Category Archives: sometimes wellbeing

The Difference Between Your Time And Everyone Else’s

Getting into bed at midnight, I could barely keep my eyes open as I filled in my journal. The week had gone so fast I barely had a minute to document the gratitude I felt for all the blessings in my life. All I knew was that the next few days were looking quite the same – busy with no room for reprieve.

I had filled my calendar up so much so that whenever I was asked to do something, I’d most likely be double-booked and have to find last minute ways to reshuffle. After all, it’s important to see everyone and do everything that you’re asked – isn’t it?

Not really, as I learned.

Each of us has as many hours in our day as Beyonce. That’s actually a caption on a mug I read back in 2014. It was a fair point and well, it’s true. Beyonce achieves so much, travels the world and seems to look a million dollars. Meanwhile, if I don’t have at least 7 hours sleep, I’m likely to fall asleep in my cornflakes and prop myself up on coffee for most of that week.

The thing about Beyonce is that well, I don’t know what her free time looks like. Maybe she sleeps all the hours god sends. Her multiple staff and her family might make her life twenty times easier so that she can live her dreams and perhaps she looks at her time and thinks ” I wish I could get more done”. I just don’t know.

The point is that we haven’t a clue what others time looks like. There are huge differences in the resources they have, the hours they work and what matters most to them. While one person might want to spend all their free time with their family, someone else might sacrifice their time for their career. It all comes down to values and why we do what we do.

Each person looks at their time differently. For me, one of the reasons I gave up my last job was that I wanted more time for me, my friends and family. That’s still a work in progress but in general, I try to prioritise requests from them to spend time.

At the same time, I have friends that will say no to hanging out on a Friday night as they spend that time for themselves and don’t want to leave their comfy sofas. Others spend their weekends building their businesses, hobbies or traveling around the world. I now chunk out part of my weekend to blog and coach so that I live more of my passions.

At this moment, I ask you to consider the below three points when it comes to assessing your time and how you spend it.

*Where are you headed and why?

If you were to look at your life and where you’re headed in one week, one month and one year +, what do you need to get there? Work out your time accordingly and set clear and measurable goals. Be conscious of the time that will take.

*What are your priorities?

Over the past 12 years in particular, I’ve experienced some huge losses in my life and it’s reiterated my focus on family and friends. Therefore, I need to make sure I’m in contact with and spending time with them as much as possible.Β  For you, what’s most important? Is it your spouse? Your siblings? Best friends? If family is a value closer to your heart then be sure to keep it there. Take a look at your calendar and act accordingly.

If your self-care comes first, assess what you’re doing to ensure just that.

*What feels right?

Listen to your gut and your body when it comes to your time. If you’re clocking up appointments and feeling exhausted or anxious then reassess. You only get one chance, use it wisely.

How do you prioritise your time? Comment your tips below x

Easy Like Social Media: Reality Versus Really Cool Posts

In 2016, I had the most views on SometimesWrite.com. There were a couple of thousand of you who were interested in what I had to say. Cheers for that. We had a bunch of interactions and the number of posts was the highest it’s been. I can actually recall the days when I sat at my desk and congratulated myself for a job well done. I reached the blog awards’ finals and my social media was hopping with positive validation and interactions.

1000180_10152976201030118_230077300_n

Fast forward to 2018 and the hard work hasn’t been there. It’s shown in the number of posts, visitors and the interactions on social media. When asked about the blog, I’ve responded with “Ah sure, I haven’t put the work into it to be honest”.

The great news is that it’s an easy formula. Work hard and the results will come.

Cool, done.

No, not really.

As Bradley Cooper’s character says in Silver Linings Playbook,

“You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, you have a shot at a silver lining.”

Success isn’t guaranteed but you certainly have a higher chance if you work hard at it. Personally, I’m aware that if I actually write posts, I’ll certainly impact more people than if I make excuses about how I need to work harder at it. Likewise, the time spent looking at how great other bloggers’ social media doesn’t mean it’s an easy ride for them in the background. I messaged a blogger I really admire recently to say ‘A job well done’ and her response was simply “thanks for that, it’s been really hard”.

Never make assumptions based on a Snapshot in time.

There are the aesthetics, the social media loveliness and then there’s the grit going on in the background. They say it takes 10,000 hours at something to become an expert. That means if you want to become an expert within a year then you need to spend 192 hours per week to get there. That could work if you would rather not have a life and certainly need to get there faster. In the meantime, you can keep sharing your progress, cool photos and inform on social media as much as possible.

In case you need it, the advice I’d give is this –

There are always going to be challenges, things will go wrong and inevitably, you’ll deal with objections and naysayers. You’ll experience moments where it will seem like things aren’t working and you’ll want to quit. All of this is OK. I’ve been there myself where I’ve stepped back from Sometimes Write for long periods of time (this is my first post in five months). Just remember the reasons why you’re doing it.

Stay off social media if you’re experiencing FOMO! If this isn’t feasible, then know that actually, most people on there are posting their best bits. They’re working their asses off in the background and are looking at other profiles feeling the exact same as you. Just like you, they don’t have all their ducks in a row.

It will all get better if you push through those challenges. I promise.Β 

Celebrate your successes in one way or another! Did you hit a small mile stone? Then bank it. There are wins in everything – recognise them and see them for what they are.

What are you working to right now? Catch me on social media or in the comments below to share your experience.

Financial Stress And Your Mental Health

I recently lifted up the well stapled down carpet of my subconscious and swept out a small debt I had been avoiding. I knew it needed to be taken care of and until it was, I’d feel that niggle. The nights of grinding my teeth into oblivion because of the worry needed to stop and for sure, my sense of self, deserved better than something as trivial as money worries. One fine day, off I headed down to the credit union, cleared out a bunch of savings and paid the debt that had been bugging me. Such a feeling meant that I could function with ease and not have to wonder why I was getting ever so slightly irritated by those little silly things.

Our finances have a habit of being rather central to our lives. If something as unexpected as a surprise expense or bill pops up, it can cause unwanted stress and leave us feeling helpless. If we receive a random invite from a friend we haven’t seen in a while and we need to decline due to our bank balance then that can affect our self esteem and elicit a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out). Meanwhile actually going along and spending the money we can’t afford, can stress us even more than staying in in the first place. Ideally, any worries in our day to day lives are probably not so well received so avoiding them at all costs is suggested.

Coming out of a recession in Ireland, we can be confident as a nation that things are getting better. We know for sure that there are more jobs around, banks are being less daft and we are generally being more careful with our cash. Perhaps it’s majorly due to my age (being in my early thirties) surrounded by people my age but this is how I perceive the case to be. Still though, finances will always play a major role in any part of adult-life.

Can we eliminate loans, budgeting or that feeling that we should be spending less?

Mostly no.

How then can we keep them under control, stay on track and maintain positive mental health when it comes to our cash?

There are a few ways that I’m personally trying at the moment. As for the rest, be sure to share your tips below.

* Be open and honest about how it’s going. I spent ages denying some of my spending until I sat down with a loved one for an objective view. After realising that a massive chunk of my wage was going to eating out and coffees on a particular month, I did the maths and figured out where it would be better served. This has incentivised me to be more mindful. An outside view over what we’re doing can never hurt. If it opens your eyes and saves you a few bob, well why not?

Disclaimer* Please don’t be surprised if you see me treat myself to a cappuccino a lot less often than before.

*Once you understand where the cash can be saved then it’s time to figure out some accounts. If you’re like me then seeing it piling up in your current account can lead you into temptation. Open a credit union account where you can’t access or a bank account that requires a request for notice should you wish to withdraw lots of saved cash.

*Stop using your card! Tapping away with contactless payments starts to add up quicker than you can imagine. Taking out cash and using that for day to day expenses has worked more effectively for me to stick to a budget. There are less little costs adding up.

*Checking in on internet banking, receipts and other available resources will mean you have a clear pulse on what’s happening. I’ve been guilty in the past of not checking my internet banking following a busy weekend for fear of seeing costs clocking up from those mad nights out.

*Give yourself a break if you go mad spending. I bought 7 dresses in one sale last week and justified it as I needed them for my new job. It was a totally valid reason plus it doesn’t happen super often. The main thing is to be wise with what you’re doing but give yourself a treat when you know you can afford it. Mind your mental health no matter what – nothing’s worth losing sleep over.

Now, take a deep breath and do the best with what you’ve got.

x