Looking After Your Mental Health During The Coronavirus Pandemic

There are so many people in the world who are trying to “make it”, trying to earn the big bucks, achieve greatness and ultimately succeed at life as if it were some type of linear platform game with one outcome. But what if there were another way to achieve greatness? What if to become truly happy with your life you didn’t need a lot of money, a high powered job role, or fancy material possessions?

You’d probably tell me that I’m simply spouting hippie, holistic mambo jumbo, and ask when the pyramid scheme was going to crop up. But I’m not here selling a new job that you can do from home, nor am I offering anything other than a bit of advice on creating that perfect work/life balance so that you make time for you.

In today’s climate, a lot of people have been put in those unusual positions where they are either jobless, furloughed, or working from home and its taking some getting used to.

At the beginning of the year I found myself jobless, crying over finances because universal credit wasn’t enough to cover my rent, let alone the loan I’d taken out a while back when I thought I had job security, it was a piss poor service and I was at risk of becoming homeless.

I was utterly despondent, and I know there are others out there in a similar boat, stuck in the middle of an ocean without a paddle to direct themselves.

I setup alerts for jobs and readjusted my finances, squeezing every last penny and making them work for me. There were options, and if you check out the money man Martin Lewis then there are sure to be some guides to help you.

However comfortable I made my financial situation, I was still battling with another concern: that I was taking a massive step backwards in my career progression. That somehow I was less of a person because I had stopped that forward motion.

Shortly after, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands. I started to take care of myself, started exercising everyday, eating well and taking the time to really look after my skin. I even meditated and started reading again which is something I’d never thought I’d have time to do.

I started to feel happier in myself, started to feel more confident in my body. I’d spent so many years worrying about what my legs looked like and never getting them out until this year when I decided to revamp my wardrobe and started to wear dresses without tights. I thought “fuck it” I’d lost everything else this year, what did it matter if I got my legs out? I finally got them tanned and suddenly I was happy with the way my body looked.

So even though I had no title to my name or money to buy material possessions, I felt more in tune with myself than I’d ever felt before. It was almost like I’d reset myself.

They say that time is the best healer during breakups but it also works with breaks from your career. You really get the time to spend doing the things that you want or have wanted to do for a long time.

They’ll come a day where you can kick-start your career again, grow your finances and live in a materialistic world once more but take this rare opportunity for a break when you can and really try to change that negative perspective into a positive one.

As I’ve said in this blog a thousand times before, and I’ll probably say it a thousand times more, life is an adventure, treat it like one, take the ups with the downs as when it’s all over, you’ll have one hell of a story to tell.


Kirsty Allen is a tech savvy, marketing professional with an eye for design. With motivational copy like this blog post, she has managed to grow her community across the globe, reaching thousands of hearts.

To see how she can help your business to grow, get in contact today at roamblogger@gmail.com or by phone on 07857358767.

Services include: Branding for business, Marketing strategies and implementation, Product listing for your business industry, as well as Ecommerce Optimisation.

TheRoamBlogger’s Summer Playlist

If you’re like me, then you have a very eclectic taste in music and can listen to anything varying from club tunes, old school garage, to rock and heavy metal. I’ve separated the list below into mood categories which can be listened to on Spotify at the below links. Hopefully they inspire you!

Chill Tunes

For those chill tracks to listen to in the background while you’re working or on the daily commute, why not check out the below playlist:

https://open.spotify.com/user/kirstyawriter/playlist/7KwF7qt7sP4dW7bzEtef81?si=RYsmkZMTQCmIjEWdp53Wjw

Dance Your Heart Out 

For those tunes bound to get you moving, I’ve attached the songs I’ve been listening to which never fail to get my party started, even if I’m home alone on Monday night.

https://open.spotify.com/user/kirstyawriter/playlist/7cSIaEO7Rd12jyPdNrkpLY?si=SkAtKkPsSkemMUFc7MemuA

Rock Up

Sometimes we just want songs that make us feel like a badass when we listen to them. For those times I listen to these:

https://open.spotify.com/user/kirstyawriter/playlist/0Cj8SbjFzU3lXaeUG1J8uJ?si=zaPExjqWR42UggghSCft6w

I hope you enjoyed the selection and found something that you liked. I thought I’d try something different with this post as music is a massive part of my day to day routine and I know it is for a whole bunch of you too.

I’m always open for recommendations so please send me your favourite tunes on here or through my socials. If you think I’ll like it then the likelihood is I probably will.

Until next time.

Disclaimer: I am not working with Spotify or any other brands on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Living In Limbo & Starting Again

I said to my friend that I felt like I was living in an emotional limbo of late. It’s the equilibrium of this new chapter which I’m learning to accept but feeling that unwillingness to dive in and move forward with it. Yet I know it’s just a matter of time and I need to give myself a chance to grieve and love myself, however I’m a tough cookie and it’s annoying me that I’m still hashing up stories like word vomit. I can’t help myself but it happens and the minute I talk about my feelings I’m overwhelmed with this sickness, like ‘for fucks sake girl, just get over it’.

But regardless of all this, I am moving forward and today is turning out to be a good day as I’ve caught up with a whole bunch of things I’ve been meaning to do and I’ve had the additional cash to refresh my home because I haven’t been going out as much.

It’s important when you’re feeling crappy to do the things that make you happy, rediscover what makes you tick. For me this is writing, making music, drawing. It’s discovering new podcasts to listen to while I do my chores, or spending time with friends that I hadn’t done prior.

This week I’ve also spent time spring cleaning. I’ve rearranged my furniture in my flat, which involved dragging an incredibly heavy bookcase (yes mum, I emptied it first), as well as chucked a load of clothes which weren’t being worn, yet were cluttering up my already tiny flat.

I’m lucky to have such a wonderful crowd around me. I have people checking up on me, helping me around the house, and generally there for me when I need to vent and I am so utterly grateful for them. However, I don’t want to lose them by repeating the same worries and the same concerns again and again and there’s always that niggling feeling at the back of my head that the person I want the most comfort from is the last person who can give it to me.

So yes, I have my down days but I’m at the stage now where I’m done, for the most part, talking about what’s hurting as it’s all been said before and nothing new is going to come from repeating the same old news.

However, this is incredibly difficult when you bump into your ex’s family while out shopping for self help books as they want to discuss it. Regardless, it was lovely that the family haven’t just disowned me as it would have been incredibly easy for them to just ignore me. I’m grateful for small mercies as sometimes it’s hard to see myself as the victim so when everyone is apologising to me or telling me I’ll be ok, I am suffering with imposter syndrome, as if somehow they’re talking about someone else, and soon they’ll realise I’m a bad guy in the equation.

Obviously, there have been people who have used my situation and my new found singledom as an excuse to get “extra friendly” and frankly, I find it weird that suddenly knowing a girl is single is seen as an opportunity. You shouldn’t approach a crying girl with romantic or sexual propositions just because suddenly she’s available, but that’s a different topic entirely.

This week has been a week of self reflection and retrospective thought. It’s been a bit of a turning point for me as I’ve come to the realisation that I’m a massive softie and some people have used me as a stepping stone to move onto other things. However, it has also shown me that I am a complete and utter lover and even when faced with opportunity for anger or hatred, I find I love people better and I just need to show myself some of that unconditional love and take care of myself a bit more.

How do you look after yourself? Do you treat yourself to new clothes? Maybe you have a tub of ice cream in the freezer you bust out when you’re feeling sad. Or maybe you treat yourself to a home spa day? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time.

Primark Try On Haul + Life Update

I’ve had a shit week. One of those life changing, new chapter starting weeks which felt like a step backwards in terms of life progression.

I’ll stop being facetious and tell you that in the last week the guy I’d been seeing split up with me. It hurt. A lot. As in, heart sinking into your stomach, empty hole in your chest heartbreak.

I was inconsolable. The first day after it happened, my sadness rolled over me in waves. I felt utterly despondent.

It didn’t help that I’d had no sleep and not eaten for 24 hours (The best advice I’d give to other broken hearted people is to eat, if only something little, and get your normal amount of sleep if you can. I promise it will make you feel better).

Each moment alone with my thoughts was like a stab to the chest.

Thing is, I wasn’t angry, of course I wanted the situation to be different but I wasn’t about to start chasing a man for love when they clearly didn’t want me. I was better than that.

The only thing that was left was this unbridled sadness which I could not shift.

A few days passed and I realised I had a wonderful selection of friends and family round me who were willing to sacrifice their time to talk to me and try and bring me out of the pit.

My parents drove the 100+ miles to console me for the night, filled my fridge, washed my clothes and cuddled me while I cried.

My university friend Dan drove the four hour round trip to pick me up on Saturday and we, plus a big group of others, went out out for a birthday party.

It was a wonderful distraction.

When I arrived back in Eastbourne, my pregnant bestie and her Matt Damon lookalike of a boyfriend had driven the three and a half hours down to see me and give me a much needed cuddle.

We had pizza and hung out watching Bridget Jones’ diary before heading off to bed to catch up on some much needed sleep.

I’ve also not been able to put my phone down in the past few days as I’ve had countless messages, phone calls, all from people wishing me well.

So all in all, yes it’s been a pretty shit experience but I’ve realised that I have a lot of people who care for me and love me dearly.

Obviously I’m still hurting. Who wouldn’t be? But I cry a lot less now and have used this as an opportunity to better myself. It was also a great opportunity to do a bit of retail therapy and try on some new clothes to make me feel better.

So I thought I’d end this update with a few new pieces from my try on haul from Primark.

Without further ado…

The Loud Print Trousers

Unfortunately, I did have to size up in these unforgivingly unstretchy trousers but they looked fabulous on, the tropical print is on trend and would suit a variety of events, from workwear to holiday.

The White Crop

Everybody should own a white crop top as a part of their wardrobe. They’re comfortable and go with most outfits. The burgundy skirt from last season’s try on haul paired perfectly with the light top. It turned the outfit from a winter one to a spring/ summer outfit and inspired a fresh look for my wardrobe with, less admit, minimal effort.

The Slogan Crop

 

Who doesn’t love a motivational speech on a Crop tee? Not this girl. The ‘try it, do it’ tee was super soft, came in baby pink and had a raw hemline with a cute front tie detail which made it stand out from the other cropped tees on the wall.

 

I also bought a pair of black open toe wedge sandals (I already owned the orange pair and wanted a pair to suit more outfits) which were so comfortable that I’m seriously debating making them my everyday shoe.

Until next time.

Saying “Yes” To Everything?

I’ve found someone who matches my unbridled enthusiasm for life which has meant that the past few months have been jam packed with activity after activity which has been fantastic. However, as much fun as we’ve had socialising and generally enjoying life, it has meant the day to day things have rather lost their scheduling.

As someone who likes to plan, my spontaneous lifestyle of late has been rather refreshing. It has allowed me to let loose, learn that it’s not the end of the world if someone is a few minutes late, or changes plans at the last minute. Life is about adaptation, learning to be malleable and go with the flow and it has transformed me into someone I like very much.

There’s many a film, including Yes Man, which pose the question, what if you said yes to everything. Obviously blown out of proportion into something made for the big screen, the concept is still one worth considering.

Saying yes to more things instead of squirrelling away in my flat, for instance, has led me to new friendships, and exciting experiences. Saying “fuck it” and doing it, i.e booking a weeks holiday in Portugal on a whim, is also a great conversation starter and has been the beginning of a great adventure with Darren.

However fun the adventure is, we have to deal with the monotonous in order to make way for new experiences. We can’t travel the world without fresh pants after all.

We need to balance the mundane and the exciting in order to live a fulfilled and fruitful life and if that means spending Monday evenings washing my clothes and cracking out the ironing board then so be it. There will be other evenings for adventures.

Life, I believe, is about finding balance.

Until next time.

Travel Diaries: London, Ally Pally & Bring Me The Horizon

When travelling to and from London, it’s always best to prepare yourself for transport delays of epic proportions. Still, it’s a worthwhile place to visit, especially, if like me, you have a gig waiting for you in the evening.

For those of you familiar with my blog, you will have seen my previous post about the wonderful Natural History Museum and will know how much of a special place in my heart it holds. It’s probably no surprise, therefore, to see another post about the city, from a more nightlife perspective.

From Eastbourne, London is just over an hour on a train, which, during the day, usually runs on time. Nighttime, however, is a different story which I can talk more about later.

For a group ticket, you’re looking at no more than £13 a ticket for a return which is more than affordable for a day out in the big English capital.

My group had a particular event in mind on our journey: the Bring Me The Horizon gig we’d been waiting for since we booked it at the whopping price tag of over £40 just over a month ago.

For those of you who don’t know, BMTH is a heavy metal band, famous for their artistic lyrics which feature a lot of heavy mental health undertones. They are a band truly screaming at life’s problems but in such a relatable way, it’s hard not to like them.

If heavy metal is not your scene then it’s probably best to avoid the band, however, our friend Lucy is not a fan but still managed to have a blast in our group’s company.

Heavy metal gigs have always held a special place in my heart, as they remind me of being a teenager, going to rock gigs with my friends. We’d mosh the night away and show up to school the next day and show each other our battle scars and share our stories of lost shoes.

I personally, had never been to Alexandra Palace before but what an absolute nightmare to get to from Victoria station!

The underground and a bus service later and we were finally in the queue.

As this is a blog that focuses on fashion as well as Travel, I thought I’d mention what gig ready outfit I was wearing: a pair of black skinny jeans from Matalan, a long sleeved but thin black and white feather print tee from Religion Clothing, as well as my bright purple hoody from the H&M men’s department (as they had all the fun colours). I paired it with my chunky heeled black ankle boots for added protection for my feet since times before wearing converse trainers have ended in stamped on toes which, let’s be honest, no one wants.

Alexandra Palace is a totally different experience to other gig venues. As you enter, the room opens up into a foyer of bars and food stalls, with faux grass in the centre for sitting. It has a festival vibe and you could easily waste the night away out here, talking with friends.

As a small warm up while we were consuming our beverages, a young lady came onto the makeshift grass stage and began her drum solo to a few popular songs. It was a nice touch and so different from other gigs I’ve been to.

Finally, we turned our attention to the main stage and entered the crowd to watch Fever 333, a band which had very Rage Against The Machine vibes and was incredibly fun to mosh to.

Unfortunately, I was out of practice and did get an elbow to the chin but I was having so much fun that I didn’t notice until I left the circle pit to rejoin my friends.

In true theatrical fashion that only a heavy metal band can present, BMTH arrived with flashing lights and column bursts of dry ice to the song Mantra and everyone lost control, dancing and jumping to the drums.

Surprisingly, there were less mosh pits during BMTH’s set in comparison to Fever 333 but there felt more love in the audience for the lyrics than anything else.

Typically though, Sam and I ended up in the thick of it, and somehow without him, I was pushed forward until I reached the barrier and was mere feet away from the lead singer: Oli Sykes. Obviously overjoyed, I persevered through the squeezing and jumping as the crowd molded together and felt the euphoria kick in.

Unfortunately, remembering the journey here, I knew I had limited time at the front before I’d have to leave and rejoin my friends at the back. But the brief time spent there was fantastic.

Having to leave before the crowds was a nice change, although slightly disappointing, but it meant we found it relatively easy to get back to the station with plenty of time, enough to pick up a Burger King before climbing onto the midnight train.

The night was tainted as the train had been replaced at Brighton with a bus service, meaning our usual hours commute was now likely to be extended considerably.

Finally, Jordan and I got home at 3 am and after two pints of water, we collapsed into a heap in bed, achey and sore from the evening’s endeavours.

Still, I would highly recommend it and if you get the chance to see Ally Pally for yourself then I would say it’s a place to visit, at least once in your life, especially if you’re craving that festival vibe without the effort of having to travel halfway across the country to do so.

Until next time.

Best Tips For Effective Networking

I’m going to be honest and say I’m a bit rusty when it comes to face to face networking. It’s easy to distance yourself from the people behind the screen when it’s a message on social media or a comment on the blog and as much as you try to grow your connections, nothing will make as much of a lasting impression than that of a face to face meeting.

So in order to grow a business, it’s important to develop our physical connections and network with genuine people with passions and joy for what they do.

If you’re anything like me, meeting people face to face can be a daunting experience and doing so can spark anxiety, even in the best of us.

Today I met a lovely chap, one of the directors of a prestigious company. The meeting was brief but I wanted to make a lasting impression so I told him my name and threw him my best winning smile while I shook his hand (praying none of my lunch was stuck in my teeth). We had a short conversation about how we felt like a part of a large family and a connection was made, a future contact established.

As much as I am afraid to meet people face to face, I surprise myself at how okay I am at doing so. Every job interview I’ve attended has been offered and every network connection I’ve made has been made successfully, despite my worries.

It’s something I would encourage others to do: take a leap of faith and believe in yourself. Even when the opportunities are frightening and your mind begins to run away with itself, do it anyway. Bumble through that meeting, have a few regretful thoughts about how you said one thing but should have said another, then get on with your day. You’ll have achieved something which will undoubtedly improve your business as well as your personal status.

I look forward to my next networking meeting (although I’ll also be secretly bricking it) and hope that by sharing my experiences it provides reassurance that you can do it as well.

What have you done today that scares you?

Travel Diaries: The Natural History Museum

Nearly a hundred bad jokes later and Jordan and I have returned home from our trip to London to see the Natural History Museum.

The great thing about going travelling with your best friend and boyfriend is having the same interests in nerdy things like dinosaurs and taxidermy extinct animals. It’s checking out the interactive displays in the Earth section with an almost childlike enthusiasm and not feeling ashamed to do so.

I’m hoping that at some point this week I can edit our adventures, create a vlog for YouTube, and share the experience with the community but as it’s going to be such a busy week I’m not entirely sure when I’ll get to sit down behind my computer screen. I will create it regardless, because it’s a passion of mine, ever since I undertook my animation degree.

So what’s so good about a dusty old museum? First of all, it’s free, you’ve only got to worry about travel arrangements so if you’re on a budget like we were then it’s a perfect excuse for a day out.

Secondly, it’s not as old as it sounds. Although the museum is host to bones of extinct animals from millions of years ago, the building and the exhibits are surprisingly modern, especially the catacombs where you can look at the process scientists undertake when researching the species.

I can’t deny, we did see some dust but 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

My favourite part of the museum? The part that left a mark on my memory the most was definitely the Earth room. Having to walk past a stegosaurus skeleton to get on an escalator through a replica of what could possibly be an asteroid to get to a few exhibits about how the earth moves, what an earthquake feels like, and several instructional videos most likely aimed at teaching children, it was fantastic and felt much more than a museum.

If you’re into crystals and precious materials, the Natural History Museum in London has a whole room dedicated to the stuff! Travel a bit further into the room and you can enter the vault, a room of extra special belongings, including a tiny tube of stardust which was incredibly humbling.

If you’re looking for something different to do, something cost effective and interesting then I would highly recommend a visit to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London.

Until next time.

Yet Another New Adventure

The beauty of life is the ability to learn, to develop your personal knowledge into something worthwhile and beneficial for your success. If you went through life knowing the same things from when you left school and nothing additional then life would be incredibly uneventful and boring.

In order to learn, we must expose ourselves to experience, to new adventures we hadn’t had prior. I hasten to add that adventures do not have to be life-changing or expensive, they just need to hold some personal significance to you, i.e a long lasting memory or a new piece of knowledge.

This week I turn twenty-five.

I could sit and list all the memories I have, both good and bad, of the past quarter-century but it feels introspective and useless for my progression. However, sometimes it is beneficial to look back at your memories, celebrate your achievements, your development, and look at the path you have chosen in life. I look back at the years since I graduated college and am proud to say that I have developed a multifaceted skill-set, one that allows me to have an extensive list of hobbies and transferable skills. For instance, I can celebrate that I have had my work appear in two gallery openings, one at Norwich University of the Arts and another in the Oxo Tower in Southbank, London. I can pat myself on the back for a selection of gigs I have performed in front of a live audience and can smile at my evergrowing following on Twitter and this blog.

For those of you who follow my blog, or are personal friends, then you are likely aware that I have moved recently to my own flat along the sunshine coast of the United Kingdom. Since moving I have had quiet evenings alone contemplating my path and the next steps I must take in order to keep progressing in the way I want to.

The last thing I want is to become stagnant.

The determination that is present within all of us is the driving power that gets us to where we want to be and in order to ignite that spark we must absorb experience like a sponge. Dip into adventure after adventure, explore things outside of our comfort zone. I personally have begun exploring my spiritual side. I promise I’m not turning into a hippy, or am going to convert to veganism any time soon, but I am learning that there is no black and white and although I am considered an agnostic atheist, I am willing to accept that I can use spiritualist methods, such as tarot, to help guide my brain to the right path.

Maybe this is something you would enjoy reading about?

I still hope to maintain my motivational posts and update you on my lifestyle outside of spiritualism but I am transforming and changing as I age and I hope, if anything else, it will offer a kind of voyeuristic look into my personal journey, as well as offer you the chance to learn alongside me about something you may also know little about.

Until next time.

Namaste.

P.s For those of you looking for more content, I have just started my very own YouTube channel. For a brief look at what I’m planning for the channel, please check out the trailer below.

Sex Robots & Thinking Outside Of The Box

When you ask someone what their goals are, they may say something along the lines of buying a house, having children, or getting a promotion. While these are all exciting and noble aspirations they are all easily obtainable dreams, dreams that require next to no unique challenges. It therefore seems special to find someone who dreams outside of the box, dreams of being on Time magazine front cover or something equally as obscure.

Conventional dreams, such as the ones I mentioned at the beginning of this article, are often met with little to no resistance, family members or friends often having shared experiences that can help the dreamer, ease them in without too much stress caused by the unknown.

I have found that the stranger the dream, the more likely the person trying to succeed tries to conceal it, at least in the beginning before there is any proof of success. The largest obstacle for an obscure dream tends to be phrases of disappointment or denial that the person’s goal will be anything other than a failure and unfortunately, without the backing of others the entrepreneur gives up before they’ve even begun.

In order to be successful we have to believe in ourselves, we need to truly have faith that our odd personal goals are realistic and reachable.

While at university, I met a wide array of students all looking for their own success, be it a creative endeavour in a London based company, or starting their own business. Sadly, there haven’t been many stand outs from the crowd, a lot of young adults caving into their parents wishes of pursuing a more “productive” career in business, as opposed to a creative choice.

One, however, does stand out as being strange and rather unusual. Zak, a games developer, had set out to make a virtual reality that featured some steamy robots. It was almost as if the Chobits manga had come to life in the form of a business venture.

Zak, although unconventional, has taken the correct approach. Ignoring what I gather has had a lot of negative feedback from friends and colleagues, he had continued to pursue his dreams, expanding his reach all the way to the USA.

I hope he finds the success he is looking for and hope that I can learn from his confident approach to an obscure business model.

Personally, as I grow and develop the Roam community, I am becoming more confident in my writing and realising that my goal is achievable, no matter how many times I come face to face with a brick wall obstacle. I just have to learn to climb, or break through entirely.

What about you, dear reader, do you know anyone close to you who has been successful in business? What are their stories?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time.