5 Simple Activities to De-Stress

Hello again! Today I want to talk about five simple things I do that I find really calming, often therapeutic, and which just generally help me de-stress. I have done all of these in recent weeks!

1) Play catch

Find a friend, find a ball (tennis, stress, rugby or other), and a place outside. The rules are simple: talk about whatever you like, while throwing the ball between you. I specify talking because it’s one of those strange situations where you’re not entirely concentrating on the conversation, because you’ve got to keep watch for the ball, and this tends to make it great for venting.

2) Have a picnic

I think this is another great one – I actually had a really impromptu picnic with a friend recently in the evening. We walked out of the library at 6pm and the square outside was so sunny, now that the days are significantly longer, so instead of heading home we bought a load of food from Tesco and stayed there until we got too cold as the sun went down. Again, just about taking time out, and particularly time away from screens – my lifestyle means I spend an enormous amount of time stuck inside working on computers.

The site of many picnics & spots of relaxation

3) Do a face mask

Again, something I did recently for the first time in MONTHS. I honestly haven’t done a face mask the entire time I’ve been at uni, which is awful of me, but I decided it was finally time. It’s just nice to take care of your face, especially if you wear makeup a lot. Plus they always look a bit ridiculous, and who doesn’t need a laugh?

4) Cook something healthy

Putting effort into your food can easily be something we neglect to do, so occasionally it’s really nice to just take your time, start from scratch and make something nutritious. You can’t beat a good homemade meal, and the process can be really calming.

5) Take one thing you’ve been putting off because it’s not a top priority, and do it.

From painting your nails to mowing the lawn (not that I actually have any grass to mow, but you get me), the background jobs and treats can be just as important as the big things, and getting them done is a huge stress reliever.

Let me know if you do any of these, or if you’ve got any other things you do to help de-stress! Another thing I would say, if you’re a student, is to take advantage of anything your school/uni/institution runs! Liv Uni just had Wellbeing Week, and I went to the falconry display they had on Tuesday. They even had a puppy room on Monday. Best uni ever.

Katy x

A Comment on Body Image

On Saturday morning, I went to the gym as per usual. When I came back, I looked in the mirror and was pleased with what I saw. My stomach muscles were showing definition, and seeing my arms with anything resembling muscle is still something I’m not used to.

On Sunday evening, I went to Tesco and bought a pizza. It’s been a long few weeks, and I felt I deserved it. Looking in the mirror afterwards, I looked like I could be in my third month of pregnancy. (I’m not, by the way.)

Point being, bodies tend to do what they please. On an empty stomach just after a workout, of course I’ll look defined. Right after demolishing a margherita pizza with feta on top, probably not. And in all honesty, even if I have a healthy dinner of salmon, greens and rice, I still get a huge food baby because I’m thin and stomachs expand when they’re full.

Between bloating (girls, you feel me here), food babies (I’m hardly going to stop eating any time soon), and a dozen other things that impact our appearance on a day to day basis, this stuff is really not worth all the worries it’s given.

I initially started going to the gym because I was tired of being a hypermobile weakling. Nine months later, I’m still hypermobile but with way better muscle tone, which means I’m roughly 5-7lbs heavier than I was in September and the heaviest I’ve ever been.

Also, my cramps at ~that time of the month~ which used to get so horrendous I would be screaming into pillows, tears streaming down my face, have completely disappeared. HUGE PERK.

But a quick little note for any out there who may not know: MUSCLE ROLLS. Before I started working out, if I really slouched I might get one stomach crease. I am thin, but at this point I had no real stomach definition. Now that I do (when I haven’t just scarfed a pizza), I get a fair few stomach creases when I slouch. And it’s all perfectly normal.

So weight isn’t the thing you ought to be concerned with. Stomach creases when you slouch aren’t the thing you ought to be concerned with. The food baby you get when you occasionally treat yourself isn’t the thing you ought to be concerned with. Eat healthily, treat yourself sometimes. Exercise regularly, where you can (honestly it’s the best decision I’ve ever made in terms of my day to day life). Don’t criticise what’s completely natural.

Katy x

It’s Ending Already?! | DTD3

Hello and welcome to my first post of May! I honestly didn’t intend to take this recent break, I just had a super bad week when I got back to uni which sucked all creativity out of me, and then a deadline which took up the whole of this last week. I didn’t want to not post, but I didn’t want to post totally miserable or totally boring things either.

But, my final essay of my first year at uni has been submitted, I’m almost finished with one of my four modules, and then I’ll just have 3 exams to contend with and that’s it! First year over!

It’s mad to think that one third of my time at uni is almost over. A whole third. And I’m kind of happy about it, not because I’m desperate for it to be over by any means, but because if it’s going quickly, it means I’m enjoying it. I don’t want this period of my life to drag out, I want it to be something I achieve because I’ve always wanted to, and that I look back on with pride.

BUT. It is not over yet. I have a long slog of revision ahead of me (I mean, I have just over two weeks to my first exam and have only just started revising… It’s a tad nerve-wracking, but I’ll deal).

One thing I am really glad about though, is that I’ve chosen my modules for next year and I’m halving the amount of exams I’ll have to take! This year I had three after my first semester, and I’ve got three coming up. Next year I’ll have two after my first semester and only one after my second.

I realise that to anyone taking GCSEs currently, that will sound like a miniscule amount of exams, and I sympathise completely with your plight. My academic year was the first to have linear GCSEs rather than modular, and I had 22 exams at the end of year 11. The great thing about uni is that after first year, it’s largely up to you how you get assessed – prefer exams? Choose exam modules. Hate exams like the plague? Choose coursework modules.

Quick FYI, though: most exam modules include coursework anyway so if you’re trying to avoid coursework then good luck to ya.

Anyway, to get back on topic, I was thinking the other night about how I’m so close to the end of this year at uni, and it was just one of those moments where you realise what you’ve actually done. This time last year I was desperate to leave my town, I was doubting even getting in to uni, and everything was so pressured. Now I’ve spent the last nine months living in Liverpool, studying what I want, with way more freedom than I’ve ever had.

It is quite funny though – you’ll be going about your day at uni, feeling like your standard student, a bit incompetent when it comes to actual life – you know, dishes from two days ago sitting on your windowsill etc – and then something happens that reminds you about your actual responsibilities. For me it was buying Mr Muscle Drain Gel and a book of stamps. Stamps. I’ve never bought either of those in my lifetime before.

I’ve spent a while recently planning/writing blog posts so I’ll be back again on Thursday!

Katy x