Weekly Roundup 03/11/19 – 09/11/19

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  • Reading

I’ve started reading a new book called “The One Plus One” by Jojo Moyes, which I started reading earlier this week after finishing reading “Who Is Tom Ditto?” by Danny Wallace.  I’m only a few chapters in but I am really enjoying it so far.

  • Watching

I’ve been watching The Apprentice and The Apprentice – You’re Fired which has been really good.  I’m not particularly keen on Lottie and hope she leaves soon!  I haven’t got a favorite yet which is a bit weird for me as usually this far in I have already got a favorite that I want to win!

  • Listening to

I’ve been listening to a podcast called “Do You Even Blog?” which has been helping me to get back on track with blogging after my burnout from October.  It has been really positive to listen to someone who is so enthusiastic about blogging and shares loads of tips, advice, and help, and from that, I have learned so many things.  I really recommend this podcast to anyone who blogs or wants to start blogging.

  • Eating

I’ve been eating a lot of jacket potatoes with beans this past week or so, and lots of soup too.  It has been really cold and miserable weather-wise and this has been filling and warming too.

  • Drinking

I’ve been getting back into drinking more tea recently and my go-to tea of choice has been Vanilla Redbush Tea by Tetley which smells as lovely as it tastes!

  • Doing

I’ve been given some stretchy exercise bands at my last physio session and have been using them to do some load-bearing exercises to try and improve my shoulder, I really wish I could say that that the exercises have been helping but at the moment I feel like the pain is getting worse.  I have set up my desk and pc in my spare room/office space and I have also painted one of the walls (opposite the small bit I had done previously).  All I need now are some shelves to be put up and I think that the room will be finished!

  • Feeling

I’ve been feeling guilty that I have neglected the blog for the past few weeks and then I also felt a bit worried because it meant I was behind on my schedule which then led to me feeling even worse about not blogging.  Sitting down with my schedule and looking at what I had missed out writing, and moving things about has helped me to get back on track, and hopefully, this post will be the first in a long run of future posts!

How has your week been?  What have you been up to?  I’d love to hear in the comments!

Top 10 Books I have Read This Year

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Today’s Top 10 is a list of books that I have enjoyed reading this year, some are fiction, others are more text book based a in no particular order…

  • Frozen Grave – Lee Weeks
  • Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You – Todd Hasak-Lowy
  • The One That I Want – Giovanna Fletcher
  • Jenny Sparrow Knows the Future – Melissa Pimentel
  • Five Years From Now – Paige Toon
  • Two-Faced – Mandasue Heller
  • Brand Identity – Catharine Slade-Brooking
  • Symbol – The Reference Guide – Angus Hyland/Steven Bateman
  • The Girls – Lisa Jewell
  • Logo Design – Taschen

What have been your Top 10 books so far this year?  I’d love to know so leave me a comment!

What Is Burnout?

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What is burnout?

Burnout is something that can happen in life regardless of your age, gender, race or employment status and can creep up on you so you don’t notice it is happening, often until it is too late.

Burnout can affect each person in different ways. Some may experience stomach problems, sleep issues, not feeling motivated to do anything, not finding enjoyment in the things you once found fun, general “fogginess” of the mind, feeling numb to things, memory problems, loss of appetite and other symptoms.

Why does burnout happen?

Burnout happens when the body and mind are subject to stress, lack of sleep and the cause can be the modern lifestyles. In this day there is a pressure to always be “on”, connected and busy – whether it is working all the hours, side hustle, study, hobbies or interests, something needs to be filling each minute of each day. The internet, especially social media, reinforce these beliefs with eh sharing of such “motivational” images “Live your best life” and others that encourage doing all the things.

Other causes can be from social media, email and mobile phones. For some, there is a pressure to forever update statuses, share photos and engage with followers 24/7, check and respond to emails as they happen. The ping of a new message or notification can be a buzz that becomes addictive and one that commands attention.

Even day-to-day life can be a cause of burnout. There are so many different things to juggle day to day, from paying bills, working, housekeeping, washing, cooking, hobbies, interest and other pursuit’s that can be a drain on your energy, lead to stress and lack of sleep.

How can we identify burnout?

As burnout can affect everyone differently, and the cause can vary; the best way of identifying burnout is to pay attention to how you are feeling mentally and physically. Are you tired all the time? Do you feel stress? Are you avoiding doing certain activities you once enjoyed? What are your reactions like – are you short-tempered or annoyed quickly? Also, assess how much time you have been “on” and doing things, if this is higher than usual then it is possible that you will be experiencing a form of burnout.

How you can treat burnout?

If you are starting to feel the effects of burnout, one of the best things you can do is to step away from all of the activities that have been taking up your time and energy, turn off your social media and email notifications and take some time to yourself.

Going for walks in the fresh air, spending time with friends and family, eating a healthy and varied diet, stretching exercises, reading and mindfulness can help, but one of the most restorative is sleep.

Safeguarding against burnout in the future.

  • Know the signs of burnout that are personal to you.
  • Understand what your burnout triggers are.
  • Take time out each week to relax.
  • Exercise, eat healthily and get enough sleep.
  • Take regular breaks from social media, emails and other communications.
  • Listen to yourself. Your body will often give you hints about what it needs and tuning in to this can be the preventative measure.
  • Assess how you spend your time and alter it to include more time focusing on relaxing.

Case Study – My Experience with Burnout.

I have been experiencing burnout for the past few weeks. I started to become aware that I was not very motivated to do anything much, preferring to spend my time mindlessly scrolling through Instagram rather than blogging or doing any of the other things, I usually enjoy. I felt disinterested in everything and struggled to get up for work in the mornings.

I had a pretty busy October and figured out some of the triggers for this burnout, these things included

  1. Blogtober, a month-long daily blog challenge, where I challenged myself to answer three questions each day, which, as I tend to blog daily did not seem too ambitious coupled with trying to maintain my usual blog routine.
  2. Season changes. The past few weeks have been really dark and gloomy, with a lot of rain and bad weather, which I have found, affects me.
  3. Shoulder pain. My shoulder injury has meant that I have not been sleeping properly and have been unable to do some tasks that I would normally be able to carry out.
  4. Inktober, a month-long drawing challenge where you create artwork from a daily prompt word.

I already knew that stretching my creativity could cause me to experience burnout, something I discovered in University but I thought that, because the activities I had set for myself through October were fairly varied then I would be ok.

As I had suffered from burnout previously I was able to recognise some of the signs and take steps to overcome it.

You may have noticed that I have not posted many “proper” blog posts for a week or so (aside from my Blogtober posts and my Saturday Shout Out Advert). I took the decision to step away from the blog, art and design work and get some well-needed rest.

I am now, slowly working my way back into my routines and looking at what I want to achieve, how to balance my work, play and relaxation time and how I spend my time.

 

 

Roxy Turns 5!!!!

Today marks my bestest friend’s 5th Birthday and what better way to celebrate than a blog post in her honour! (Of course, she will be getting totally spoiled by me later too!)

Here are some photos of Roxy when I’d just bought her home for the first night with me…

And some more recent ones…

I could write a huge, long post about how brilliant she is but I know she won’t read it but she is my most loyal companion and there through everything with me and I don’t know what I would do without her.

Fun Fact: Roxy’s full name is Roxanne Rhianwen Puppercakes.  She is named after Roxy Mitchell, a character in the soap Eastenders, and her middle name is Welsh and means White Maiden.

Saturday Shout Out

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Saturday Shout Out gives you all a chance to meet some new bloggers, find new blogs to read or get your blog noticed a bit more. It is my way of thanking the blogging community for being so supportive of me and my little blog and introducing new blogs that you may not have seen or read before.

What this means…

Every Saturday I will choose one blog, share a bit about it along with your blog link. I will also share your blog to my Instagram account and my Twitter account.

If you are interested in taking part then drop me an email to my.colourful.life@outlook.com with Saturday Shout Out as the subject line and I will send you a form to fill out!

Blogtober Review

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It’s now the start of November and Blogtober is now over.  Today I am sharing my review of Blogtober.

When I decided to participate in the Blogtober Challenge I thought that I would be able to continue with my normal blogging schedule at the same time, after all, setting myself 3 questions to answer each day would be easy, or so I thought.

At first, answering the 3 questions, “What made me feel enthusiastic today? , What drained me of energy? and What did I learn about myself today?” was fairly easy but as the month went on I really had to dig deep at times to find the answers.  Some days had been pretty mundane and I found it hard to find even one single thing that piqued my enthusiasm, other days it felt like everything drained me of energy and there were occasions where I had to really sit and go through my day to find something I had learned about myself.  It was pretty tough going at times.

While I managed to keep up with Blogtober I did find it hard to write any of my normal blog posts and have a few that I will be sharing through November that I had planned (but never written) for October.  It was hard, after sitting and really examining my day, to find enough mojo to write anything else.

I also started Inktober, approaching it with a logo/graphic design/sketch slant and managed to get just over halfway with that.  I am aiming to complete at least the sketch part by mid-November and then spend some time creating the digital versions.  Hopefully, I will be sharing the sketches soon!

I really enjoyed this Blogtober Challenge that I set myself and think I have learned a lot about myself along the way.  My plan now is to analyse the answers that I gave and come up with some facts and figures to see if there are any changes I can make in my life to bring more enthusiasm in and less of the draining things.

Did you take part in any October challenges?  How did they go?  I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

Blogtober 31st

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It’s the 31st of October which means it is also the last day of Blogtober! Today I am answering my questions based on 30th October.

  • What made me feel enthusiastic today?

I carved my pumpkin tonight and that had filled me with enthusiasm for much of the day.  I don’t really celebrate Halloween but I like the thought behind pumpkins – originating from Ireland the carved pumpkin started off as a carved turnip that had a candle placed inside it and was displayed on Halloween to ward off evil spirits.  It amazes me where some of our traditions come from and the meaning behind them and I find the history so interesting.

  • What drained me of energy?

I’ve been feeling throwy-uppy sick much of the day, it started not long after I got to work and continued through the day getting worse and worse.  I really couldn’t face eating anything at lunchtime as I felt so sick.  I left work at 4pm and came home and slept for a bit but it didn’t help much.  Feeling sick is the worst and really drained me of energy, I don’t think anyone likes to feel sick but I also have a fear of actually being sick and felt pretty anxious about it so that didn’t help matters either.

  • What did I learn about myself today?

I learned that I am really no good at dealing with being ill and really wish I was still a kid as my Mum would always know how to make me feel better.

Top 10 Things to do in Autumn

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As we are now well into autumn I thought I would share my Top 10 Things To Do in Autumn!

  • Wrap up in your warmest clothes and go for a walk in the woods or local park looking for conkers and crunching in the leaves.
  • Make a hot chocolate, add whipped cream and marshmallows, curl up on the sofa with a good book and a blanket.
  • Have a cosy evening in, light a scented candle, turn the lights off and watch a feel-good film.
  • Have a hot bath, treat your skin and hair to some pampering – exfoliate, mask, moisturize then have an early night.
  • Spend the day in your fluffiest, warmest PJs and socks doing something you enjoy – reading, playing games, writing, drawing….
  • Cook your favourite seasonal food and sit and enjoy it with family or friends (some of my favourites include vegetable stew, jacket potatoes, chilli or vegetarian cottage pie.)
  • Swap your summer clothes over to your winter ones in your wardrobe and spend some time creating new outfits from what you own.
  • Treat your feet to a pedicure – warm water soak, exfoliate, trim your nails and paint them a lovely colour, not many people will see them admittedly but every time you do you will smile.
  • Take a walk, with friends, to a local pub that has an open fire, order food and a tasty beverage and enjoy a good catchup.
  • Re-organize your living space to become a cosy haven – think soft blankets, twinkly fairy lights, candles, cushions – anything you associate with cosy.

Blogtober 30th

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Its the 30th of October which means it is also the thirtieth day of Blogtober! Today I am answering my questions based on 29th October.

  • What made me feel enthusiastic today?

I had downloaded a new audiobook and I felt really enthusiastic to have something different to listen to in work today.  Normally I listen to podcasts or true-life things but today I had “Lies” by T.M Logan to listen to which is a fictional story.

  • What drained me of energy?

Having interruptions in work today that stopped me from doing what I needed to, even for a short while, drained me of energy in work today.  I find that if I break my concentration when I’m in the middle of something it can be really hard work to get back into doing the task again and seems to take me an age to get back into the swing of what I was doing.

  • What did I learn about myself today?

I learned that I work best when I focus on one task at a time, not only that but I feel that I do my best work when I am totally focused, immersed and engaged with what I am doing.  I seem to take more care and make fewer mistakes.