Blue Monday🟦

The third Monday in January is considered ‘the most depressing day of the year’. Why is this you may ask? The holidays are over, the weather is fairly miserable and many Resolutions of the previous year have failed. Below I have created a list of things to do if you are having a rough day. 🍃

  • Call a friend or family member
  • Cook a nice meal or learn a new recipe
  • Journal your feelings
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Go for a walk
  • Practice a hobby that you enjoy (or learn a new one)
  • Write a list of things and people that make you happy
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take a break from social media
  • Go through who you follow on social media and unfollow anyone that doesn’t make you feel empowered, informed or inspired
  • Spend time in nature
  • Meet friends for a coffee
  • Visit a neighbour – think, are there any old people living nearby who might enjoy a chat and a cup of tea? These people might be living alone and could do with some help or company.
  • Do some gardening
  • Do some yoga or meditation
  • Wear a face mask
  • Have a bubble bath
  • Change your bedsheets and pjs
  • Have some icecream
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Make a nice cup of tea to have with your favourite biscuit
  • Cry!

😢

It is ok and good to cry when you feel sad. Anybody and everybody should cry every now and then (cool people cry too). Crying releases endorphins and oxytocin. Suppressing emotions has detrimental effects in the long-run and can cause depression, anxiety or physical stress on your body. (Sadness and depression are not the same thing- many people use these terms interchangeably).

📞

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Life is tough but so are you🙂

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Study tips✍️

Below I have listed some tips for studying. I did well in my Leaving Cert and have spent the last five years at University, so grab a notebook and take note of these study tips✏️

  1. Flashcards: Flashcards are ideal for writing notes in one small space for when you need to have a quick glance. Flashcards are available in different sizes and colours. On the morning of an exam they are very useful so that you are not scrambling through folders or notebooks. Flashcards can be stuck to anything with bluetac such as the wall or inside your locker. Flashcards are particularly useful for learning languages, definitions or equations.
  2. Highlighters: You don’t need every colour of the rainbow, but around three highlighters that are different colours should do the trick. Highlighters grab your attention to anything on the page and help as a memory aid.
  3. Study space: Have a clear study space that is clutter-free and organised. See my related post Working and studying from home💻. Keep the desk drawers and surface tidy.
  4. Journal: Having a journal with calendar dates and days of the week where you can keep track of your daily tasks will help you to stay organised and up to date with your daily activities. It will prevent you missing any classes or tutorials and help you plan the weeks ahead.
  5. Timetable: It is a good idea to have a timetable in your diary, locker and close to your desk. Having one where you will see it in clear view will mean you are more likely to remember when you have class. Colourcode your timetable so it is visually nice to look at and will help as a memory aid. You can draw a timetable or type one and print it using Microsoft Office.
  6. Notes: Keep your notes organised in binders. Have a separate binder/folder for each subject and use clear plastics with dividers. Having a contents page at the start of the folder will help you find what you need more easily. Not everybody has neat handwriting, but it makes a difference if you try to write clearly so you can actually read your notes when you are revising.

    Comment below if you found these tips useful and have any other study tips 💭📝

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Pack Up🧳

As the quarantine restrictions are easing, we can look forward to hopping on a plane in the not too distant future (hopefully). I have listed tips below for packing a suitcase and preparing for your next trip.

  • Write a list of things you want to bring- you can start this weeks in advance. You may have to buy some items for the trip and having a list will prevent you from forgetting anything important.
  • Roll your clothes to prevent them from creasing. Clothes can be placed in vacuum compression bags which are sealed, maximising space in your suitcase.
  • Pack heavier items such as shoes towards the bottom of the suitcase
  • Pour liquids into 100ml clear containers. Containers can be bought at a discount store, pharmacy or some clothing stores. Avoid bringing too many liquids if you are only going for a few days. Don’t forget suncream!
  • Fit oddly shaped items such as accessories or hairbrushes last.
  • Bring a totebag for foodshopping or souvenirs and another small bag for laundry. Ziplock bags are great for snacks, chargers or small items such as makeup and it is always a good idea to have two or three of these handy.
  • Check if you require a travel adapter for the country you are travelling to.
  • Luggage tags can be bought at a low cost and can be useful in preventing luggage from getting lost. Limit the amount of information on your lugagge tag, you do not need to write your home address or nationality. A name, phone number and email address should do as well as the address of where you are travelling to.
  • Bring a scarf for the plane journey. Whether it is an early morning flight or late at night, the plane can often be chilly.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle that can be brought through security empty.
  • Passport and boarding pass!

Comment below if you have any other suggestions or tips 💭✨ Subscribe if you know the song reference🎵


Jo

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Looking forward to life after quarantine🔮

There are many things to look forward to after the Coronavirus pandemic settles.
Meeting friends on a regular basis, visiting family members, travelling abroad, staying at hotels, driving beyond 5km without getting stopped by the guards, going to the cinema, going for drinks, takeaway coffees, going for food, buying things we don’t need, getting dressed up (rather than tracksuit or pjs), clothes shopping, food shopping, playing sports, going to concerts, attending events with large gatherings of people, attending birthdays and weddings, reopening of schools and Universities, back to work, going to the beach, going for roadtrips, going to parks, going to markets, going to the hairdressers and salon, going to mass, museums and galleries.

Comment below what you look forward to the most💭


Jo

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Tidy your room🛏️

Every now and then I enjoy a good room clean out. It doesn’t take long before there are all sorts thrown in every corner and my wardrobe is bulging. Having a clean room that is junk free can make a difference to your happiness and wellbeing without you even realising.

Cleaning out your room can be a lengthy process. In this post, I have included some tips on how to declutter. Since you have more time on your hands during the lockdown period, it might be a good time to clear out your room.

1.Study space. Make sure your desk is clear from unnecessary items such as makeup and jewellery. Keep these on a separate stand in another part of the room if you can. Buy a desk-tidy for your stationary items. These do not cost a lot and can be found in poundstores or office supply shops. They will keep all your pens and pencils in one place where they can be easily sourced when needed. Make sure the chair at your desk is sturdy, yet comfortable and buy a cushion for it if you have to. Keep desk drawers tidy and organised. Throw out any papers or rubbish you do not need. A small dustbin under your study desk might be ideal. If you have notes and books from years ago, consider if you want to keep them or if someone else might use them. Some charity shops accept second-hand schoolbooks.

2.Wardrobe. It is recommended to organise your wardrobe every six months. If there are clothes in your wardrobe you have not worn in over a year, it might be a good idea to toss them. Organise clothes into three piles: Keep, Donate to charity, Bin. This method always works for me and helps me to maximise storage space. Try to organise clothes by colour, type of clothing or season. For example, keep all the reds together, blues together, greens together; keep jeans together, tops together, dresses together; keep summer clothes separate from winter clothes. Whatever way works best for you.

3.Furniture arrangement. This may not be possible or recommended, but sometimes swapping where one desk is for another or moving a box of shoes from one side of the room can make a big difference. Visualise how you want your room to look in your head. If I am moving furniture, I draw a plan of what will go where. Ask for help and permission before moving any furniture (you do not want to end up scratching paint off the wall, I learned the hard way). You want to try to maximise floorspace and let as much light to enter the room as possible (unless you’re some kind of hermit or computer nerd). Google Feng Shui for optimal balance and positive vibes.

4.Don’t shy away from the glass cleaner, hoover and sweeping brush. All 3 of these tasks can be completed in less than 15 minutes if you put your mind to it, making a big difference to the overall look of the room. Grab a few rags and get scrubbing! Surfaces you may forget that easily gather dust are the sides of cupboards, the door, skirting boards and window ledges. Be careful you use the correct spray i.e do not use glass cleaner on wooden surfaces.

Open the window(s) while cleaning your room and on a regular basis.

🧹🧽🗑️

I hope you found these tips useful. Comment what your thoughts are and if you have any other tips💭


Jo

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Working and studying from home💻

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It has been a few weeks now since quarantine began. This week, restrictions are starting to ease. However, many people continue to work and study at home for the time being.

There are many challenges associated with working and studying at home and it may have taken a while to adjust to this new way of living. Establishing a daily routine will help you to work more efficiently.

Make sure your workspace is clear, clutter-free and organised. Ideally, you should be studying or work at a desk or table rather than sitting on the couch or lying on your bed. Try to maintain a good posture. If you have children, working while they are at home at the same time is not ideal. Allocate a designated workspace that is quiet and ideally away from where family members are.

If you have a work meeting or videocall, make sure you are appropriately dressed and there is a tidy, bright background. Try leaving your smartphone in another room while you work to prevent it from distracting you. Limit your social media and phone time until a certain time of the day when you are finished working. Get some fresh air every now and then and schedule in daily walks. Take regular study breaks and have a short walk around every hour or so. This will allow oxygen to flow to your brain and blood to flow to your feet. Stay hydrated throughout the day and drink plenty of water.

Take the weekends off, or at least one day during the week. Working seven days a week during the lockdown is unattainable and unhealthy. See my other blog post Minding your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic 💆

Spend time with your family members each day. While living and working under the same roof as your family members 24/7, there will sure to be some conflict now and then. Watch a movie or play board games every so often. Just because you can’t go very far doesn’t mean you cant spend quality time together.

Many people are getting used to working and studying at home and many big companies reckon this might the future. Comment what your thoughts are 💭


Jo

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Minding your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic 💆

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The Coronavirus is a phenomenon that has been affecting the world for a couple of months now. The lockdown period started in Ireland in February, 2020.  People have been confined to their homes for weeks. Schools, colleges and businesses have had to close and large gatherings have had to be cancelled. Many people have had to work from home, with only ‘essential’ workers allowed to leave the house to go to work. Social distancing measures were enforced, and hand sanitisers were sold out in no time.
The global pandemic has had an affect on everyone in many ways and will continue to have an affect on people and businesses for many months. In this blog, I discuss how people’s mental health is being affected and what they can do to take care of themselves.

Instead of the daily commute, people must work at home- this could mean sitting at the kitchen table or sitting at the same desk in their rooms for weeks. Of course, this will cause feelings of boredom, isolation and from time to time. Not seeing colleagues on a daily basis will surely have an affect on people’s overall happiness and wellbeing. There may be children in the house or a large family. Distractions and noise will not equate to very productive work over a long time.

The closure of shops, cinemas, pubs, cafés, restaurants will mean people are not mixing with each other or doing things they enjoy. On the plus side, people are saving money by not going to these places on a regular basis. However, many businesses have had to shut down and many people have lost jobs. It is a very uncertain time for many. Nobody knows how long the pandemic will last, although restrictions are easing in Ireland since the beginning of May so things are looking up.

I have made a list below of some things you can do for your mental wellbeing:

  • Start a new hobby (musical instrument,drawing, painting, photography, jigsaws, knitting, jewellery making, improve makeup skills, youtube channel, tiktok videos, blog, journaling)
  • Help out with chores (hoovering the house/car, dusting, washing up, painting,farming)
  • Clean your room
  • Get in touch with family members (grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, people abroad) and friends. Post them a card to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Practice yoga or meditation (there are lots of great youtube videos out there)
  • Avoid watching the news too much or reading too many articles
  • Take a break from social media and deactivate your account if you have to
  • Listen to music
  • Browse online clothes stores
  • Plan your next holiday(s)

💆

There are many health services available that provide confidential counselling and I have provided a list below. It is important to note that these organisations are under tremendous pressure during the COVID-19 crisis.

Overall I believe Ireland is doing a great job with handling the coronavirus pandemic. We are lucky to have great people leading the country and it makes me proud to be Irish. Hopefully in the not too distant future things will be back to normal again.

🦠

Comment your thoughts on this topic below💭


Jo

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Welcome to my blog 🌸

I should be studying for my M.Sc exams, but here I am writing my first blogpost. As day 29586928582348529 of quarantine passes by, I reflect on the year that has passed and the good times that were had. I am missing seeing classmates on a daily basis and going for lunch together.  Some of us were lucky enough to travel to London for a weekend getaway before the lockdown started here in Ireland. People have mixed opinions about doing a Masters degree, however I do not regret my decision at all. The knowledge and experience gained will help me going forward in my career, I may write another blog on this topic in the future. I look forward to what the future holds and I am hoping travel restrictions won’t last too much longer. The novelty of weekly zoom calls with friends is wearing off, however it is a good excuse to whip out a bottle of wine and snap whacky filtered selfies. I will keep this first blogpost short and sweet, however I look forward to creating more content in the future. I have always loved art and photography. Since I will have more time to develop my skills after completing my Masters degree, I am excited for what the future holds.

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