Staying motivated during isolation- I am not

Advice, Personal Experience

Motivation is still at Zero


I am so impressed by everyones attitudes to this situation. I am not motivated at all. Yes I will be baking banana bread today and yes I have cleared out the garden but I am still working. I am actually busier then I have ever been and I am working super long days. So even though I am currently working at home not a lot has changed for me.

I actually enjoyed working from home. I planned our lunches and and cooked our dinners we walked Frank every day. We are now a zero waste food house hold. I understand stand that we should always should have been. Isolating is teaching us how much to appreciate the food you have. We are using up all the fresh bits first although they seem easier to replace.


I still have minimum motivation.

Zero

Online food shopping


We gutted the kitchen cupboards at the weekend
Ripped everything out and wrote everything down. Like everything in life, me and Gavin are hoarders. Food hoarders if you are really fond of spices, bbq sauce and noodles, we will survive.

We appear to have a soba noodle obsession.


I just wanted to check before I did an order that we have enough food in the house and this has helped me massively. But I don’t blame online shoppers for overstocking their shelves! How can we when you can only get delivery once a month if you are lucky. If we are not allowed out and we are trying to stay away from people then online shopping should be a godsend.


But no one can get a slot.


We will be fine for no, maybe a month, if we just live on noodles!

Lack of motivation


I am still working.


You may know that I work in retail it’s an online company so we are busy. Busier than Christmas and dealing with a lot of impatient people. Who don’t understand that there is a crisis on which means delays. This is leading to zero motivation at the moment. Gav is used to me screaming at the laptop and getting stressed.

Work is really tiring me out. Don’t leave a comment telling me I am lucky to be working. Yes I am lucky to be working but I am not used to dealing with such negativity and lack of understanding. I have to process what is going on in the world as well as people yelling at me because there parcel is delayed.

Peoples perspectives are pissing me off.

Coping during isolation

Working means I have little time to relax. I don’t have any excess time to be creative, to plan the things I want to do. My daily roles haven’t changed that much but everything else has. When I sit down and think about all the deaths and sickness I find it overwhelming.

We are living in scary times.

I deleted Facebook because I don’t want to hear people’s opinions on everything. All my news comes from the BBC. I downloaded the app so I even get notifications which is also scary.

Our government lied to us and downplayed the severity of Covid-19 which is still making me so angry.

We don’t know what is happing or going to happen. So we need to let everyone get along how they must. Am I coping?…. well I am getting everyday but I am so busy or tied I don’t have a lot of time for me.

I read a post on how we are actually privileged to be able to stay home, feed ourselves, clean ourselves. At first I was a bit annoyed at this post. Now I understand the relevance and the privileged position of us. It wasn’t about shaming us it was about putting things in perspective.

It’s time to put things in perspective!

You perspective matters but please be kind to people and patience really is a virtue.

Where’s your head at?

Advice, health

What a crazy week! I am a little overwhelmed by it all, the new just keeps getting worse. More people are getting sick and the deaths keep adding up. This is all getting very scary.

We have arrived back from Japan into chaos.

I am angry at how slow our government has taken to act and how severe it actually becoming. Our PM has been reluctant to react and now he is sick. This blog is my escape so even though I am very political my blog is somewhere I escape to rather than a political ranting space.

My Facebook feed was telling be on one hand that everyone needs to take it seriously, on the other it’s all a joke and then my absolute favourite was to be positive.

Good Vibes only was plastered all over Facebook and it was making me angry. I get it. That’s how people are coping they want to create a positive place. It made me feel like my feelings were invalid and wrong. I shouldn’t be angry I should be focused and grateful.

Well I am not. I am still angry.

I deleted facebook

Facebook was stressing me out so I decided that this divorce needs to happen so off I went. I am still watching the news. I have BBC news app sending me notifications and feel a bit better. It was never about cutting out the world. Just bad social media! I still love Instagram and Twitter. Maybe it’s the comfort of strangers that I find soothing.

I am working from home and the isolation isn’t helping my mental health. I am just frustrated and I think I actually need a break except I can’t go anywhere.

We are all in the same boat so I don’t feel alone even in isolation. I also know I am lucky. I have food in my kitchen. A little house I can disappear into. My little garden that I need to tidy. A loving husband and a cute puppy that need a daily walk. I am not depressed but this whole Covid 19 situation is stressing me out.

It’s all a bit much so I thought I would ask you where your head is at? Let’s start a conversation.

Onsens let’s get naked and talk body confidence

Advice, body confidence, confidence, Travel, weight loss

Firstly if you think I have body confidence you are mistaken. My pale chubby body is not a sight for sore eyes, even mine. I have gained a little weight since the wedding and I am not happy about it.

I do appreciate my body, don’t get me wrong, it is fairly healthy and fairly strong but it does look way better by candle light. I do believe in women loving themselves but I also understand that having body confidence is all in your head. And confidence grows from confidence so you can judge me all you want but my insecurities are not going away with a talk about how I should be proud of my body.

I was

Now I am not.

So let’s get back to Onsens. Onsens are like hot tubs but more like a the kids bathing pool. They are hot, they have to be a minimum of 37 degrees and have a minimum of 19 different minerals. Two of the Onsens we visited were 51 degrees

and were so hot we felt like we were cooking!

Getting naked

Most places will supply you with a kimono dressing gown cover called a yukata,belt, socks and the most uncomfortable flip flops ever. They are heinous but slow you down. This whole outfit forces you to take your time and relax. I loved it so much and you can sleep in them too if you want to. The yukata not the flip flops.

The men and women are divided so you only get naked infront of other women, few.

You go to a room full of baskets. Turn your basket the right way up and fill it with your bits. I left everything in the room so I just had what I was wearing.

When dressing women tie at the front and men tie at the back. Also the left lapel goes over the top. The right only goes over the top when you are dead!

It’s not out of focus it’s just that steamy in Here

Modesty

There is a modesty towel. It’s fricken tiny it barely reaches from boob to boob but it does cover your vagina so you don’t need to worry about your front. The whole rest of your body is on display. Oh boy…. I am not sure exactly what I was so afraid of until an American goddess with a perfect body entered the room. She was leaving and I was getting in so I hid in the loo till she left.

Because I had no confidence!

A few rules

The first Onsen I went to the lighting was nice and low so it helped me build my confidence. No it didn’t it just meant I didn’t run as fast to the Onsen like I did in the second one. After my fourth Onsen I was a bit less caring about what only her people thought of me and more concerned with how long I had been outside for!

It’s a hot bath which you share, this means you have to be clean going in. They have these tiny stalls with tiny stools you sit on and wash yourself. There is soap shampoo and conditioner but you don’t have to get your hair wet at all. You must clean yourself to keep the experience as hygienic as possible.

There are also shower heads, taps and a cute wooden bucket that you fill and splash over yourself. When I was alone I really enjoyed this process as the room is heated by the Onsens so you stay nice and warm. It’s a strange but pleasant way to wash and if I could get an Onsen in my garden in London I would, not a hot tub an actual onsen.

So far I have been in a Onsen alone, with a goddess ( she joined me the next night) and with a Japanese family and then a room full of Japanese beauty’s.

It was all fine no one cared.

I will go in again and again and get the most of the Onsens. We are in Japan at a quiet time of the year so I have been lucky that none of the Onsens have been full. I need to work on my confidence. I also need to work on my body. It’s not bad but it could be better!

Tattoos and Onsens

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but tattoos are generally not accepted in Onsens. I found one out of the five I visit were accepted and that was because it was a private Onsen.

I bought some tattoo covers with me and these are exceptable but if you have larger tattoos then you might face some issues.

From what I have read the reason Japan hates tattoos is because years ago prisoners used to be tattooed as a punishment. Then the yakuza decided to decorate the tattoos even more making this punishment a rite of passage instead. Yakuza had a lot of control in Japan so Japan decided to ban all tattoos from Onsens this making a huge statement to Japanese gangsters that they are not welcome.

Flash forward to modern times and things are changing but it is important to respect the traditions. You are not going to change anything by kicking up a fuss.

How did I feel about my tattoo

Well, honestly I felt like it was a hindrance. I had the stickers and I had to buy more but I was more worried about being kicked out for having a tattoo which came with a certain amount of shame that I had never felt before. I felt better when I had a cover up or I snuck in when there was no one around! But I did feel like I was sneaking.

I am sure if you search for them there are plenty of places that have no care for tattoos but like I said, 4/5 did. And we traveled a nice amount.

An Onsen life for me

We squeezed in as much Onsen action as we could and I swear it helped with the jetlag as we never suffered any!! These baths are open air relaxation and I enjoyed them immensely. In Zao Onsen they hawks closed off the open site but bit you could see the piles snow, it was beautiful but we weren’t allowed outside.

Honeymoon with coronavirus! Japan here we come

Advice, health, Honeymoon, Planning, Travel

So firstly, are we worried? Yes a little

Are we going? Yes unless the government tells us not to!

It’s a flu, a bad flu that mainly effects the old and vulnerable. So we are not in the danger bracket yet. We still may get sick but likely that we will be fine. It’s flu, nasty flu.

This isn’t the dream honeymoon we have been planning for two years I can tell you. Generally I am fine and level headed about the hole thing but I still get moments of panic. I went out and tried to buy hand sanitizer but Tesco had sold out. Went to another shop but it wasn’t good sanitizer so I went to Boots and bought 6 baby ones and a big one to restock it.

I went in Boots today and they had sold out !! Sainsburies had nothing. So I bought what they had. I know Gav will say it’s too much but I would rather be safe then sorry… or dead.

This isn’t all of it!!

A lady I know who works at the local GP said Dettol. It kills all bacteria so I bought a decanter to take with us on the plane. I bought the antiseptic dettol for humans and antiseptic dettol for objects. This means I can clean the plane and our trays and just make it a bit more hygienic where ever we are.

Okay I sound crazy! It takes up minimal room in my suitcase and I don’t care.

Gav is far more sure about the decision.

He mocks my fear a little but I just want to be practical. We have bought extra hand sanitizer andantibacterial wipes to clean things. We even have proper masks but apparently they don’t do anything.

We are going to be sensible.

Hopefully that will be enough.

Stay away from crowds but enjoy ourselves! Have fun eat drink and stay clean.

What else can we do.

We are also taking half a pharmacy with us as well. In case we get sick out there we are making sure that we have some medication with us. Does this sound like fun honeymoon planning to you? I have two first aid kits! A mini one and a bigger one for when we are travelling around.

Safety first for the crazy lady!

My parents are both worried. My dad is worried we will get stuck out there. He calls me every other day now. And we get it, we really do but what can we do it about it.

My mum is coming to look after the dog.. so I am thinking of moving her out before we get home. In case we are not sick but pass on the virus to her. I would hate to be responsible for getting my mum and aunt sick! This really does worry me.

So let’s have a chat in the comments! Are you going to Japan? Would you go? Are you there now?

January blues 1 me 0

Advice, health, self care

Last month was hard

So hard

I have never felt so low for so long, January blues 1, me 0.

I still functioned, still went to work, but my energetic levels were so low. I felt in the edge of tears all the time. I just want to be held and left alone at the same time. The sofa became my best friend again, offering me support and keeping me sedated.

I bored myself.

I can’t quite believe how low I felt. I let things slide, my house dissolved into a complete mess. I paid little attention to myself and I just didn’t care. Not finding the route of the problem was pissing me off.

I pissed myself off.

I think it was a combination of two things. I think I was suffering from S.A.D seasonal affective Disorder which means that the grey sky’s and lack of sunlight where making me unhappy but also my diet didn’t help. SAD is about a lack of melatonin that you normally.

I had an apple today and realised that unless there was fruit in my dessert I hadn’t had fresh fruit since November! The Pink Lady I had today was joyful and refreshing. I also ate too much take out and processed food. This isn’t good, it didn’t help my mental state.

What did I learn

That next year I am going eat better.

Give up Diet Coke except if I am on holiday or socialising.

Exercise more but also I won’t be so hard on myself.

S.A.D is a real thing and I am allowed to be blue.

I had a few really shit days. And that’s okay because I am getting through this. I got through it. Next year I will be better prepared!

Any tips for getting through the winter months will be greatly appreciated!

Over packing is a waste, the key to successful packing

Advice, Travel

Overpacking is definitely a pet peeve of mine. I hate it, it’s wasteful and unnecessary and generally it’s down to not organising my list properly.

This holiday to Les Deuce Alps I only over packed slightly but it still rankles me. I could have just packed one jumper instead of 3, I could have just worn it a few times instead of 3 different jumpers that I wore once.

Perfect packing list

They key to perfect packing is a list and also packing cubes. They really are. When I write my list I like to think in out fits. What goes with what. But also I love a packing cubes Gavin mocks me for them but I find them essential.

Making a list is easy, you just need to know what you are doing and if you are going out out! Because we were going snowboarding I knew that my main priority was layers and keeping warm. This is my ninth year in the slopes so believe me when I tell you that hotels, bars and restaurants all have the heating on. You will always be warm when you are out but it’s getting from a-b that you need to focus on.

Oh baby it’s cold outside

Layers, you need layers and you also need to think practically. A pair of gloves is essential on the mountain but also off. You need a pair to keep your hands warm but also to protect them if you slip on the ice or snow. Cutting up your hands on a slip or trip is not a great idea!

Hats and scarves! So they have proven that it not true that majority of your heat comes out of your head however if you are completely wrapped up except for your head then it’s going to cold so pack a hat any will do! Scarves aren’t a must but you can use them as an accessory and keep warm. Win win for everyone.

The coat

Me and Gav generally don’t take extra coats with us. We use our snowboarding coat for day and night and it was only a mistake this year when the weather was cold and wet. We only had one night of issues but it was enough to make us think that next year we may take a thin waterproof that we can layer up with a hoodie underneath.

Again you will need to coat to protect you if you slip but also because it’s bloody freezing! We had snow, rain and hail! We needed our warm coats.

Safety first people

I have already written a blog on safety stuff so I won’t repeat myself! If you don’t look after yourself then you are a danger to everyone else!

But beginners need:

Sunscreen: no matter the weather it’s an extra barrier for your skin

A helmet: you head is a watermelon you hit it hard you die or brain damage. Be smart and protect your skull.

Goggles: visibility is key safety for you and fellow mountain buddies. Sunglasses are no substitute, fallon our face and tell me what a great idea they were. You can get cheap goggles online so no excuses.

Knee pads: cushioning for the part of your body you will rely on the most when boarding. As an extra you can do back armour etc if you want!

Gloves: you can’t board or ski without gloves. You can’t, cotton or wool ones will freeze your hands even in warmer climates. Invest in these. They need to be snow proof waterproof you name it. Mine have armour built in so I don’t break my wrist again.

Insurance, don’t be a dunce. No matter how smart you are and how safe there are always idiots on the mountain. This holiday we witnessed a fair few helicopters lifting people to safety and a lot of them were small trips that resulted in breaks and sprains. Often caused by others on the mountain. I knew a guy who slipped broke his back but didn’t know anything was wrong until he went and complained of a twinge. Get insurance it’s cheap compared to a helicopter flight.

Summary

Be smart. When it comes to safety then layer up. Know your limits and obey the rules.

You don’t need to overpack you can think in layers but it’s cold. So you can layer up and reuse items again and again.

You need an outfit for every night especially as all the photos of you will be out in the snow with you hat gloves and coat on. No one is impressed with heels in the snow.

Be practical and you will be fine. Plus you are in France so you will have great food and booze to keep you happy. You don’t need to overpack you just need to pack smart.

Self reflection

Advice, Dreaming, Planning, self care, Travel

This winter I have been busy. So busy I have missed out on a lot. It will be worth it if I get my bonus this year but it has still taken me away from the things I love and the people I miss. When you work in retail Christmas is your busiest time there is no doubt about it but life goes on weather you are out socialising or at home working.

Next year we are planning Christmas in January. Presents meal you name it. We will still have a Christmas meal but a less hectic one.

I love Christmas and it truely is my favourite time of year it I am just too busy to enjoy it. The week of Christmas I will be in France snowboarding and relaxing so I don’t mind how hectic it gets right now.

My head is already rocking with what I want to achieve next year.

Last years goals

Miraculously my goals last year were all hit. I had to save for the wedding, make for the wedding and look after myself for the wedding.

I didn’t hit all my travel destinations but I did travel to Madrid, Bulgaria, Jersey, France and Yorkshire. This years travel is going to be really exciting with Japan and Italy on the cards!

My sister asked me what I would do if I could do anything. I said draw.

Draw and paint.

But actually put the effort in. Sit down and practice what I love. So I am setting myself a challenge. 12 pieces of art next year that I am brave enough and proud enough to sell. That’s only one a month but it will still be a challenge.

I still have to actually do it.

I have enough paints and pencils and even pads to get started but I can’t tell you the last time I sat down and created something I was proud of.

Treating myself

I have no issues spending money on food or events but when it comes to me I wimp out. Skincare and food I don’t mind spending money on, or holidays or meals out.

But me. I stop at me. I need a new back pack and I have been eyeing up a Fjallraven backpack but for some reason I haven’t bought it. I was hoping to get it for my birthday or Christmas but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

So I should just buy it for myself.

Why not, it’s not frivolous it’s essential and cheap backpacks don’t last.

I need one that fits my laptop and that won’t tire so I am doing my research and I want it in green or yellow.

I am also buying my first Mac. This will again be for my illustrations but I think it’s important to have a goal. This will be a an expensive bit of tech but to me it’s a necessity.

Getting the house sorted

I am a messy person and I need to get it sorted. My head and home are cluttered to the max and although I won’t be chucking out massive amounts of stuff somethings have to go. We are planning on buying a new kitchen and moving the bathroom. This is going to cost a lot so I need to start saving.

Read moreI love to read. It used to be every waking moment I would reach for my book and although I do have books on my phone I really do prefer to turn the pages so in the knew year I will write a list of books I plan on getting round to reading and a few I want to reread!

Organisation, self belief, travel and saving

I was to spend less on crap and invest more in me, my body, wardrobe, home and larder.

Less is more is my motto for next year