvious, good sex and your partner being attractive isn’t a good reason to stay with them.

“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”

Leo Tolstoy, Writer

The brain and the body:

Spoke about how the brain is still developing in your twenties and the sheer panic people face entering their first job after university, something I related too when doing my placement. Also says  How employed 20 year olds are happier than their unemployed counterparts. How being in  a relationship can make you feel more secure and responsible and although being single is glorified in the press it doesn’t particularly feel so good. My favourite part of this section was the talk about managing fertility. Fertility peaks in your late twenties but starts to decline at thirty and thirty-five because the woman’s ability to carry a baby to full term decreases, meaning miscarriages become more likely and eggs have trouble implanting due to hormones. Fertility in men also declines as older sperm is associated with neurocognitive problems in children such as autism, schizophrenia, dyslexia and lower intelligence overall.  Which is why it is important for both sexes to think about their fertility.

“When we try to do something new we don’t know what we’re doing. that’s the biggest challenge”

Jeffrey Kalmikoff, Designer

To summarize:

The overall messages I got from reading this book are:

  1. It is better to start divulging into new experiences now than wait until your thirty to start doing new things because contrary to popular belief. Thirty is not the new twenty. There is a big difference between having a life at thirty and starting it at thirty.
  2. Life will not stop for you. Time will keep going, your friends will keep going, so you need to get going and  start working towards your future.

 
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Strawberries & Blueberries Smoothie Bowl

 

A few days ago I made my first smoothie bowl and it was delicious.
I think smoothie bowls are great for breakfast because they pack the necessary nutrients to get you through the day.

I made a strawberries and blueberries smoothie bowl  and blended the following: 1 pot of Onken strawberry yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, chia seeds and ice. After blending I topped it off with strawberries,blueberries, chia seeds and Jordan country crisp. On the second day of making the smoothie bowl I added  spirulina powder to the mixture which I bought from Aldi for £2.49.

 

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If you don’t compare, you don’t compete, so don’t compare.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is unhealthy at all ages. I say all ages because remember how it made you feel as a child when your parents compared you to your best friend who was very smart or your well behaved cousin or one of your friends who they thought was an angel but you knew otherwise… Yeah? It’s still unhealthy now as it was back then but this time you’re doing it to yourself.

When you compare yourself to others,  you start pointing out your flaws,  all the things you haven’t done compared to them and how much “better” other people are  compared to you which is very destructive behaviour.

Comparison is the death of joy – Theodore Roosevelt

Continuous comparisons can make you forget the good things you have in your life, this leads to: envy, low self-confidence, resentment and general unhappiness. None of these feelings have helped anyone achieve anything but it’s been happening since the beginning of time. Due to the rise of social media, we think we see every aspect of people’s lives, in reality, we really don’t as social media is a faux representation of life. Remember, people only show you the good parts of their lives so you shouldn’t compare yourself or feel bad  for not having what they  have. You don’t see the struggles they’ve had, all the times they have wanted to give up and what they did to get there. You only see what they want you to see The same way you compare yourself to others, is probably the same way someone is comparing themselves to you; see how crazy that sounds? So instead of comparing, you should focus on yourself  and turn those negative feelings into motivation to do better for yourself.

Why I stopped comparing myself to others:
As time has gone on, I have learnt to focus on me and not compare my journey to anyone else because it is futile and stops me from celebrating the most important person in my life, myself.  I know Rome wasn’t built in a day and my time will come as long as I work hard and focus.  Great things take time and no one has achieved success overnight (unless they’ve won the EuroMillions but then again that’s luck not an achievement) so I keep working on myself.  For example  if I decided to compare myself with other bloggers or even Youtubers who get loads of traffic on their websites and have thousands of followers, getting 1000 views per day etc then my 1000 views in my last post  would feel meaningless, it would turn into something negative and I would be upset that I wasn’t at their ‘level.’

Regardless of how things look on social media and in everyday life, no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and  has their down-days which I don’t see. Over the years I have become more appreciative of myself and grateful for what I have which has helped me want to celebrate me more because if you can’t celebrate yourself who is going to celebrate you? Lastly I find inspiration from looking at others instead of being jealous because jealousy has never helped anyone achieve anything ever. So what’s the point of me wasting my time?

As I said in the title,  If you don’t compare, you don’t compete, so don’t compare. Sometimes we’re our harshest critics, this can limit our perception of ourselves and makes us put others on an undeserved pedestal which is why comparisons are so detrimental. So stop comparing and focus on the most important person in your life, yourself. 

 

 Photo taken by me in Miami, Florida – September 2016.

How to achieve your goals

2017 is finally upon us and a new year means new goals.  Unlike the previous uncompleted new year resolutions, this year will be different.

We will achieve what we said we will, once we stay focused.

I created this infographic to encourage you to stay focused on what you want.

goals-again

 

  1. Set clear goals
    • Whatever your goal is, it has to be clearly defined. You need to know the exact outcome of what you want.
  2. Ensure your goals are S.M.A.R.T
    • S.M.A.R.T goals are : Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Sensitive
    • Specific: What exactly do I want to accomplish?
    • Measurable: How will I know when I have completed it?
      How can I track my progress?
    • Attainable:Is it attainable? Can I achieve it with the resources I have?
    • Relevant: Is this goal important to me? What will completing it do for me? Is now the right time to do it?
    • Time Sensitive: When do I want to  completion date?
    • Example of a bad smart goal:
      • I want to become a better saver this year
    • Example of good smart goals:
      • I want to save £3000 by December so I will save £250 every month
  3. Write your goals down
    • This will act as a reminder and help you concentrate
  4. Research the actions required to achieve what you want
  5. Split the actions into smaller tasks
    • This will make it seem less daunting and give yourself dates to complete it by.
  6. Plan and prioritize your time wisely.
  7. Use a vision board to help visualize your success.
    • A vision board is a collection of images  and texts that are related to what YOU want in life.  You can create a vision board for each specific goal or for a collection of goals.
  8. Execute your plan
    • Do what you said you would.
  9. Regularly review your progress to check if you are still on track 
  10. Stay motivated
    • Don’t give up!

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