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.

Life Update: Where Are We Now?

As I keep saying to my boyfriend Darren, this year is a year of firsts. From the blog perspective, this means trying videos on my posts, and social media tactics I wouldn’t have tried prior to this year. It also means trying online shopping properly for the first time. From a business perspective it means taking on creative projects like art installations for The Mad Catter Vintage Cat Cafe in Eastbourne which is proving to be both intellectually stimulating as well as encouraging my imagination.

As previously mentioned, I am still struggling with the work/life balance, however weekends are now proving to be both productive as well as socially recharging.

This year has been a year of firsts but it’s also been a rollercoaster ride of events. From breaking down on our way to Chessington last week, to travelling to Portugal in March, to spending time developing my creative business and having opportunities to do so has meant this year has been a mixed bag of ups and downs. This year has seen death but it has also seen an abundance of life and passion, love and creativity and has shown me that it can be one big surprise, one after the next.

I am blessed to be able to say that I have lived life to the fullest, I have had adventure after adventure and have created memories which will last a lifetime.

While I look around, I see that the most fulfilled people are the people who have explored their passions and followed their dreams. My brother is now working in Ireland doing what he wants to do, Lucy is opening her cat café next month, Louise is about to pop a baby out, Andy is getting married, Ruth has successfully moved house, and I am so incredibly proud of all them and wish them all the best during their adventures.

Whether you have had a small or large life success we should learn to celebrate these. It is also worthwhile celebrating the life successes of others, as we should be able to celebrate and be happy for those of us around us.

I hope that the rest of this year will be as fruitful and as we creep into the darker, more dismal months of the year, I hope we can all keep our sights on our best futures, our new and existing adventures and grow into wonderfully enriched adults with a whole host of memories under our belts.

Until next time.

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.

Best of the Love Island Collection (so far…) I SAW IT FIRST

It’s a guilty pleasure, some call it trash tv but for me, Love Island has been a fashion inspiration, thanks to the I SAW IT FIRST collaboration decking out this year’s contestants.

Obviously I had to check out the collection from I SAW IT FIRST and fell in love immediately with not only the clothes but the pricing too.

After all, who doesn’t love a good affordable clothing haul?

Below are a list of my fave finds.

As someone who has bought from the company before, I was pleasantly surprised at the quick delivery times and how nice the clothing was, considering the price I paid.

White Floral Print Wrap Front Mini Dress Yewnade love island White Floral Print Wrap Front Mini Dress

Black Long Sleeve Square Neck Cut Out Mini Dress Black Long Sleeve Square Neck Cut Out Mini Dress
Black Lace And Satin Bustier Dress Black Lace And Satin Bustier Dress
Mid Wash Button Through Denim Dress Mid Wash Button Through Denim Dress
White One Shoulder Cut Out Dress White One Shoulder Cut Out Dress

White Ribbed Bikini Top With Zip

White Ribbed Bikini Top With Zip

So for affordable clothing this summer, why not check out I SAW IT FIRST?

Let me know how you get on in the comments below or give me a shout on my socials:

@kirstyawriter on instagram & Twitter

Until next time.

Dancing My Way To Happiness: Salsa Edition

I’m attempting the ‘yes lifestyle’. It’s where I say yes as often as I can to new and exciting experiences where before I would have said no out of fear.

So, as a bid to get me out of the flat for an evening and socialise with new people, each Tuesday the Mansion Lions Hotel in Eastbourne hosts salsa dancing lessons to complete beginners right up to those who are more advanced (doing spins and shit).

It was an opportunity which arose when my friend Ruth offered up the evening one afternoon while I was feeling crappy and I took a leap of faith and agreed to give it a go. What was I going to lose? An evening alone at home again? Good.

I’m not going to lie and say that the initial walk down to the hotel wasn’t rife with um’s and err maybe I should turn around’s but I pursued and did the one thing that day that scared me shitless.

And I can safely say, I am so proud of myself for going. I can say I’ve learnt the basic steps and would be able, since I’m the woman and can be led in the dance, to take my new found steps into a salsa club which opens up so many new and exciting ventures for the future.

It’s a shame I didn’t have a partner to go with as it’s something that would really suit a couple, however, it didn’t matter. Since you’re constantly swapping and changing partners in the class anyway I was able to go as a solo dancer.

It was an incredibly fun evening and it was one of the first days in the week where I’ve actually felt truly comfortable in my own skin which is something I haven’t been able to say in a long time. I feel like I’m beginning to come to terms with what it means to be me and how I am outside of a relationship and surprisingly, I’m getting on quite well with her.

I’m beginning to see what they mean when they say you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else because although I have felt love before, it’s always been shadowed with this concern that I am somehow not good enough but I’m starting to think that single life has changed that outlook.

So I never thought I’d say this but thank you to my ex. You were the catalyst which forced me into a situation I needed to be in but wouldn’t necessarily put myself in. I’m learning who I am and it wouldn’t have happened without you.

So yes, ultimately heartbreak led me here but I feel like I’m slowly but surely putting the pieces of myself back together, only this time in a different order. Maybe this time the puzzle pieces will align in the right places.

And who knows what the future will hold. There may be the opportunity to love again, but only when I am truly comfortable with myself.

Until next time.

P.s for those of you who fancy it, why not join me at salsa this Tuesday 7.30pm at Mansion Lions Hotel, Eastbourne?

Cuddle Parties Exist?

I found out recently that such a thing exists as a cuddle party, where people meet up to embrace each other to combat loneliness.

It’s fascinating how touch affects the brain, especially when we’re deprived of human skin to skin contact. I mean, look at prisoners in isolation.

In the book I’m reading, “Give a f**k” by Felicity Morse, she discusses Peter Collins, a convicted murderer who had been locked in confinement so long that when a fly landed on his leg he closed his eyes and imagined it was his wife’s fingers just to feel excitement. If that wasn’t wild enough, he enjoyed his experience so much that he used to bite the inside of his cheeks until he bled and smeared the blood across his legs in order to attract more flies. You can watch his harrowing video ‘a fly in Ointment’ here.

When we embrace someone, our bodies release hormones which make us feel happier, safe, and help us to develop trustful bonds with people. It’s why they say you should experience at least one hug a day to feel like yourself.

When we can’t cuddle because family is too distant, or you have friends which aren’t very touchy-feely we can feel increasingly lonely as time goes on.

For me, a good squeeze makes me feel wonderful and I would advise consensual embraces be shared more and more as opposed to less and less which is where our society is leading us.

Years ago I used to be a part of a hippie community which met up at least once a year for an electronic device free booze fest. I didn’t appreciate it back then but now I see why they had incredibly lengthy embraces upon arrival and why everyone was so happy during their stay. They were not only stepping away from a society which revolves around technology but they stepped into a warm and welcome environment, got fresh air and the physical contact they were probably craving.

And if I could cuddle the lot of you, I would.

As thanks to you loyal readers, I have had the highest monthly viewer count and visitors to the website ever which is amazing and I hope we can keep it up and make 2019 a really good year for TheRoamBlogger.

*

As a thank you, I Saw It First, the official go to brand for Love Islanders, are offering 50% off everything (at time of publication). Check out their latest products with MY50 at checkout.

My personal faves are the coral plunge frill hem midi dress, cream crochet flare sleeve top (imagine this over a neon bikini), and black boxy crop t-shirt.

Coral Plunge Frill Hem Midi Dress view main view

Cream Crochet Flare Sleeve Top view main view

Black Boxy Crop Tshirt view main view

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.

The Spring/Summer Outfit Challenge

It appears that summer is beginning to creep in early and what a better way to celebrate than with a summer outfit challenge.

The challenge: take photos of your best summery outfits and upload them to insta using the #summeroutfitchallenge

This weekend has been a beautiful day for BBQs, catching up with friends, meeting new ones, but as long days in the sun turn into chilly evenings, it can be tough to decide what to wear.

Personally, my best suggestion for this weather is the maxi dress as a beautiful flowing and light material makes them ideal for summer days, pairing perfectly as a garment to throw over a bikini or swimming costume but also as an early evening outfit which saves on gnat bites and chilly legs.

If we look back at my How To Pack For Vacation post, you’ll see that part of my wardrobe were two of my latest Religion Clothing dresses which were ideal for the 18 degree temperatures in Portimão, Portugal.

I’ve posted a few of my favourite Maxi Dresses below to hopefully give you inspiration, as well as offer some styling tips for the upcoming seasons, I hope you enjoy.

Click the images for more details.

Leopard Print Jacket Wrap Style Maxi Dress view main view

Nude Metallic Dobby Sheer Sleeve Maxi Dress

Red Floral Print Kimono Maxi Dress image 1

Cobalt Print Satin Kimono Maxi Dress image 1

Alina Khaki Plunge Maxi Dress image 1

White Dobby Mesh Plunge Long Sleeve Maxi Dress image 1

Until next time.

Don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for 30% off Ted Baker (T&C’s apply- valid at time of publication).

 

 

 

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.