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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

February 26, 2018

5 Daily Self-Care Tips

When it comes to looking after myself I've got to be real honest here, I don't do a good job. I often do so much I run myself into the ground (particularly when it comes to my health and fatigue), can forget to take care of my skin and appearance, can eat bad, and also make decisions that are not good for my mental health. This can be quite a regular occurrence for me so it got me thinking: what can I do, on the daily, to try and counteract that? I know we all have days, weeks, and sometimes months like this when we almost purposefully punish and neglect ourselves but having a few things that take minimal effort can help. That way, if you want to do nothing but sit in your gross PJs, unwashed, watching back to back episodes of Netflix shows and not deal with reality, you can at least take some comfort in the fact that a couple of things you're doing are kind of keeping you on the straight and narrow road of self care.

- Create an "auto-pilot" morning routine. One thing I've definitely got going on most mornings is some sort of routine. Having a routine that you stick to can be really beneficial because even if you're feeling down and low on yourself and feeling neglectful, having that routine already in place means it's easy to follow without much thought. Back in June I posted about how you can love your Monday mornings and a lot of the ideas I shared there I put into practice - especially for my weekdays. Working throughout the week means sometimes I have no choice to want to get up and go otherwise I'll be late for work etc. and that will put me in an even worse mood than I may have been previously. My routine lets me navigate on auto-pilot as it's the same every morning, in the same order, at the same times and that means no matter how tired I am or down, it's become learned behaviour and second nature so I just automatically do it. When the weekend rolls around, this routine tends to go out of the window unless I have plans and I can totally see the difference in my mood and productivity. I will feel sluggish all day and not really want to even motivate myself, nevermind the motivation not even flowing naturally - I seem to actively drive it away. Routines are hard to follow if you just want to lie in bed, but having a simple one, one you can stick to, will always give you a push in the right direction from the get-go.

- Drink a big ol' glass of water every morning. I also mentioned this in my "How to love Monday Morning" post but I still stand by it. Drinking a big glass of water - whether it's a pint or actually just a couple of gulps - can be a small self care step that we can all take. As I said earlier, often my skincare routine is the first to suffer when I'm feeling down and unmotivated, but by making sure I stay hydrated, I know I'm still putting a little effort in from the inside out and I'm also keeping my body as a whole, happy. I relatively recently started using a water tracker app to ensure I'm having my eight glasses a day and it's been a game changer. Having regular alerts to encourage me to drink has helped me keep on top of it and ultimately makes me feel more alert, healthy, awake, and refreshed!

- Read before bed & get that better bedtime routine sorted. When I was younger, I used to stay up really late and wake up early and used to squeeze in around 3-4 hours sleep. I could run totally fine on this amount of sleep but as soon as I hit my twenties, I realised doing that was detrimental to so many aspects of my life - particularly my mood. I used to pressure myself into having little sleep as I almost felt guilty for sleeping and felt that I was missing out. Now, I make sure I try to get a good few hours of sleep each night and more or less go to bed at the same time each night, using the bedtime option on iPhone to prompt me to go to bed half an hour before I want to try and be asleep. Having a bedtime routine when you're not looking after yourself properly is a bit like having that morning auto-pilot for the evening. It's easy to follow, commonplace, and will generally make you feel like you've got your shit together a little bit more. I'm a big believer in your bed being somewhere to only sleep and have sex so if you wake up and want to spend all day in it, if you've got the option to move yourself to a sofa, do that instead. Keeping the bedroom as a room that is only used for mostly sleep is a great routine to get into. Another thing that ties in with bedtime is reading before bed. Often when we're feeling low and neglectful of ourselves, we don't want to do anything like exercise or sometimes even do anything like playing a video game as it's too much effort. Reading or listening to an audio book can help you escape how you're feeling for a little bit and can ensure you feel relaxed so you sleep well.

- Plan and prep food. Planning and making set meals when you're in a good head space can help ensure you're eating well when you're in a bad head space. I go through good and bad stages with this myself and it's not always a rule you can follow if you're not in a good place, but trying your best to plan meals when you're feeling positive can help minimise you eating shit food when you're down as you'll have easy to cook meals ready to just pop in the oven or microwave. Don't get me wrong, sometimes binge snacking and eating junk feels *so good* when you're not feeling yourself, but even if you prepare comfort foods that aren't totally bad for you (for me it would 1Oo% be a pasta-based dish), you can stop yourself from reaching for the takeaway apps or just eating every crisp/chocolate based thing in your home.

- Just take 5 minutes alone and breathe. Meditation isn't something I regularly practice I have to admit. Even being home alone, I find myself feeling awkward more than anything else whenever I have attempted to meditate in the past. I enjoy it being part of the process when I'm doing yoga but doing any sort of exercise when I'm neglecting myself is not something I'm aiming to do. Whilst I struggle to traditionally meditate, I do find it incredibly therapeutic and beneficial to just take 5 minutes stock with myself. If I'm feeling down and in particular, if I'm also feeling anxious, I will sit for just 5 minutes, maybe close my eyes, and focus on my breathing. I will take deep inhales and exhales and make sure my breathing is steady and managed (the inhales and exhales taking the same amount of time to complete). This is like the start of meditation if you like, but it really helps me focus my mind and even give it a reshuffle. I find this action almost acts a reset button and can help me snap out of a downward spiral emotionally. It's not something that will always work and it's certainly not going to work for everyone, but taking that time with yourself in quiet with no other distractions can help you just familiarise yourself with yourself and hopefully get you back on track.

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February 21, 2018

Cruelty Free SOS Hair Care

As a girl who washes her hair daily, dyes it with permanent box dye at home (and dyes it black no less), and who uses two form of heat on it on a daily basis too (blow drying and straighteners), you can imagine my hair is not always in the best condition. I haven't even mentioned the amount of daily backcombing and hairspraying I do too as my hair is thin, flyaway, and lacking volume, but it always surprises me that my hair isn't way worse than it is when it comes to its condition and I think it's down to a few saviour products. Although I want to work on looking after my hair and making sure it's healthy and soft, there are a few products that I currently stand by that I've been using for the last 5/6 months that I really truly believe have made a world of difference to the texture and look of my hair so I thought I'd share them with you!

My Pre-Shower Treatment
I'm not a stranger to hair masks, but after switching to cruelty-free beauty last year, I realised pretty much all of my hair care - from my shampoo to my hair masks to my hairspray - was non-cruelty free so I needed to do a complete overall. So the brands I previously loved when it came to hair masks or intensive treatments had to go and new discoveries needed to be made. When I was a teen, I never really cared for my hair. My hair is fine and very thin and gets incredibly oily very quickly if it basically moves at all so from around the age of 13, I hairsprayed the life out of it to hold it in place and have stripped it with every sort of oil-stripping shampoo (and glued in hundreds of gross cheap hair extensions... but I digress). Therefore a product I've really gotten into in my 2Os has been hair masks/intensive treatments. One I've been loving is this Superdrug Argan Hair Therapy Pre-Shampoo Hair Treament (2Ooml | £3.99) which I simply can't believe costs only £3.99.

This hair treatment is my current "Saturday saviour" as I pop it on at the start of my shower routine. I simply apply it to wet hair (concentrating it mostly on the ends of my hair) and leave it whilst I do things like my body scrub, shave my legs etc etc. Ideally you need to leave this product on for around 2O minutes and then rinse it out and shampoo/condition your hair as normal. I really enjoy using this despite being scared initially of using argan oil on my super fine hair as it doesn't actually weigh my hair down or make it greasier - instead, it gives my hair a lovely shine, smoother texture, and gives it some elasticity and strength which is exactly what the tub claims to do!

In-Shower Treatment
As you can imagine from daily use, product build-up is always something I worry about and especially as my scalp is oily, I like to try to keep my scalp happy and healthy so in steps this Fuji Green Tea Purifying Cleansing Hair Scrub (24Oml) from The Body Shop. This scrub retails for £15.Oo for a rather large tub of it and you guys it smells amazing. I really like the whole Fuji Green Tea range for both the hair and the body, but this product is one of those TLC products that you don't really need, but you totally should purchase as a treat. I like to use this whenever I think there's any product build-up or after I have used the previously mentioned argan oil treatment as this helps re-balance my scalp so it's not too oily from the argan oil. Not only does the scrub smell amazing but with the chunky gritty salt clusters in the sticky product, it really buffs away at the roots of your hair and gives your scalp that zingy refreshing lift that shampoo doesn't really ever provide. I use this product both before shampooing and conditioning like normal or I just simply use it as my shampooing step if I'm really wanting just a refreshing feeling. The smell really lasts on the hair and it keeps it in great condition from the most important part (the root) so it's worth the investment to me.

Post-Shower Treatment
As my hair can be quite limp - particularly if I've used any sort of masks/treatments in the shower due to my thinness - giving my roots a boost can be really beneficial to my hair style and save my tresses from a whole lot of backcombing and thus, a lot of damage. Over the years I've tried lots of different mousses, sprays, and powders to try and achieve that volume, but since going cruelty free, I've struggled to find something I truly like that a) works and b) doesn't cost the earth. A product I do enjoy using is the Superdrug Style Expertise Root Boost Spray which costs a mere £2.99 for 15Oml of product. The whole Style Expertise range is cruelty free and purse-friendly but this spray is definitely a highlight in the range. A little goes a long way but I typically tip my head upside down and spray around 4-5 times into the roots (paying particular attention to the top of my head) after I've towel dried my hair and it's still a little wet and damp. I find this spray does a great job at creating volume without the hair feeling crispy or greasy and doesn't damage the hair. As it's a spray in treatment that can be used on wet hair, you can really work it in to the roots and see it perform as soon as you're finished blow drying your locks into place.

The final product I have to mention is something I severely overlooked in my younger years. As I mentioned earlier, I use a lot of heat on my hair and also dye it and wash it regularly so it does go through a lot of strain and as a teen, I never really added any nutrients back into it or used any sort of protection on it (I rarely even conditioned it but let's pretend I never said that). As I put so much stress on my tresses and as it's so thin and prone to snapping and breaking, a heat protecting spray has become a necessity in my daily hair care routine. Going cruelty free and switching my hair care products was one thing, but trying to find a replacement heat spray for my once-beloved Tresemmé seemed to be an almost impossible task. So they Superdrug Style Expertise range saved the day once again and their 3Ooml Heat Spray for £2.99 does the job. I typically spray it sparingly over my whole head whilst my hair is still wet then blow dry it. I won't sit here and say this is a holy grail product as it's not - the scent is way too strong and I find using too much of it can make the hair crisp up - but it helps provide a barrier between my hair and the heat I apply to it so it does what it promises on the tin! Although this might not be my most favourite heat spray I've ever used, I will never choose to not use a heat spray at all as an alternative as it such a crucial last step in my hair care routine to ensure I'm really looking after my locks and keeping them as strong and as healthy as possible.

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February 17, 2018

Book Club No.13

Hello fellow bookworms - it's been a hot minute since my last book review post and I'm trying my best to start 2O18 off with good intentions and those good intentions involve at least one book club post a month (so so far, so good!). This time around there is a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction, true crime and total fantasy, but there's a steady theme of macabre running throughout and would you ever expect anything less from my inner goth now? You'll be pleased to know that each of these books are getting a good review off the bat I can tell you that much - I've enjoyed reading them all, for entirely different reasons, so let's get into it:

Talking with Psychopaths and Savages by Christopher Berry-Dee
The first book to talk about is something I picked up over the Christmas period. If you guys love true crime and you live in the UK and have a The Works store nearby, regularly check it because they always have hidden gems in there when it comes to this subject matter. I picked this book up as I instantly recognised the author's name as someone who knows *a lot* about true crime. Christopher Berry-Dee is criminologist and author behind many popular true crime books including Talking with Serial Killers and Dead Man Talking as well as a face who regularly gets involved in crime documentaries and TV shows.

Talking with Psychopaths and Savages takes on a slightly different spin to Berry-Dee's other books on serial killers/murderers as although it does give chapter by chapter accounts of particular individuals, it's more about the collective idea of what makes someone a psychopath and what makes someone a savage and the difference between the two. Berry-Dee details throughout the book the idea that some individuals have a lot of the "psychopathic" traits and thus are psychopaths by definition whereas other individuals - the likes of Oscar Pistorius for example - are savages as they killed but didn't go on a murder spree. It's a really interesting concept and the fact that he keeps going back to it throughout the book is very well executed and makes you feel like you truly understand what the author is trying to explain. The case studies switch from chapter to chapter from psychopath-based to savage-focused and begin to focus on an individual person or case so you fully grasp what the author means. It was interesting to not just read about "the classic" serial killers if you like and actually read about a whole host of different criminals and the lengths a criminologist has to go to try to get answers.

One thing I really liked about this book was it's easy reading. Berry-Dee has a great way of writing in a friendly manner as if it's just a friend telling you about their job down the pub - it's got a personal feel and he lets his humour, sarcasm, and sheer disbelief in some cases shine through and I think that gives it a believable edge. Some true crime authors keep it very strictly fact-based which of course, isn't a bad thing, but I quite like to see an author get riled up and say they were disgusted with an individual they met if they actually were. A couple of minor things I struggled with with this book though was the editing and the self-promotion. I tend to be a big fiction lover and don't read anywhere near as much non-fiction so I don't know if this is commonplace, but Berry-Dee name drops himself or his other texts repeatedly throughout this work. I'm all for self-promotion (I mean come on I'm a blogger), but sometimes it's unnecessarily mentioned and frequent enough that it distracted me from enjoying the book. As I mentioned, the editing got me a little too as there are a few mistakes throughout the book and although that's bound to happen to so many books, I thought it was often enough to again, distract me from enjoying reading it. Overall I'd highly recommend this book though if you like true crime but want to read something a little different that isn't just focused on the "big name" serial killers like many other texts are. You can pick up Talking with Psychopaths and Savages for £7.99 here.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Ahh, Neil Gaiman. I feel that anyone who is a fan of fiction will have read any number of Gaiman's books at some point but I always seem to discover more and more that I haven't actually read by him and The Graveyard Book is one of them. Now, you all have to bear with me when I try to give you some insight into the plot of this story because as with most Gaiman books, it is weird, wonderful, and dazzlingly complex to explain.

Generally speaking, the story opens with a man called Jack who breaks into a family home owned by the Dorian's. He is intent on murdering the family and manages to do so but one family member unknowingly escapes. A little boy, a toddler who climbed out of his crib, escapes and wanders to the local graveyard where he is discovered by a variety of local haunts. These ghosts discuss what to do with the human child but when they see the murderer Jack approaching the graveyard, they decide it's best to keep him there to ensure his safety. Once the ghosts realise the boy doesn't have any parents and no longer has a home, two of them volunteer to become his grave parents and the little boy is christened Nobody Owens (Bod for short). The story then follows Bod growing up in the graveyard. He interacts with a variety of ghostly neighbours in his community from all walks of life and also speaks to the groundskeeper Silas regularly as the only other human who knows he is living there. Silas brings him food, colouring books, and even a teacher from out of the graveyard to make sure Bod still lives a life like a normal boy as he grows up.

Saying anything more will not only ruin the story but will also be incredibly difficult to explain as it's a very twisted and very fantasty-heavy book that you simply have to read to fully understand. I really really enjoyed reading The Graveyard Book. Gaiman has a knack for describing things in such detailing without over telling you what things look or sound or smell like but, it creates enough of a vivid image in your mind. The story is so unique and there's twists and turns that anyone would find interesting and not see coming. The juxtaposition between Bod trying to lead a normal, young boy, life with all the supernatural wonder of the graveyard, the inhabitants, and his growing abilities to do things like become invisible and control people's dreams is what makes it such a gripping story. Gaiman gives each character such perfect personalities that are all so unique it keeps you glued to the pages throughout as you really can't predict what's going to happen next as the story is so far-fetched but in the best possible way. If you're a fan of young adult fiction or you just like fiction you can totally get lost in, you simply have to pick up The Graveyard Book for as little as £6.49.

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry
Remember back near the start of this post when I was raving about how great The Works is for finding hidden gems? Yeah, you guessed it - I picked up Helter Skelter in there too. Helter Skelter is the 1974 true crime work of Bugliosi and Gentry which went on to be the best selling true crime book in history. If you're not familiar with the title, Helter Skelter is based on Charles Manson and the wider "Manson Family" as "Helter Skelter" was the apocalyptic race war Manson was obsessed with and believed would happen (and it is also a song by The Beatles from their album White Album which again, Manson was particularly obsessed with). Bugliosi served as the prosecutor for the trial of Manson and the other "family" members and therefore recounts the trials, the investigation leading up to Manson arrest and everything in between.

I always feel like a lot of people don't like to talk about or read up on Manson anymore as it's almost as if he's "too popular" (a bit like Bundy and Dahmer) or he's not a "true killer" as the Manson history and story is more about his ability to control and manipulate others rather than him going out and murdering people. However, I still find everything surrounding the man, the murders, and the "Manson Family" quite fascinating and as he only died last November 19th 2O17 and there has been a lot of discussion in the media since about how his body should be handled etc., it made reading this all the more relevant for me in a way. Sharon Tate (one of the murder victims by the Manson Family), is also one of my favourite actresses so having the ability to look more into her death and essentially research further via this text was also something I enjoyed getting my head around.

The book is incredibly well written and provides the cold hard facts in a very easy to follow manner. Not only is it easy to follow, it again provides that personal insight and opinion from the author Bugliosi much like the aforementioned Berry-Dee does in his work. Having this impartial recount of the Manson murders with a slight drip drop of opinion splashed amongst the pages here and there makes it a great page turner. Being a true crime fan, this book provides such an insight to the whole concept of the cult and lead up to the murders and the arrests that I feel no other book I've read on Manson or documentary I've watched manages to do. Helter Skelter influenced two TV movies to be made with the same title and was also an influence for the idea behind The Strangers film, too. The book is incredibly gripping and does give you chills reading it as it helps you begin to try and get inside the mind of Charles Manson - a very troubled, complex, and sometimes downright bizarre mind that I think managed to baffle and confuse professionals for years and years after his arrest. Pick up Helter Skelter for around £8.Oo here.

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February 13, 2018

Real Talk: You are Enough

Happy Galentine's Day and (almost) Valentine's Day to all you lovely folk - whether you think it's a day to spoil a loved one or you think it's a big ol' con, Valentine's Day rolls around every year and gets more or less the same general mixed reaction. For me this year, I've taken a step back and been thinking about myself (how self-centred I know). So many of us are quick to shower others with love, gifts, and general niceties but we tend to forget about the person that should be most important to ourselves: your "me myself and I". The whole focus on Valentine's Day can leave some of us feeling a little bit down as we compare our relationships to others or feel a negative pressure because we're single and I think it's so disheartening to think that anyone sees a holiday based around love (no matter what your stance on the corporate consumer side of it is, it is still focused on love!) as something to actively dislike and feel negatively about. That's why today I wanted to talk a little bit about self-love, why Valentine's Day is as a good time as any to practice it, and why you should see yourself and your worth as enough without the impact or inclusion of others.

When I say "the impact or inclusion of others", I'm talking about that validation we seek from outside sources. I'm 1Oo% guilty of this all of the time as I try to please others or do things against my better judgement to keep or make others happy and when I take a step back from that, I often realise that in turn it's not making me as satisfied as I thought and/or it's actually heading towards a calamity of negativity at lightning speed. In trying to make others cheerful and content constantly you almost create this "fake happy" feeling for yourself that yeah, you feel great about initially, but in the long run you realise it's just surface happiness and it hasn't managed to work it's way down deeper into your soil as it didn't come from a genuine, self-secured place in the first instance. Being happy and confident in yourself and practicing self-love often has this bizarre connotation of vanity and selfishness as if your moral compass has gone haywire but in reality, self-love should be a practice more people participate in to try and feel more content and joyful within themselves. Although I don't agree that you have to love yourself for others to love you, being somewhat happy with aspects of you - however many or minute those "things" are - help create foundations within yourself that cannot be knocked down by others; they can stand the test of time as their only potential enemy is yourself and your own criticism. Self-love isn't easy as many of us have insecurities, mental health, and just sheer stubbornness to fight against, but hopefully I can provide a few simple everyday practices that might make you sit back and think "you know what, I am enough. I can create my own happiness":

Thinking Self-Love
As I just mentioned, it can be pretty difficult at times to be a self-loving individual, but there's a few small ways to do it, even when you're not feeling up to it! Often complimenting yourself in any sort of way - particularly if you're feeling insecure or vulnerable at the time - can feel like a chore and completely impossible to carry out. Meditating can help or even just switching off from social media for 15-3O minutes to do it with intent can help. A way I've started to do this to ensure that I'm at least dedicating time to thinking self-love is by looking after myself with intent. Whether it's giving myself a pep talk in the mirror as I do my makeup in the mornings, or if it's a *proper chat* with myself, it all helps. Thinking self-love with intent means you're focusing your energy and thoughts on bettering yourself and a great way to do it is to do something intently - for me that's skincare. I find actually taking time to properly look after my skin instead of doing it in a rush just before bed really helps boost my self-love. Little things like taking just a couple of minutes to work in some hand cream into my hands whilst thanking them in my mind for well, basically being handy (see what I did there) and for all of the introductory handshakes they've provided and the creativity they unleash now and again can really help. Pampering my feet now and again and thanking them in my mind for all the places they've taken me, for keeping me active and therefore nourishing my soul and body both inside and out is another example. It might sound silly to some of you, but being that kind and thoughtful, towards yourself, can be such a mood changer in the best possible way. Thinking self-love may be cheesy, but it gives you an opportunity to get a little more spiritual with yourself, be mindful and therefore ultimately more comfortable in your own skin, as well as just a great excuse to tell yourself you're fab and doing a top job at existing.

Doing Self-Love
Okay so being your own cheerleader internally is great but letting that shine through into actual activities can take it to a whole new level. Whilst I think self-love can be things like self-care beauty regimes, keeping fit and healthy with exercise, a good diet, or treating yourself now and again, it can be even simpler than that. One great way of doing self-love and actually demonstrating self-love through an action is to write. that. shit. down. If you're someone who bullet journals, why not do a positivity page that is full of all your strengths, the things you like about yourself, and the things you want to improve? Although this is an external thing to do - just like the previously mentioned self-care things - it can help you internally be more optimistic and positive and that will in turn help make self-love that much easier. Something else that can really help with self-love is organisation. Whether it's making sure you regularly make healthcare/dental/beauty & hair appointments or just live by the "tidy house tidy mind" mantra, it can all help creating an appealing environment and life to be in and thus make you feel more content with yourself as a person.

Absorbing & Projecting Self-Love
Whilst becoming more organised with certain aspects of your life, another way to really encourage that self-love is making sure you are truly absorbing it and then dishing it back out around you. So far I've mentioned a lot of things that are very *me* based - things that are for the self because of course, your self is central to self-love. I've talked about being confident to date yourself no matter your relationship status before and I still believe being comfortable and happy within yourself, without the need of validation from others is central to being happy. With that being said though, it would be silly and inaccurate to suggest that self-love is not impacted at all by those around you. By practicing self-love and becoming more mindful, you can ensure that you're projecting that love back out into the world. Surrounding yourself with positivity can be contagious and part of self-love is finding the courage to keep that happy community around you and cutting out anything that is toxic. Whether it's a relationship, friendships, your job, an environment, or even just bad habits you've gotten into lately, switching it all up can help free up your mind, help you see more clearly and give you the desire and motivation to improve those areas you're not so satisfied with. Whilst I'll say it again, I don't think you need to love yourself to receive love from another, it certainly does help and having your own validation and love is undoubtedly noticeable and palpable for those around you.

Feeling Self-Love
You can never expect to feel compassion and happiness for yourself if you can't accept the bad that comes along with the good. Whilst I'm sitting here preaching to you all to look after yourselves, to put on your sassy pants and be completely happy with everything you have to offer the world, there are of course the negative niggles that come along with it all. This is where many of us fall down and crumble under the apprehension or the pessimistic voices we all have and usually, they manifest themselves in reminding you of something bad you did once and therefore, you're undeserving of your own self-love and worth. Trust me gang, I've been there and got many a-t-shirt, but you've got to battle it. I'm not suggesting you turn a blind eye to it though no; quite the opposite as it goes. Welcome in those negative thoughts but in a constructive way. Almost think of that particular incident your mind is reminding you of as book, a story. It's something you're looking in on from an impartial point of view. Think of when you give friends or family members advice and you might play devil's advocate and suggest different outcomes etc. - do that for yourself but in a more streamline way. Look back and access that particular incident and don't see it as a mistake but instead, try to work out what learning curve the universe was trying to throw at you and what you could do differently next time if you ever find yourself in a similar situation. You can't change the past no matter how many of us dwell on it so the only positive and logical way to deal with it is to use it to strengthen future you. Use it to form a wiser, more self-secure, self-confident, happy, and content you.

I'd be a massive hypocrite if I sat here and acted like I do all of this on a regular basis because ho ho, I certainly do not. But the last few months have really taught me and shown me that you've got to be your own best friend and whilst that is often easier said than done, it's something worth working on because guess what? You are enough. In fact, you're more than enough. You deserve to live this life with a full heart above all else and the only way to keep that ticker stocked up is to ensure at the base of it, it's at least got you drip feeding into it little and often, throughout your day to day life, to make sure you feel loved and ready to take on whatever life throws at you (even this dreaded Valentine's public celebration).

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