What is Personal Growth and Why Should I Care?

Welcome to Week 5 (the final week!) of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series that has brought you a new blog post on each Wednesday of the month. The aim of this was to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Paige Eades, with What is personal growth and Why Should I Care?

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

 

Personal growth is such an individualist activity, wouldn’t you say? From endlessly discussing life plans with career consultants at school into talks and gossips with friends detailing our ‘five year plans’ (does anyone else still live in the hope that our lives will turn out to be a perfect fairy-tale?); the theme of self-development has been imminent throughout our whole lives. 

When Emily called out for writers to pull together a series on ‘March is for Me’, I knew that it would be a great opportunity to discuss and delve more into our own personal connections with ourselves and take the time to consider if we are happy with the way in which we are treating ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane swing of things; the 9 to 5 work routine and the catch up weekend but looking after we is an essential step that many people argue they don’t have time for. 

Something to consider; how many of us have actually sat down to consider our own personal growth? Putting the ever ingrained career chats and life objectives aside; what happened to developing the person we are inside and our desire to constantly better ourselves? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably been too long since you have had that real, open chat with yourself about how things are going? Why is that?

Photo by sickk vibes on Unsplash

 

It almost seems rather taboo to consider yourself and put yourself first in the modern world; the idea of doing something to please others comes way before pleasing yourself. The feeling of wasted time is a familiar concept to many of you I’m sure, with the inkling of ‘I’d really rather be doing something else; but I’m not, because I’m here supporting you’. And that’s okay – there aren’t going to be moments where everything is about what you want; but to me a major element of personal growth is about taking the time to consider what your needs are and being brave enough to create boundaries if need be. Contrary to popular belief; creating personal boundaries isn’t selfish – it’s establishing how far you can go without damaging yourself.  

Creating personal growth journeys is encouraged in ways that you probably won’t even link to in your life; and it’s easier than you might think. I remember my first insight into striving to better myself was the infamous gold star chart on the primary school classroom wall; which celebrated including others into games or sharing our snacks with those who didn’t have any (oh, to live in a COVID free world again). The sense of achievement and satisfaction after adding a little gold star sticker to my name and knowing that I had made another’s day a little better was a feeling that can’t quite be replicated in adult life. Although I’d love it – where are the star chart boards now eh? 

I can almost hear the sighs of imagining an obsession with gold stars – but hear me out.  The celebration of working towards becoming better and the small accomplishments along the way should be celebrated. Each step to learning and developing is a great one, and without sounding too soppy – it’s those kind of achievements that make the world go around.

You are in connection with your goals

Personal growth is all about taking the time to reflect on your current circumstance and establish new and realistic goals that you would like to achieve. It is evident that the goals that you set at 12 are going to be different now; and the personal growth journey is all about embracing that! The beauty of life is that it is constantly evolving; and things aren’t going to be smooth sailing throughout – to put it bluntly shit happens and circumstances change, and the subsequent effect is that goals do too. Through remaining aware that goals are, and can be, adjustable to changes is a key to personal development – and understanding that a temporary setback isn’t failure or that the goal should be given up on; it’s just that – a temporary setback. 

You align yourself to new values

As previously discussed, personal growth is an everchanging event – it snakes and swivels and whirls around your life. Through adopting a persistent desire to continuously better ourselves; we therefore align better with new and improved values. Think about it; do you have and believe in the exact same values that you held 5 years ago? No? You’re not alone; many people shift and alter their values in accordance with new information learnt or experiences shared – so it should only make sense that we configure our new morals and values in line with what we currently associate with.

You experience a greater peace of mind

What could be better than being so ‘in tune’ with yourself than defining exactly what your goals and aspirations are? I can’t count all the times where I’ve had what feels like a mid-life crisis surrounding what I want to do in pivotal points in time – starting college, heading off to university, first relationships – but if I had taken the time to re-evaluate what my personal goals were then I would have been reassured that these new changes were the right thing to do and were to help me on my journey, not hinder. Through establishing your personal development plan and continually monitoring it, it is only expected that you will experience a sense of ‘togetherness’ that is hard to achieve otherwise. 

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

You experience healthier relationships

I’m a big believer in that you attract the people that share the vibes you put out into the world. If you are negative and refuse to accept new developments – you will attract and share values with similar minded people. However, if you strive to better yourself, base your aspirations on inspirational people and be proactive in your personal development journey; like-minded people will flock to join you. Relationships age and evolve as you make your way through life; and they can inevitably become outgrown. You deserve to be able to surround yourself with healthy relationships that inspire, satisfy and progress your personal development journey; so, strive to get them! 

You experience greater happiness

Can you imagine anything better than knowing that you are actively achieving your dreams and aspirations? Knowing that despite everything, even on a day where you don’t want to do anything (relatable, amirite), you are striving to be the best person you can be – and making a positive impact on your time on Earth. We all can’t claim to become the next Greta Thunberg or the genius behind the cure for cancer, but we can all claim ourselves to becoming the best person that we are capable of.

Without sounding too cliché; in a world filled with increasing negativity, you have the choice to be that ray of sunshine – both for yourself and others. Take that opportunity. I’ll raise a glass to that!


What an AMAZING post to end the March is For Me series on – thank you Paige for your beautiful words and to each creator that has contributed to March is For Me this month and made it so special. It’s a series I know I will definitely be referring back to! Click here to be taken to each post.

I hope you are all doing well and keeping safe

Until next time,

Emily x

 

5 Ways To Easily Turn A Bad Day Around

Welcome to Week 4 of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series bringing you 5 blog posts across each Wednesday of the month. The aim is to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Emily from Planning With Em, with 5 Ways to Easily Turn a Bad Day Around.

Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash

Bad days suck, there’s no doubt about that, but here are some tips on how to turn a bad day around. Whether something bad has happened to make your day bad or you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, bad days aren’t fun. However, I do stand by the quote “it’s a bad day, not a bad life” and believe you can turn any bad day around. 

‘I’ve struggled with depression for over 6 years, so I have had plenty of bad days in my time. Whilst I am doing much better mentally right now, I still have days when depression hits me hard. I wanted to share how I turn a bad day around on these days.’

Thank you to Emily for giving me the opportunity to write this post for her blog, I hope it will help anyone who is having a hard time or perhaps in a bit of a funk! 

Pause, Reflect, Accept 

Before I even try to combat a bad day with some of the things listed below, I think it’s really important to go through the process of pausing, reflecting and accepting. 

Take a moment to pause, maybe meditate if you like, and think about what you’re actually feeling. Are you feeling sad, anxious, angry? It’s important to take note of what you’re feeling so you can reflect on why you might be feeling this way and accept it. 

I know from experience that when you’re depressed, there doesn’t have to be a reason why you feel bad, you just do. But I do find that when I’m having a bad day, something has usually triggered it and I can identify at least one emotion that I’m feeling. 

It’s important to accept how you are feeling and not beat yourself up about it. If you can, take the day off from your usual activities, look after yourself and let’s turn this bad day around. 

Do Something That Makes You Happy

Okay before you click off the post because this one is so obvious, think about the last time you did something that made you happy. Like truly made you happy? I bet it’s been too long. 

Take some time to do something that makes you really happy. This can be literally anything (as long as it doesn’t harm you or anyone else obviously). For me, I love to paint, watch youtube/netflix and read. I don’t get much time to do this during the week normally so they’re my go to activities for when I’m having a bad day.

Turn Off Your Phone

When I’m having a bad day, I try to stay away from social media because it can perpetuate bad feelings. For me especially, doom scrolling on twitter can be really bad for my mental health. 

I like to have a social media detox regularly and if you want to know how my last one went, here’s a blog post about my week long social media detox! If you find social media makes you feel worse, have a day off of it!

Photo by Aki Tolentino on Unsplash

Clean Your Environment

They say, “clean environment, clean mind” and I wholeheartedly agree. I cannot stand having an untidy/unclean environment, it stresses me out so much! I understand that if you’re having a bad day, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed, let alone clean. But for me, cleaning my room is an essential part of my self care because it helps me feel better! 

If your room looks like a bomb hit it, then why not set a timer and take 10 minutes to tidy up and clean? You’ll be amazed how much you can get done in this time and you might even want to carry on once the time goes off!

Random Act Of Kindness

I don’t know about you, but doing something nice for others makes me feel so much better! I love helping others so it’s something I try to do regularly.

If you’re having a bad day, why not do a random act of kindness? For example, you could write someone you love a letter, support a small business or maybe even buy a stranger a coffee! 

That wraps up my 5 ways to turn a bad day around, I hope you found them helpful. Please remember that you are not alone and if you need help, reach out to someone you trust and talk to them. Things will get better and this too shall pass. 


Thank you so much to Emily for sharing this wonderful post for the March is For Me series, I have loved each instalment so far and hope you have too. In a world where you can be anything, why not be kind! Stay tuned for the last post in this series next Wednesday!

Until next time,

Emily x

Positive Affirmations and Tips for Anxiety

Welcome to Week 3 of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series bringing you 5 blog posts across each Wednesday of the month. The aim is to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Jessie Mills from Wanderer and Traveller, with her tips for coping with anxiety and her list of favourite positive affirmations. Click here for Part 2 with Kimberly Redway and her experience with meditation.

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Firstly I’d like to thank Emily for the opportunity to write a post for her March is for Me series! If there is anything I’ve learnt since leaving university is that self-care and self-love are so important when you are on your journey that is life. In the words of Ru Paul, “If you can’t love yourself how the hell can you love somebody else, can I get an Amen?”

So I wanted to share something I do daily that really sets me up for the day ahead. I’ve done this for a while now and I really feel it helps! Every morning without fail I look at positive affirmations. I also share my favourites on my Instagram story for other people to read and enjoy as well. So I’ve decided to share my favourite positive affirmations with you in this post to remind you just how important you are and that your journey is your own, you can take it as fast or as slow as you like because you are in charge. Zayn Maliks twitter bio once said “Enjoy the roller-coaster that is life” and he wasn’t wrong. You just have to remember that at the end of it all, you are the biggest love of your life. 

I also really suffer with anxiety and with the pandemic and lockdown I wanted to share some motives that I use to either calm myself down in the moment of a panic attack or when I can feel it building.

This is something I’m so proud of as I’ve really tackled some hurdles this lockdown within myself and my anxiety. I set out pretty early on in lockdown 1 not to put myself in the same situation I did previously and focus on getting my anxiety on lock. The previous situation was when I moved to Watford. I had no friends, no money and I couldn’t go out and meet people or do anything until I started working. I was home 24/7 and really fell into a pit, so I vowed this wouldn’t happen again as I saw lockdown as very much the same circumstance as the government started discussing it. Unable to go out and socialise or explore, feeling isolated.

Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Coping Mechanisms

Some of these are really simple and I know not everything on this list will help or work for everyone, I also understand that not everyone works in the same way I do. We all have our own coping mechanisms, but if I can maybe enlighten people to some possible new methods then why not?

  1. Shift your focus and take some deep breaths. This one is always recommended (and as a smoker I was always pretty apprehensive). But if you can keep your heart rate and your breathing down, you’re already on your way to feeling calmer.
  2. Go for a run, do some yoga, go for a walk or do some physical exercise. It releases happiness endorphins into the body to lift you up, not bring you down. Plus you’ll feel better for it afterwards.
  3. Identify how you’re feeling and give yourself more emotional awareness. I have to give full credits to a close friend for this one. Don’t identify it as being anxious. Separate your feelings. Am I feeling excited? Am I feeling angry? Am I feeling awkward? Am I feeling lonely?
  4. Something I feel goes hand in hand with the point above, learn what triggers your anxiety, Why do I feel this way? Identify why you’re feeling the way you are. Is the circumstance making you feel uncomfortable? Are you around someone who is being unpleasant? Take a step back and take a look at where you are at and how its making you feel.
  5. Talk about it. Say it out loud, “I’m feeling anxious”. Don’t sit and let it consume you if you feel capable of doing so.
  6. Do whatever you feel you need to do to start your day off right. In the morning and put those anxious feelings at bay straight away. Don’t let it consume you right from the start.
  7. Throw yourself into and focus on something you love. Grab a book, work on your WIP, sit and binge watch TikTok’s, play your favourite gaming consoles, watch your favourite TV show, relax with a cuppa, have a nap, call a friend or see a friend.
  8. Set small daily goals and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to live the life you love and want to live. You are in charge.
  9. Write down how you’re feeling in a journal. Getting these thoughts out of your head can make it less daunting for you and help you to reflect later on.
  10. Practice acceptance. Your anxiety does not define who you are. You do not have anxiety because there is something wrong with you. Try and embrace the journey you’re going on, it won’t be with you forever and you can overcome this.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Positive Affirmations

And now for some of my favourite positive affirmations, because you need to remember your worth;

“You are so wonderfully beautiful. So extraordinarily wonderful. So wildly unforgettable. So Incomparably and lovely you”.

“Make space for the magic you deserve”.

“You are stronger than your anxious thoughts”.

“I choose to let go of what doesn’t serve me”. 

“The highs and lows can still make for beautiful things”.

“There are things in life that are not in your hands and you are not supposed to have all the answers to all. But even here in the shades of your doubts and the unknown, know that you are meant to be here, you belong”.

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path”.

“You made it to another new day. That means you beat all the pains, worries & troubles of yesterday & all the yesterdays before. You are a fighter”. 

“Be soft with yourself, being human is a fragile thing”

And my all-time favourite;

“You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you don’t have to be. Tea has never apologised for not being coffee”.  

So here is to YOU. Embracing your wants and needs in life and following your path to feeling good, your achievements and how far you’ve come in life. Never forget;

You are the biggest love of your life. No one can tell you otherwise.

Jessie x


With HUGE thanks to Jessie for this wonderful guest post that I personally found so refreshing and helpful, I hope you enjoyed this week’s instalment of March is For Me. Stay tuned for week 4 next Wednesday.

Until next time,

Emily x

My Experience with Meditation

Welcome to Week 2 of the ‘March is for Me’ series. A series bringing you 5 blog posts across each Wednesday of the month. The aim is to spend an entire month focusing on ourselves with self-love, self-care and positivity. Today’s post is brought to you by Kimberly Redway from  Cultivate Your Quirk as she shares her experience with meditation. Click here for Part 1 with ‘Ways to Help Your Physical Health During the Day’.

Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash

“I had begun visiting a yoga studio for weekly sessions and then…. lockdown happened. The desire to tap into whatever inner calm I possessed, had grown stronger after having started my new full-time job last year. While I loved the job, I was becoming more stressed and with stress came…comfort eating. It was once lockdown started again that I decided to attempt meditation.”

There are said to be many benefits for the practice of meditation, but what I was interested in was stress relief, better self-awareness and also learning how to be more mindful. I wanted to re-ignite my ability to eat more mindfully, to concentrate on the food and to focus on what I want to take in.

 I found that meditation is about checking in with my body as I use an app called Headspace. I have learnt to think of it, not just as a vessel for the mind but to think of the connection between the two. As you know, one cannot survive without the other. I needed time to recharge and re-set. The meditation provided a space for that. My setting is my bedroom which is a small space, but you don’t need a series of tools to gain access to this exercise. 

More than just experiencing more calm and better self-awareness, I feel I have learnt more about my own identity.  I find myself considering who I am in the present rather than who I used to be or who I might become. I am learning to separate self-deprecating thoughts every day.

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

I am not always the thoughts, I think. I have always been a daydreamer and it takes practice to remain in the moment. I am considering that identity. Mediation has an impact beyond when I am sitting with my eyes closed. What I do in my bedroom with my back against the wall and eyes closed is like ripples through my everyday life. Change is coming from these single moments

My eating experience has improved but there is a way to go. I understand that for long term results- time must be taken. It is enough to gain knowledge of myself and to also praise my ability to be still. It is not about berating yourself for being inexperienced, but celebrating your access to the mind you hold dear. 

So, I sit in my room, listening to the soothing tone of the voice from the speaker of my phone. I become aware of my surroundings before closing my eyes and allowing it to sweep over me.


Thank you to Kimberly for sharing her meditation journey for this series. It is always a breath of fresh air to hear personal accounts so I am grateful to share this with you. Stay tuned next Wednesday for the 3rd installment of ‘March is For Me’.

Until next time,

Emily x

Chatty Tuesday: 5 Ways To Unwind After Work

Happy Chatty Tuesday everyone! Believe it or not, today’s blog post came about whilst I was sat at my desk at work, thinking about how I can unwind as much as possible when the clock ticks past 17:30. Sitting on my bum for 40 hours a week doesn’t sound like a strenuous job, but it’s mentally rather taxing. I’m not one for wishing precious time away, but I do find myself daydreaming about all of the things I’d much rather be doing. Winding down after a long day at work or even university can be quite difficult, so I wanted to compile a doable list of things you can try to relax that extra bit more.

I’m not currently at university and never have been. I chose to work full time instead, so I can’t speak personally from a student’s perspective so this post will be aimed more at those in work with a bit less free time. As a bit of context, I currently work full time in an office. I leave the house at 8am every day and get home around 17:50. So, before bed that gives me around 5 hours to “unwind” in. This is the tricky part. When you have to wedge relaxing and me-time around doing the washing, cooking, cleaning, washing yourself or even putting the kids to bed, it can be difficult to know what winding down even means when before you know it you’re up and on the go again. Here’s 5 ways to unwind.

Continue reading