Just a quick observation here.

I’m currently standing in my kitchen, very hungry and feeling quite faint, but ‘unable’ to make myself some food…why? Because I’m stressed.

My (irrational) thought process: I’m stressed because I feel I should have started work by now. So cooking will only cause me to start even later. So I should just start work. But I’m too hungry to concentrate – I need food! There’s ‘nothing’ to snack on. There’s ‘nothing’ I fancy cooking. I am so hungry I’m unable to make a choice. Why am I doing this to myself. Why can’t I make a choice. This is bad for me, I feel sick and faint. 

I’m sharing this because I want to share how stress can affect many more parts of our lives than we might think. Don’t under-estimate it. The thoughts above may sound rediculous to you, but right now it’s quite a distressing ‘block’ that I’m having to deal with. 

I also know this is only temporary.

All experiences are only temporary.

Okay I’m going to have a piece of toast and take it from there…

Wellness Is A Practise

Recently I’ve been stressed.

About money, about organising my life, my work, fitting everything in without compromising on something. Too often it’s my health and wellbeing that is last on the list. And I’ve realised that sometimes you have to practise at caring for yourself, sometimes it doesn’t come naturally because you feel there are ‘bigger things’ to worry about…and yet good mental and physical health are the most important things to nurture in order to live a happy life!

Going freelance full-time has been amazing in so many ways, but the unfortunate reality is that it takes a bit of time to build a client base that can not only support you financially to cover your rent, bills and costs, but also allow you to live comfortably.

To give myself credit, I only need a few more clients and I’ll be in that ‘comfortable’ margin, but it’s easy to fall into old patterns of thinking:

“I don’t work hard enough.”

“I could do better.”

“I’m only holding things together by a thread.”

There’s also a bit of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ going on up there:

“They’ll find out that I’m not really very good.”

“Can I keep the pretence up that I’ve got it together.”

“How can I call myself a professional – I’m too young.”

These kind of thoughts can manifest in perfectionists and self-criticisers. As you constantly strive for those unattainable goals and that ‘perfect’ lifestyle, you miss or are blinded to your real achievements – your ability to live independently, your satisfied clients, your proud partner or parents, the respect and love from peers and friends.

So this morning I was lying in bed, phone in hand, scrolling my life away. Trying to distract myself from those thoughts and the sinking dread that I was slowly slipping back to an internal place I’ve been before and desperately never want to revisit.

I didn’t feel like doing yoga.

I wasn’t inspired to make a smoothie.

But I suddenly realised that I could still force myself to do these things, because they will still be good for me. Even if I’ve lost sight of why.

So I did.

And I loved it.

And I felt inspired.

I created some smoothie art (which I haven’t done in weeks).

I followed my own yoga practise to best suit my needs (instead of just following a video).

And then I felt inspired to share this all with you, because it’s often only when I tell others how I’m feeling, that I really acknowledge it myself (that’s also why I write songs!). And if one other person forces themselves to do something they know is good for their mental or physical health today, no matter how badly they don’t want to do it and feel it won’t make any difference, and find that actually it does…then this post was doubly worth it!

N.B. If you’re thinking ‘I don’t want to have to force myself, tell me how I can make myself want to do these things’…I’m afraid from my experience, the wanting comes later – after you’ve done something which makes you feel good enough times, eventually you override your ‘I can’t be bothered’ thoughts automatically, because you know you’ll enjoy it as soon as you start! My mum is a perfect example; I’ve heard her flop on the sofa after a long day and work and go “oh I’m completely knackered”…and then an hour later be putting on fancy dresses and heels to go off to dance the tango, which she does for fun most days of the week! When I ask her how she does it, she always replies – “Oh I know I’ll perk up as soon as I start dancing, I and I always feel better for it after”. She really is an inspiration!

So just take a deep breath when you’re feeling like you ‘can’t’ do something. Breathe in love, and breathe it back out to the world.

The more you love and are happy within yourself, the more love and happiness you are able to share with the world and those around you, the more love and happiness you will receive.

Circle of life.

Circle of love.

It starts with you.

Operation Update

The operation was a success! Phew!

The pins were taken out with no issues, and whilst last time I had a regional anaesthetic or ‘arm block’, which meant I was awake for the insertion of the screws (it is NOT fun hearing an electric drill and then feeling the vibrations in your shoulder, trust.) this time I had a general anaesthetic which was a D R E A M in comparison…that fact that I vomited for an hour after first eating doesn’t change my opinion of this.

There was only a short, sharp pain right at the beginning when they put the cannula into my hand to administer the anaesthetic (oh and before that the nurse slapping my hand a million times to find a vein wasn’t pleasant – ouch!).

Then it was the strangest thing – I remember the anaesthetist asking me how many pizzas I had on holiday last year…and then I woke up?

I didn’t even remember shutting my eyes or feeling myself falling asleep! I immediately said upon waking – “I didn’t even tell you how many pizzas I had!”, to which he said “No, but you did tell me you prefer vegan pizza”…

…don’t tell the people who make the “I just wanted to say I’m Vegan” memes.

Anyway, then it was all done! No pain, no hearing of drills, or feeling of vibrations, no creepy numb arm for hours after. The stitches are out tomorrow, and then it should only be another 4 weeks of being careful not to lift heavy things (and no contact sports – ’cause that’ll be a problem!) and then I’m back to normal! I am so happy this is finally sorted, I cannot WAIT for this chapter of my life to finally be closed and to have a strong, pain-free wrist again 😀

I’ll probably take a picture of the stitches and scar again as that always looks nice and grizzly, so another update soon!

Wishing you all good health and happy wrists especially!

Zoe x

 

I Am Now A Full-Time Freelancer!

I Am Now A Full-Time Freelancer!

Since I last posted I finished my part-time job at a shop and took the plunge to freelance full-time  (or Full-Lance as I like to say) in Social Media Management / copy writing / content creating / Squarespace web designing / marketing (on and off-line) and being a general DIGITAL MEDIA COOL GAL.

So far I have 3 wonderful clients that I’ve been working with since before I left the shop and 1 new client. I am earning enough to pay the bills, however this is where my next plunge comes – to broaden my roster!

I’m in my 3rd week of being full-time, but I need to push out of my comfort zone again and start approaching potential new clients. Which is hard, because I’ve just done a big scary thing of leaving my part-time job and I feel like I could do with at least another month before I do another big scary thing. But life is really just one big scary thing after another, and it’ll be worth it when I’m earning enough to do more than just pay the bills! And how about changing the word ‘scary’ to exciting?! That feels better already 🙂

Another thing I’ve quickly realised, is that continuing without a formal contract, especially now that I’m taking on new clients, is a big NO NO. I’m only just about getting by with the random working hours, clients being tardy on delivering content and being paid as and when, but if I’m going to add anyone else to the mix, it’s time to SORT IT OUT.

So my next endeavour is to write up a contract, or an ‘agreement’, detailing exactly what it is I do, when I do it, how many hours paid work they will receive (regardless of their input), when I expect to be paid and how often performance reviews and planning meetings should take place. This will hopefully protect my weekly earnings; at the moment my pay is determined on how organised my client has been that week on creating content (if they have asked to be solely responsible for content). It’s not nice when you’re suddenly told you won’t be earning money this week from them because they haven’t got round to doing what they said they would! If this happens after we sign the contract, I will still get paid for that week and will work on growing their following/improving their online image instead.

I’m excited to get going with it all so am trying to ignore the fact that I have a wrist operation to take out those pins put in after my bike accident in under a week! Luckily it’s my left wrist so I can still use my phone okay and type – just a bit slower, but not THAT slow as Runescape (GOD, remember Runescape?!) got me typing real fast with one hand whilst moving the mouse around with the other 😛

Any other freelancers out there making the full-time leap?!

xx

P.S The picture is a lovely desk that isn’t mine but I blimmin wish it was! My desk is currently my sofa, and the real thing is awaiting shelves so the wood can see the light of day again.

The Positive Side To Illness

Okay so let me first get this straight – being ill SUCKS.

Short term – long term, recently I’ve had a lot of it and on the whole it is a massive downer. 

There is of course a part of me that enjoys being able to re-watch my favourite series on Netflix all the way through, with only toilet breaks and the occaissional sleep to interrupt. However 6 days of this will make anyone bored – even if the show is amazing (Battlestar Galactica…don’t judge just watch). 

So of course I get down, really down. And this is to be expected if not welcomed. But luckily I also get this feeling, right towards the end, kinda like:

OMG I CAN’T GO BACK TO MY LIFE BEFORE, I’VE GOTTA DO SOMETHING – GOTTA IMPROVE MY LIFE AS SOON AS I’M BETTER! 

Not saying I hate my life but there are always aspects I want to improve, we all do, and to a certain extent that’s a good thing, as long as you’re not always chasing tomorrow. 

I want to start making things with my hands – jewellery or something, maybe terrariums, something beautiful that I can feel satisfied making and can sell for some pocket money.


I want to start cycling again, the weather is mostly good now and I think I’ve gained enough energy since the glandular fever to go on some regular short rides. 

I want to improve my career/income. I currently do freelance social media management and website design (we’re talking design here, not coding). This is good, this is great, I have a lot of flexibility to my weeks and I can actually pay my rent and bills autonomously – wahoo! However the only way is up right? I’ve had ideas and plans stewing quietly in my mind over the last couple of months and this illness is making me want to take ACTION. I’m bored of life right now, so I’m gonna SHAKE IT UP! 

So hopefully if you find yourself bedridden or under the weather for a prolonged period of time, you can start to see it as a gestation period, and a catalyst for change.

What do you want to change in your life?

Zoe x

Food Intuition and Ayurveda

I’ve just moved house.

I’m living with 5 other vegan, world-loving, sky-reaching, hippies-at-heart, and I am ecstatic to finally find a place I can call home,  and people I can call family.

They all follow the ancient Indian approach to diet (and life in general): Ayurveda.

Ayur = ‘life’, veda = ‘knowledge’

This is where you identify your body’s natural constitution and inclinations, roughly fitting into one of three ‘Dosha’ archetypes, or even balancing in between two. The three main archetypes are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and through various quizzes I have identified myself as Vata-Pitta. Essentially I am a strange mix of ‘dry & cold’ and ‘oily & fiery’ – for example whilst my hands and feet are always cold (but only my hands are dry), my back and face are oily (but I also get dry patches on my face). I am a mixture of extremes and easily unbalanced.

I have never thought about how the food I eat may be unbalancing me. I just always thought fruit and veg +’whole’ and ‘health foods’ = healthy.

Wrong.

Since going vegan and increasing the ‘healthiness’ of my diet, I still have ‘bacne’ (spots on my back), and I still have temperamental digestion – two things I hoped would clear up. I can still feel very bloated or very dizzy and light headed.

I am not an obsessive person. I don’t grab hold of an idea or activity and submerge myself in it. Rather, I like to gently introduce myself, dipping in and out, until I am satisfied that I want to pursue it. This has happened over the two and a half weeks or so I have been living here, there have been many discussions between my housemates about Ayurvedic principles, and how to balance their diets. I took a Dosha test out of curiosity (and because I love tests/forms…no idea why), and am now starting to be much more aware of how the food I eat affects my body.

For example, my ‘Dosha plate’ says to minimise Rye. I promptly ignored this later that day and ate 4 Rye crisp breads. Around 20 minutes later, I felt bloated and slightly queazy. Have these symptoms suddenly come on since reading that I should ‘minimise’ this food? As I think back to other recent times I have eaten Rye (in bread form mostly), I do remember feeling bloated afterwards, but always blamed it on something else…because Rye is ‘better for you’ than wheat, so must be fine, right?

Intuition is an incredibly powerful tool we can use to help ourselves; I always used to complain when I was younger that eating apples made me feel dizzy, but as I grew older I tried to ignore this feeling and force them down me every now and then – because apples are healthy.

Well from this day forward, I give myself permission not to eat any foods that make me feel bad, or strange, healthy or not.

My body is trying to tell me things, and it’s time I start listening.

Zoe x