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.

Coping With Anger & Angry People

I’m not above feeling rage, I don’t think anyone is. If we went through life without feeling true anger at least a handful of times then we haven’t exposed ourselves to enough people.

It is impossible to be liked by everyone.

You might be the golden child, a poster child for all that is good. You might be popular and have lots of friends but someone, somewhere will butt heads with you simply because your personalities are wildly different.

Its how we choose to perceive and deal with this anger which shapes and defines us.

There are some people out there who choose to be angry at the world. They were hurt too many times and now they’re closed off to the world, unable to see it as it is. They choose to act out like bratty children who don’t like the toys they’ve been given. These are the argumentative people who choose to face life head on in a kind of shout first, ask questions later, approach. If you’re one of these people then please ask yourself: what are you hoping to achieve by being this way? Arguments are there in life to air grievances which couldn’t be discussed in a civil matter. Arguments stem from an issue or issues which have been bubbling under the surface for a long time which haven’t been resolved in the way we want them to. When we argue its ultimately to try and make ourselves feel better. It’s selfish but sometimes it’s necessary if we cannot approach a conversation calmly.

However, when life begins turning into a constant argument and the anger is continually bubbling inside, then that’s when we need to start addressing the issues which are really bothering us. These attitudes we chose to adopt will shape us, and will lead us into an early grave because our hearts are full of anxiety and anger.

I have found that arguments rarely solve anything. It’s just a lot of loud noises from two people not listening to each other.

I have found that a much easier approach to life is to sit and really listen to yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you. Start writing down your thoughts and feelings, even in a journal you’ll never show anyone. Really assess what is making you feel angry and upset.

For me, if I feel angry it comes in waves. It becomes this overwhelming sense which overtakes my body and a younger me would have lashed out. But as I’ve got older I’ve realised that the phrase “pick your battles” is incredibly potent.

Before you argue and get angry and lash out at those around you because life has got your knickers in a twist, think to yourself “is this argument really worthwhile? Will it achieve anything?”

If the answer is no then take a deep breath and release it. Goodness knows controlling your anger takes patience and time but once you learn to release that anger and start actually facing your inner demons, you’ll begin to let go of that rage which has been bubbling under the surface.

The same goes for when people want to argue with you. Some people will just want to push your buttons on purpose to get a rise from you (most likely the people you butt heads with) and even the best of us can lose it just because they push us to a breaking point because they want you to feel as frustrated as them. It’s during these times that it’s important to remember that they are feeling this rage a lot of the time and there are issues they want to air but maybe they need coaxing to find the actual reason they’re angry.

Sometimes it can seem like that person is unreasonable and nothing will calm them down, that everything you say is just adding fuel to the fire. When you feel like you’re close to breaking point, take a deep breath and tell them that when they are ready to have an adult discussion about what is wrong without attacking you, you’ll be ready to listen and then remove yourself from the conversation.

Remember, the more you rise to them, the more you give them a chance to release that inner anger. They need to learn to deal with that anger on their own, it’s not always your responsibility to resolve the issues of others.

You are only responsible for your own emotions.

So whether you are dealing with anger in your life or whether you have someone in your life who is particularly argumentative and you’re getting nowhere with them, it’s important to take a step back and reflect. What is the real reason behind the anger?

Looking past the top layer of frustration of events, in order to deal with anger we have to look deep within ourselves.

For instance, in one of my relationships, my partner really frustrated me all the time and I didn’t know why until I started looking at what triggered me and then what triggered that and so on and so forth. I learned that small things like not doing the washing up or helping around our house was winding me up which in turn made me look at why that upset me so much. It turned out that I felt undermined, I wasn’t his equal but someone he was treating like his mother or hired help. I wasn’t feeling affection in the traditional couple sense, which led to me realising that I’d fallen out of love with him. That meant once I’d realised this, I could talk to him about what was wrong and it wasn’t just an explosion of “why haven’t you done the washing up!” or “You need to show me more affection!” because ultimately what I had discovered about myself made the anger disappear and in its place was sadness but this was the first step in the right direction.

I think a lot of people get stuck in the anger phase because they are too afraid to deal with their problems head on. They worry that if they start self assessing then it’ll bring sadness, as if sadness is the end of the world.

Sadness is what makes us human. It is that emotion of losing something we once had, losing love, losing trust, losing our happiness. It is one of the most difficult emotions to pull yourself out of but it’s not impossible.

I had a discussion with my parents about the bullies I’d faced during my work time as a young adult and how I was pushed backwards against a desk as my 6″ boss in heels jabbed my shoulders in rage because she was angry at another member of staff. How I had a boss at another company who made a habit of shouting in your face, when something went wrong because he had two exes who were messing with his life and his head. I have equally seen these two bosses cry. I have been there to see them work through their anger and after two years of working for the second boss, I could start to see a change in him for the better.

Sadness isn’t an emotion we should be afraid of. We can face the abyss and still turn our lives around. Sadness is a necessary state of mind to cope with the stresses of life and once we accept these emotions we can start to grow and as we grow we emerge from sadness, stronger and happier than before, confident in the knowledge that we can face our demons.

Until next time.

Are You A People Pleaser?

It’s incredibly unhealthy as adults to require the approval of others in order to feel fulfilled in our own lives. Regardless of this fact, there are an incredible amount of people who feel the need to please, even when this behaviour can cause more harm than good.

But why? Surely if we’re pleasing people then our lives will be easier, more manageable? When we want to please our friends, family or coworkers doesn’t making them happy just make sense?

Well, in short, no. Spending time making others happy is prioritising their emotions over our own for starters which in turn causes us to doubt our self worth. Suddenly other people’s thoughts and opinions are more valid than ours because we have conditioned ourselves to think this way.

With the fluctuating moods of people, we also can’t control someone else’s happiness. Some days they are just destined for a low mood. It is not up to us to make them feel better. Sure be a good friend and be on hand but don’t make their happiness your number 1 priority above your own.

Have you noticed this sort of behaviour in yourself? Have you noticed that when your friend is sad that you almost absorb their sadness with them? Do you feel as if it’s your duty to try and control the situation? Do you feel like sometimes you’ll agree to something even when you don’t want to? As if by saying no you’ll rock the boat?

If you answered yes to any of the above then, like me, you have reached the first level of self improvement: awareness.

When we’re aware of what makes us tick and how we act in situations, we can adapt and improve with time and become better, more well rounded and happier individuals.

I’ve learnt to look at my own behaviours in life and try to better myself for my own happiness. I have looked at who I am, flaws and all, and accept myself for who I am and you should do the same. Without criticism, look inside yourself and all your behaviours, both good and bad and accept yourself for who you are. It’s important to note that at this stage acceptance is not complacency, and it is simply a stage we must meet before we can move forward and begin our adjustments.

Much like when we’re told to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before helping someone else in an airplane, we need to look after ourselves before we can offer assistance to others. It’s that age old saying of trying to fill up someone’s cup with an empty jug.

In order to build upon what we’ve already developed, we need to learn to speak up when we feel wronged without the fear of judgement, say no once in a while and tolerate when someone criticises us without taking it to heart. Not everyone can like you, it would be unfair to put that much pressure on yourself to think that way.

Once we learn how to deal with the fact that we are not mind readers and cannot possibly get everyone to like us, we can move onto building a more positive community around us. Of people who aren’t afraid to criticise us and help us to grow. These relationships we choose to have around us give us strength to be vulnerable around people and speak our mind more freely. I have a few select friends who give me love and support when I need it but also take no shit. If they don’t agree with me then they’re going to say so. It’s not because they’re trying to be mean but they want the best for me without seeking my approval.

In the same way we develop physical relationships, our online relationships should also reflect these ideologies. We often spend too long on social media chasing that dopamine high from likes on our photos or comments which is another form of validation we think we don’t need but can’t help but want.

In this case, I’m trialing a separation between myself and Facebook. We’ve been together since 2007 and I have grown up with it close to my heart ever since. I was part of a generation that could reach out to friends after school or college through social media but some of those so called friends were influencers on my behaviour today. I was the less listened to person in the group, the one with the loud laugh because I knew it caught their attention, I was not validated by these people and it made me feel rubbish. Now I have taken this trait forward and I don’t much like it. I no longer have the loud laugh and I’m getting better but I can tell the background noise is still there, still impacting me to this day.

As I’ve hit more and more milestones, I’ve witnessed these so called friends hit more and they seem happy, as if life has handed them lemons and they’ve built a lemonade empire. But this is the impact of social media. No one posts about their bad days, only their good ones. There are no unedited photos on their featured sections, no unemployed statuses or mental health posts. We see what they want us to see and what we see we compare ourselves to. It’s simply not real and validation from these types of platforms are superficial and cause fake highs.

I think we need to adjust our perspective.

We need to learn to not be so selfish in thinking that everyone will love us. We need to accept that everyone we meet is different and like a joke, we’re going to meet people who find it funny and those who don’t. We need to learn that criticism mostly comes from a place of love, our friends and family want to see us succeed and help us to grow.

We need to learn to love ourselves, take care of ourselves and let our self esteem expand.

Ultimately, if we can let go of our anxieties and go with the flow a bit more, we should end up living happier and more well rounded lives.

Until next time.



Dealing with the stresses of lockdown – Part 2

Last time we looked at how the lockdown was putting a strain on everybody, especially those who are experiencing anxiety or depression for the first time.

As the lockdown continues and social distancing measures seem to be here to stay for the time being, it’s important to ensure we can make the most of it and combat feelings of depression and anxiety.

So how do we do that?

First of all, we need to accept how we’re feeling and then look at why. Are we anxious because we don’t know how we will survive financially? Are we depressed because we can’t see friends and family? Are we scared about the virus and how it could affect us?

All are valid reasons and reasons shared with a lot of people for being upset and afraid.

I personally, am terrified of contracting the virus as I have several life threatening illnesses including asthma and a nut allergy to name a few. Lets face it, my lungs were not cut out to handle a respiratory virus. However, I continue on, keep up with my workouts and my daily inhalers to build up my lungs so I am best equipped to deal with whatever happens.

As I said in my last article, it’s very easy to slip into the habits of getting out of bed much later than usual, staying in your pyjamas and binge watching TV until you feel like you’ve got square eyes. However, this is synonymous with behaviours of depression and during days outside of lockdown we would see this as worrying behaviour, so why is during lockdown any different?

Yes we can’t go outside and see friends and family but we can get into positive little habits that will make you feel better and after the lockdown you can brag that you got loads done during this time.

So where do we start?

In my last article I discussed my morning routine. I talked about how I leave Darren in bed to sleep while I get up, drink coffee and read a magazine or a book. This alone time gives my brain the much needed time to think outside of social media and physical noise. It’s a good way to set up the day.

Once I’ve woken up I look at things that need doing around the house and get cracking, cleaning what I can because, let’s be honest, we’ve all been a bit slobbish during the lockdown. Doing chores gives you a small bit of physical activity and once you’re done, gives you that clean space which will help clear your mind of horrible thoughts.

Once I’ve done my chores, I get changed into my active wear and get working out, squats, sit ups, anything to get my body moving and working out to exert some of that nervous energy I might be feeling.

Next I shower and pamper myself, taking my time which is something I couldn’t normally do outside lockdown as there was always too much to do.

After my shower I finish my pamper session with a full body moisturiser and straightening my hair so that I feel good about myself. I get dressed in my favourite clothes and finally sit down on the sofa.

I’ll browse social media for a while, working on the business, checking emails and such before I stop for lunch, something relatively healthy like a  cous cous salad or some soup.

After my late lunch, I finally rest, watching netflix with my partner, sometimes treating ourselves to a cheeky drink or two. It feels good to relax after such a busy day.

Obviously, I mix it up, workout at different times of the day, go for walks but I always like to be productive before I sit down and relax for the day. It lures my brain into thinking its had a busy day.

All this being said, I slipped up on this last week when I forgot to keep up with my routine. I stayed in bed  for 1 or 2 days until nearly midday, checking obsessively over the news to see whether lockdown was coming to an end soon. I neglected my exercise and my meals were sporadic. I was slipping into depression and if I wasn’t careful I’d end up miserable and bringing the rest of the household down with negativity.

So one morning I forced myself to get up and get coffee even though I really didn’t want to. I wanted to stay safe and warm under the covers, forgetting about the days ahead of us.

I sipped my coffee and contemplated the day and continued writing this article because its what I knew calmed me down.

My fingers felt heavy on the keyboard, hesitant almost, as if I had nothing to say, yet they kept on and before I knew it I had more than enough to say.

During this lockdown we have been told to look after our most vulnerable people but what if our most vulnerable people are those we can’t see clearly by facts and figures, what if those vulnerable people are those who struggle with worries and fears everyday? Surely if we can boost our own positivity we can improve our time in lockdown (and come out looking amazing due to all the workouts and self pampering sessions we’ve all had!)

What are your thoughts? How are you coping with lockdown? Let us know on Facebook, continue the conversation and share the things you do to make yourself feel good during lockdown.

Dealing with the stresses of lockdown- Part 1

As we enter week 5 of the UK lockdown, it’s clear to see that everyone is trying their best to follow the rules and stay home where possible.

There are less queues at the supermarket across the way from me, less people on the streets walking and an increase in people wearing homemade masks.

However important it is to stay home and stop the spread of the virus, it’s still affecting people incredibly. The rise in domestic violence is frightening, and its splayed all over Facebook where people are finding staying at home straining.

There are people like me, who lost their jobs when the epidemic started and applied for help and still have not received a penny. Then families staying in one property have an immense amount of strain placed on them as the contact is sheer overload, similarly, those home alone have no contact and are striving human contact. It’s this team of both financial worry and human contact which are causing a lot of people to suffer with mental health issues like anxiety and depression who maybe hadn’t experienced it before.

It’s these people who are plodding along but not knowing why they feel the way they feel. They’ll describe it as frustration or boredom but might have a cry when it gets too much.

It’s these people I want to address, these people I want to extend my heartfelt thoughts to. Yes, you’re struggling and you don’t have to compare yourself to others.

Too often I hear “well so and so have it much worse than me” as if offering yourself a sadness borderline where if you reach that line you’ll agree to be sad instead of accepting that you’re sad now.

It important to look at your own feelings, observe how this lockdown is affecting you and coming up with an action plan to make the most of it.

For instance, I’m a massive advocate for writing. By now you should know this if you’ve been following the blog. Most mornings since lockdown, I’ve had a certain routine. While my boyfriend sleeps, I browse the news in bed, not too much about Covid-19, mind you, but I try and find other stories as well, before I get up, make myself a coffee and read a magazine or a book.

It’s this quiet morning reflection and routine which calms me down, gives me time for me to reflect and truly think about what needs to be done during the rest of the day.

It’s easy to slip into a routine of getting out of bed late, staying in your pyjamas and binge watching yet another series on netflix but do you know what that sounds synonymous with? Depression. People with depression find it hard to get out of bed, find it hard to motivate themselves. And yes, it’s hard to break this routine once you have it but good god, breaking that habit is possibly the best thing you can do for your mental health.

In my next article I’ll discuss my routine for the day and how I break the depression cycle. Stay tuned for more or start a conversation on Facebook, I reply regularly and am happy to discuss anything about the points discussed in this article.

Battling Negative Emotions Over Christmas

There’s a lot to be said about negative emotions, how they aren’t productive, how feeling them won’t change facts. However, negative emotions can be a great way to reflect on our lives, even when we don’t feel like it.

When we’re talking about negative emotions in this article we’re focusing on feelings of deep sadness or a bubbling and/or festering aggression towards a person, or a circumstance.

When we’re upset or angry, we tend to spiral in the same way which is why some of us end up crying when we’re angry or shouting when we’re sad. It’s during these times we can seemingly only see the bad things in life or the negative in people. However, noticing this behaviour is possibly the best route to self improvement.

If we learn to notice patterns when we start feeling these negative emotions then we can learn what triggers us and once we know what triggers us we can then learn to deal with it. Triggers can include everything, from the way someone taps their fingers on a table, to opening your bank account and realising you had less money than you thought.

Triggers are often part of a larger story.

If someone’s tapping finger is frustrating you to no end then its probably going to stretch a bit deeper than the surface noise. This frustration could be because you might dislike the person doing the tapping. Although, this sounds like a catch 22 as without delving deeper into your own psychosis, the cycle of finger tapping/ disliking anything this person does will continue on and on until the inevitable snap.

A better route would be to assess why this person is frustrating you. Is there a deeper reason within yourself which is causing this emotion?

The honest truth of it all is that nobody likes to take the blame for anything and without training your brain, this is no different in circumstances where it is you Vs you. For example, in the previous scenario, disliking a person could be a projection of parts of yourself you aren’t keen on.

Bob, your finger tapping work colleague, chats a lot about his terrible mother in law at work, and everything that creeps out of his seedy little mouth is negative. It’s his down trodden behaviour which puts you down in the dumps and makes the little things he does do annoy you.

However, as soon as you leave the office, you’ll be chatting your partner’s ear off about the terrible day you’ve had and suddenly you’re just as bad as Bob.

Hands up, I’ve done this many a time before and in the words of Karl Pilkington, sometimes we do need a good moan to make ourselves feel better. Yet there is a line, and it’s important to notice when we’ve crossed it in order to improve ourselves.

This Christmas time, a lot of people are feeling down in the dumps or frustrated.

It’s this time of year which is so important for us to look after our mental health and the mental health of those around us. By paying more attention to the attitudes of those around us and to our own behavioural traits, we can hope to better not only our own lives but the lives of friends who need positive mental encouragement.

Let’s start a conversation. Join me on Facebook @theroamblogger as we discuss the best ways to keep a positive mental attitude this Christmas time.

Until next time.

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.

The Life Of A Career Woman: Hectic Schedules 🤯

For the past couple of weeks my calendar has exploded, making me feel like one of the most in demand people in the East Sussex area. I’m not and I’m only exaggerating for emphasis but I, like many others in this world, am struggling to maintain a healthy work/life balance as my life is missing one vital element: time to breathe.

From the moment I wake up to the time my head hits the pillow I am rushed off my feet. For starters I get an estimated six hours of sleep a night which is not ideal as I do love my sleep and it’s proven that less sleep can actually negatively impact your day as much as too much sleep can.

From the word go, I am rushing to get myself ready and in the car, opting to put makeup on when I reach the office instead of wasting precious time at home.

In an ideal world I’d have a driver and a PA to reduce my stress levels but who has the money, am I right?

Enough is enough. Stress is one of the largest killers across the globe, a preventable affliction brought on by an over abundance of empathy and the unwillingness to say no or disappoint people.

I work a 45 hour week roughly, and have spent an estimated additional 10+ hours on top of that designing logos for my friend’s new cat café opening in Eastbourne in the autumn, as well as running my blog (which, apologies, has been slacking lately). Across my weekends I am out and about constantly, socialising and recharging my extroverted batteries.

It’s safe to say that I’m exhausted.

So I have decided to manage my time better and allow time for myself. I am going to allow for an evening a week, or even two, where I can just sit on the sofa in my most comfortable pyjamas, listen to the ambient Dave Brubeck and relax, without worrying about anything else.

And this is the most effective way to reduce my stress. Not yoga, not mimosas with my girlies, or anything else. In order to relax, I personally need to take a step away from everything, shut off and be Kirsty, if only for a couple of hours.

How do you manage your hectic schedules? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on any of my socials (linked on the header of this website).

Until next time.

Stress, Motivation & Shaping Your Life

Life, at the moment, seems hectic for everyone I speak to. Whether it’s because you’re a single socialite with plenty to do and people to see or you’re a full time mummy who keeps forgetting which days to take your kids to the opticians, we all have stressful activities which are filling our days, leaving us little or no time for ourselves.

However, stress is good in the right dosage.

Stress gives us motivation to get things done. It forces us to learn to prioritize, and can move us in the right directions when we’re undecided or sitting on the fence about something.

Too much stress, however, causes us physical and emotional pain and can impact others around us when we lash out.

I have experienced stress and even have been treated for anxiety in the form of counselling and I would recommend anyone going through a stressful time speak to their doctor about arranging a consultation.

Talking through how I was feeling to friends and family was one thing, but talking to an unbiased professional about my worries and concerns made me put them into perspective as what was being said wasn’t being thrown back at me by all sorts of pot stirring gossip queens.

I had a tough time with one of my exes and it took me a while to get over the situation I’d put myself in. I felt like I’d hit rock bottom: I’d had to move back to my parents home after living in my own house, taken a lower paid job in a well known supermarket, and had no friends in the area to visit, the closest was two hours away. I felt utterly useless but I knew I wanted to better myself.

Today I live in my own flat in Eastbourne, have a job using skills I hadn’t previously used professionally, and have an abundance of friends who I have made off my own back.

My secret is simple, have hope for a better future.

If you’re someone in a bad place right now, look forward to the future and imagine your perfect life. Maybe your perfect life is traditional: a mortgage, a family, a pet, or maybe you’re looking for something a bit different from life, maybe you want to be a full time traveller. Either way, establish your goals and think of ways to work towards them.

Instead of focusing on the negative: I.e I’m single and I’m never going to find love, think about what you can do to change that. For example, I’ve never tried dancing classes, I’ll go and meet new people and maybe one of those people might introduce me to someone I can have a romantic encounter with. Or for those of you who want to improve your career situation, instead of “woe is me, I hate my job and can’t wait to retire” you could look at an evening class doing something you have a hobby in, apply for other jobs, attend job fairs or look at starting your own business.

What I’m getting at is hope is what inspires us, stress motivates us, and our hobbies shape us. If we can discover what it means to be us then we can discover what makes us happy and then, we can change our busy days into productive days which, trust me, make you feel 100 times better when you lay your head down at night.

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?