26 July 2017

Girl Love #11

It seemed only right to type up this post with my salt lamps on, a cup of homemade yogi tea and an amethyst by my side. Since I'm going to be talking about spirituality, I thought I may as well really embody it. And I have to be honest, this sure as hell beats my usual setup.

This month's edition of Girl Love is dedicated to some of the amazing women that have helped me on my spiritual journey over the last few months. Since May I kind of feel like I've become a new person. That's not to say that I'm now a mindful Buddhist who only eats kale and can meditate for 5 hours at a time, but I am much more aware of myself. I feel like my teen years were for building up my character and that my twenties are for chiseling away at it to find the most true version of me.

However, I definitely couldn't have kicked off this journey on my own. So, it's time to celebrate three incredible women who have helped change my life and might help change yours too!

Girl Love: Online spirituality resources

22 July 2017

Usher, herpes and STI stigma

A few days ago news broke that Usher has herpes. The internet went wild. Jokes, online hate and uniformed opinions made up about 75% of my timeline and I've been wondering how to write this blog post ever since.

Usher's case acts as the perfect example of the way that STIs are stigmatised and the way that herpes specifically is blown massively out of proportion. His name was being mentioned in tweets that also discussed R-Kelly, alleged rapist and paedophile, literally because he's contracted a virus. Had it been almost any other kind of virus his situation would probably warrant sympathy. In fact, herpes highlights the way that adding sex into the equation completely changes public opinion. You get cold sores (HSV1)? Aw that sucks, but it's totally normal! You have genital herpes (HSV2)? That's disgusting and irresponsible. They are literally two strains of the same virus! 70% of the population carries that virus, although many remain undiagnosed! Both can be painful, both can be unsightly during outbreaks and both remain in your system for the whole of your life. And yet, because one of them happens to be contracted on the genitals as opposed to the mouth, it carries a huge stigma. Because one is transferred during sex it becomes newsworthy.

Usher, Herpes stigma

19 July 2017

My Experience with Impostor Syndrome

The past year has been the most successful of my life so far. I've finished my Second Year of university with a First. I landed some amazing sponsored content opportunities with brands that I love and share ethics with. I've just come back from a week in Yorkshire for a writing job that I would never have expected to be able to do even six months ago.

And yet, when asked yesterday what I do for a living I said "Oh I'm a waitress".

I haven't worked in a resturant for over two years and for the past 12 months blogging and writing have been my job. So even I was surprised when those words left my mouth. Not because there's anything wrong with waitressing, but because it's not my reality and I for some reason felt the need to pretend that it was.

I feel like that situation sums up my relationship with work pretty well: I don't feel like it's real. I feel like it's all a dream. Or maybe like I'm being pranked and someone is about to jump out and say "LOL you didn't really think you were qualified or talented or pretty enough to do this did you?" at any moment. Basically, I have a huge case of impostor syndrome and I've only just realised it.

Impostor Syndrome: My Experience

17 July 2017

How to make having a UTI slightly more bearable

Over the past couple of years I've become rather well acquainted with UTIs. In fact, I think they like me because they seem to be treating my urinary tract somewhat like a holiday home.

If you've never had a urine infection before then 1. I kind of want to punch you out of sheer jealousy and 2. Please tell me if there's some kind of urethra goddess that you sacrifice to because I am so on board with that. If you have had one - and one in five women have - I totally sympathise. For some reason I'm just very prone to the bastards. I've been through the burning that makes you think your bladder was formed in the fiery depths of hell. I've sat on the toilet for twenty minutes at a time. I've wondered what on earth women did to deserve this kind of life. Trust me, I know the struggle and you're not alone.

On the plus side though, this little love affair I've had with E. Coli means that I can now sense a urine infection from a mile off. As soon as I get that tingle (if you know the tingle, you know the tingle) I can crack open my tried and tested methods for getting rid of them. And most of the time I stop them before they become anything serious whatsoever.

How to get rid of a UTI

This post contains Amazon affiliate link

11 July 2017

My favourite essential oils (and what I use them for)

Over the past year I like to think that I've transitioned from essential oil novice to (almost) expert. For those of you that don't know, as well as keeping my lil' corner of the internet updated, I blog over at Tender Essence about all things essential oils. From DIYs to beginners guides, we've got you covered. One of the perks of that job is being constantly surrounded by the oils and exploring a tonne of different ways to use them. I even made soap all by myself!

It's been a game changing experience, my friends. These days I use essential oils on a daily basis to help me stay calm, centred and focused. Plus, they just smell bloody lovely. So, even though I've spoken about how I use them on my period and how to use them to up your self-care game, I thought that today I would share with you a more comprehensive list of all of my absolute favourite essential oils.

The essentials of essential oils

9 July 2017

My self-care travel essentials

As this post goes live I am on my way to Yorkshire. Yep, that's right. This Kentish girl isn't partaking in her usual Sunday morning routine of absolutely bugger all, but instead woke up at 5:30am this morning to get her butt up North. For the next week I'm staying in a hotel for work (is this what adulthood feels like?) on a project that I can't wait to share with you all very soon! It's all rather exciting, but also a little bit terrifying simply because I'm a massive homebody. I'm not one of those bloggers who whizzes between Thailand and Paris. I spend 90% of my time writing posts in bed with a cuppa beside me and, honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love traveling, but I also get very homesick very quickly, which is why I have to be mindful of what I pack. Essentially my suitcase becomes a home away from home.

How to practice self-care whilst traveling

8 July 2017

How my relationship with health and fitness has changed

When I was 16 I went to the gym for the first time. It was one of those really swanky ones where everyone is wearing LuLu Lemon and looks like they lunged their way out of the womb. There was literally a 'café' (I use the word loosely) that sold nothing but protein shakes and smoothies that kind of looked like sewage water. So, when I rocked up in my over sized Beyoncé tour t-shirt it's safe to say that I felt a little bit out of place. I didn't really have any idea what I was doing so I just headed straight to the treadmill, whacked it up to ten and proceeded to actually feel like I was going to keel over after 4 minutes. Fun times. I probably only lasted about 15 minutes in total before deciding that the gym wasn't for me. And feeling thankful that I had only spent my waitressing wages on a day membership.

Even up until six months ago that experience still encapsulated my relationship with exercise: It wasn't for me. Every now and then I would get a burst of motivation and do a few weeks of yoga or some Youtube dance aerobic classes, but nothing ever stuck. I genuinely thought that people who said shit like "the gym is my therapy" were extremely toned liars. Nobody likes crunches, right?