I’m really thrilled to have been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Clare. He blog is a wonderful mix of food, fitness and honesty and I’d recommend that you read it.
Why did I start a blog?
Well, firstly I haven’t been blogging for very long. 11 months to be exact. But like most of the things I do, before I actually did it I had a really good think about it (serial planner right here!) I live in Scotland but I’m from Ireland. I’ve been here since 2013 and in that time I’ve met wonderful people, they’ve moved away and I’ve met more wonderful people. Saying goodbye is never easy. I love to be around people who are a positive influences and I knew that I’d have a very small circle come January (I’m not very good at making new friends) and that I’d be losing some of the fun and joy and encouragement of those around me. Now one thing I could do nothing about. You can’t conjure up new friends or make people stay where they are when they are clearly moving on to bigger and better things. But I could do something to keep me positive and creative. And although it wasn’t the same as having actual people around me, I thought a blog all about my goals and being healthy and positive would be the perfect way to bridge that. So I decided that I would start writing. And I would start writing in the New Year, as a New Years resolution, and that I would write about things that make me feel good, like running and being healthy and trying new things.
So that’s what I did.
11 months on I’ve been kept the resolution.
And kept in touch with the people who moved away.
And I made some wonderful new friends too.
If I were to give a piece of advice to new bloggers it would simply be to blog because you enjoy it. It’s okay to take a break when you’re not enjoying it and remember that this is your space so write about what’s important to you.
So, now I’ve told you a bit about me, what about you?
Whether we like it or not it’s gotten to that point in the year when we’re starting to focus our energy on the festive season. Over the coming weeks there’ll be more parties, travelling to see loved ones and of course, love it or hate it, the inevitable pressure of gift buying! Which is all well and good, but coupled with the dark evenings and damp weather found in this part of the world burning the candle at both ends can take it’s toll on our health if we’re not careful! I’ve been thinking of doing a post about getting sick since it happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I’d been fighting a sore throat and sniffles on the Monday and Tuesday but woke up on Wednesday with swollen glands, light sensitivity and an aching body. I had to take a sick day from work. The timing was terrible. But I felt pretty awful. The thing about sick days is that, like a lot of people, I’m just not good at them. And by that I mean I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself. Well duh Jen, just try to get better you say! But the guilt dear reader! The sick day guilt is real! I felt bad that I was taking a day to do nothing but when I thought about actually doing something like cleaning the flat or cooking a nice meal, it just made me curl up into a smaller ball in my bed!
So I thought about what I could do to feel better, but also would feel like I hadn’t totally wasted the day. Here’s my advice if you find yourself struck down with a Winter flu:
Get Some Comfort Food: If you can manage a small trip to the shops or have someone at home who can pick up a few things for you, treat yourself to some nice teas, lots of fruit and a little sweet to help boost your mood. Weirdly I had a huge craving for Marmite the whole time I was sick! Having lots of little snacks will get you into the kitchen and keep you moving while also keeping your spirits and energy up to help you fight the flu.
If you have to exercise, keep it light: A lot of us are of the mind that sweating out a flu is the best thing for it. At some stages I’d agree but if you’re bed ridden, trying to get a run or ab workout in really isn’t going to help you. If you’re feeling up to it, it can be nice to do something to keep the blood flowing. I recommend checking out Yoga with Adrienne, I did her Yoga for When You Are Sick video and it was so kind and comforting. It was just what I needed.
Talk to Someone: One of the worst things about feeling sick is that it makes you feel really crap and down. I’m one for feeling sorry for myself when I’m not well and it was nice to give my big brother a call to catch up and take my mind off things when I wasn’t feeling so good. If there is someone you haven’t chatted with in a while, evening if it’s over a long overdue message rather than a phone call, why not do it when you’re on your sick day?
Fresh Air: During this time of year air quality can be a bit rubbish with all the heating and clothes drying and candles burning. If you’re up to it, a very short walk while you’re well wrapped up can feel really good. When you’re not able for it, opening the window for a few minutes or moving from the bedroom to the living room can shift the stagnant air and help you to feel a bit fresher and hopefully better. I often have a big bowl of boiled water in the room to purify the air. If you’re blocked up, a dollop of Vicks in the hot water can help to clear you up too!
For me the best advice when you’re feeling sick is just to do what feels good and take care of yourself. I hope this post has been useful to you, but mostly I hope that you stay healthy this Winter.
Saturday, for me had to be a day to switch off. It was one of those classic November days in Glasgow where the rain is pouring down and while the juxtaposition of the orange leaves and the gray sky is pleasing to the eye, it’s not actually weather that you want to be out in if you can avoid it. So I totally avoided it!
I find it pretty hard to sit about and do nothing for a day but I needed this. The last week has been packed with things to do and I needed a day to just chill out.
I had to take a rest week from exercise this week because I was getting over a cold and I’m glad I just focused on Yoga and stretching rather than doing any cardio. Taking a day off on Saturday was a good chance to reflect too on what I’m thankful for this week:
Fireworks and Fun: So one of my favorite things about living in Scotland is that not only do we have Halloween, there’s also Guy Fawkes! I love the fireworks and this year I went to see the big display in Glasgow Green. I’ve done this every year since I moved here and it’s become a tradition now. This time me, Chris and my friend Naomi went to West Brewery for mouthwatering outdoor burgers and beer (well, hot chocolate for me – I had an early start for an event the next day). I had some friends over to the flat last week for Halloween and even though I was getting over a cold it was such a fun night. The girls and I dressed up as trolls and we danced the night away. It was the most effort and make up that I have possibly ever worn but we truly felt like magical creatures! I was pretty reluctant to take my wig off at the end of the night if truth be told!
A Day in the Snow: I organised a work event at the indoor slopes in Braehead and it was a great day out. As with any event there was a huge amount of preparation in the lead up to it but it was a pleasure to get 70 people out of the office and onto the slopes. Seeing a day come together like that is always really rewarding and while the lead up was exhausting – I was up till all hours the night before making last minute edits to the presentations and doing arts and crafts! – it’s just worth it every time in the end. I feel very lucky to be able to do things like this in my job.
Narcos: I am obsessed with this show on Netflix. Narcos is based in late 1980’s Columbia during the war on drug baron’s and the rise of Pablo Escobar. If gritty drama, intelligent scripts, history and subtitles are your thing, check this one out!
Crafting: Okay, I’m a self confessed Winter hater but these cold evenings in are starting to grow on me a bit. I’ve been a bit more creative around the house have started recycling old jars for storage and adding a few little touches to brighten the place up a bit. My two friends and I have been getting together for little craft nights and it’s been a lovely way to spend a dark weeknight. It’s nice to have some homemade comforts around the house and while I’m definitely not an artist or really remotely talented when it comes to crafting I like having some pieces that are just my own little concoctions! Plus creativity, friends and wine are always a winner in my book.
So these were the little things I was thankful for this week.
Are you a crafting novice like me? Do you have any recommendations for good series right now – because I’m getting through Narcos at an alarming rate -?