How to fall in love… with yourself

Lao Tzu quote

We live in a world where finding “The One” is more important than finding yourself, when in reality, it should be the other way around. I think it’s starting to be higher on our priorities now more than ever, but there’s still work to be done.

We are all familiar with the typical things we say to ourselves when we’re feeling low. I’m fat. I’ll never good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’ll never be able to do that job. My writing sucks. My art sucks. I suck.

Stop. Seriously.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so guilty of doing this. Sometimes I wake up and feel great, like I can take on the world. And other days, I feel ugly and boring and so far from who I want to be.

But what makes me think any of the things about me are bad? What is beautiful? Smart? Exciting? Brave? Fun?

It’s different for everyone. So on that note, let’s jump in.

Practice positive self-talk

This will always be number one because it’s the most important lesson of all. Next time you’re having a bad day, listen to the things you’re saying to yourself.

I know this is going to sound cliché, but if your friend was saying nasty things about herself/himself, would you stand there and agree? No! You’d probably give them a long speech about how awesome, gorgeous, fun, smart and amazing they are. So why the heck don’t we say that to ourselves when we’re blue?

Write down what you love. Put it on a post it. Hang it on your bedside table, mirror or by your door so it’s the first thing you see before you start your day. If you’re not feeling fab, remember, you are your own best friend, so treat yourself like one. Don’t worsen the pain by calling yourself mean things. Pep yourself up.

Did you know, if you buy two of the same plant, give it the same amount of sun and water and care, but you say hate to one plant and loving things to another, the hate one will die faster? Don’t kill your soul. Be nice.

Appreciate other people’s qualities, but don’t compare yourself

“There’s room for everyone.”

This is another big one. There’s nothing wrong with thinking someone is admirable or gorgeous. And just because they are those things, doesn’t mean you aren’t. Nobody’s success takes away from your own. Nobody’s magic takes away from your magic. There’s room for everyone. So love that person up and then do the same for yourself.

Do things that make you feel happy and empowered

If you’re not feeling your best, then do something about it. Do something comforting if you’re anxious, sad, self-conscious. Exercise, cook, go out with your friends.

If you’re bored with your life, take that class you’ve always wanted to try, apply to that job. Take a risk.

“Your confidence will soar if you put yourself first sometimes.”

Just do something. You have control over your life even when it feels chaotic. It starts in your mind and changes when you take action. Some things take longer to change, but you’re never going to move forward or feel better if you keep doing what you’re doing. Practice self-care and go get what you want. Your confidence will soar if you put yourself first sometimes.

And remember, you can’t take care of your loved ones if you’re constantly low on fuel.

Don’t try to fit in

We have this notion in our minds that if we’re different, something is wrong with us. But how boring would life be if you met the same, cookie cutter person all the time? We’d be miserable.

I’m convinced the world would literally end because we need different people to make shit happen. Sounds dramatic, but think about it. If we all liked the same look, we’d be fighting over the same person. If we all had the same skill, this world would be seriously one dimensional and a lot of things would fail. We wouldn’t make much progress.

The point is, you will make a difference because there is nobody like you. Isn’t that great?

At the end of the day, we need to stop the emotional violence that takes control of our mind, body and soul. Replace it with positivity and kindness. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing something for you. You’ll be a better friend, mother, father, lover, etc.

And the best part? You’ll find yourself falling in love with the wonderful, brave and amazing you.

My latest skincare review

Skincare brands

Self-care is so important. And one way to do that is to take care of your skin. I’ve always been into finding the perfect cleanser and creams but recently, I’ve started to indulge even more. Here are some reviews for my latest finds.

Simple Water Boost skincare line

Price: £6.99

Let me start off by saying, this review is going to be a little long. I’m not listing these in any particular order, but man, for the price, this skincare line really works and deserves a top spot. Not only is the price tag small, but my very sensitive Scandinavian skin LOVES this line.

I decided to try it last winter because I suffer from dry flaky skin in colder months. The first product I fell in love with was the Simple Water Boost Hydrating Booster. You put this on the dry spots on your face, or all over, and follow it up with your normal moisturiser. I immediately saw a difference. Most of the time I didn’t have any flaky skin, and if I did, it was way less severe than normal. Plus, it didn’t break me out and the ingredients are, well, simple and very gentle.

In September, I had my very first facial. The facialist mentioned I needed to get a more hydrating night cream because my cheeks were dry. My bank account and my super sensitive skin put their guard up as I searched the internet for night creams and saw endless high price tags. When I popped into Boots one day, I noticed the Simple Water Boost Sleeping Cream – £6.99. I tried it and – no more dry skin! No nasty breakouts! Just hydrated, supple, clear skin. And I haven’t had a single dry patch on my face all winter – even when I went back to snowy Connecticut and the temperature was well below freezing. Life saver.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet Mask

Price: £1.99

Garnier sheet masks are easy, cooling, hydrating inventions that I just can’t get enough of. My personal favourite is the Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet Mask which contains pomegranate extract, hyaluronic acid and plant serum. After one use, you can see a difference, and it doesn’t cause breakouts or weird rashes! There are various sheet masks to choose from depending on your skin needs. My favourite time to use them is in the summer because they stay icy cold without having to put them in the fridge – it’s a perfect way to cool down and relax.

Bioderma Micellar Water Hydrabio H2O

Price: £5.20 (100ml), £10.80 (250ml), £15.80 (500ml) or £12 (2 x 250ml)

Although the Simple Water Boost line is one of my favourite finds over the past year, this Bioderma Micellar Water is my favourite in the past couple of months. It’s so gentle yet gets every bit of make up off without irritating my skin. It doesn’t create that dry, tight feeling. It’s step one in my skincare routine every day and I love how clean and hydrated it leaves me.

I know there are knock-off brands like Garnier and Simple, but for some reason this one reacts best with my skin. A little goes a long way – it’s worth it.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Price: £8 (60ml) or £15 (177ml)

I’m sure you’ve seen this cleanser all over social media. Let’s be honest, Glossier’s marketing is spot on and the hype over this brand is real. So when I ordered some of their makeup and got this cleanser as a sample, I fell in love.

The texture is like jelly but it never goes foamy, it smells slightly of rose, but not overpowering, and it’s super gentle. It doesn’t break me out and it leaves my skin feeling so clean and soft. Because the consistency remains jelly-like, it’s perfect for giving yourself a little facial massage in the morning or evening.

I use this in the morning and then use a salicylic acid based cleanser at night to help keep breakouts at bay. I used to use a salicylic cleanser both morning and night and had good results. However, since swapping out one wash with this gentle cleanser, my skin has been even better. It’s balanced and blemish free (except for the occasional hormonal breakout). I strongly recommend this! Plus, the price tag isn’t too bad compared to some other popular skincare lines – especially since Glossier is a cult classic right now.

Aqua Réotier Fresh Moisturising Mist

Price: £15 (50ml)

I bought this last summer to boost hydration and keep me feeling cooled and refreshed during the day. I didn’t notice any massive difference with hydration, but it definitely is refreshing.

The scent is a bit strong, so if you’re sensitive to fragrance, I’d avoid this. And to be honest, something in this broke me out. It doesn’t seem to bother my neck and chest area so I still use it there when I’m feeling over heated (can’t waste it), but considering the amount of product you get and the higher price tag, I’d say skip this one. Sorry L’Occitane!

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

Price: £8.90 (30ml)

The Ordinary is an amazing brand that skips the over-priced marketing BS and gives you what you want for a few quid. And this particular serum was really nice! I have to say, it made my skin glow like crazy and I noticed a difference really quickly.

But annoyingly, it did break me out. Surprise, surprise.

As mentioned before, my skin is so sensitive so I don’t blame the brand or even the product for this one because it really did seem to do what it said it would. I still use it on my neck and chest as it doesn’t irritate me there. Oh how I envy those with high tolerance…

Just to note: I recently order The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane (£10.79) so I’ll follow up with a review shortly. My mom and a few friends are currently using the 2% one and love it – but if you’re new to retinol serums like I am, then I suggest starting off with the lowest percentage and working your way up.

Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer

Price: Approximately £3-4 (60ml)

I know, I know, this isn’t your typical “skincare product” but I’m counting it because I love it.

The lavender scent is to die for and is a nice way to find balance when you’re busy at work and feeling a little anxious. It kills bacteria and bad vibes (wink, wink).

The spray dispenser is great because it makes the product last even longer. I use this all the time and got it in December and I’m barely below the top of the label. I carry it everywhere I go so I stay clean and calm.

You can find this at any organic store like Whole Foods, Planet Organic or online.

Do you have any skincare recommendations? Comment below!

How to become fearless with your writing

….or anything else you love.

A desk with a coffee, flowers, pen and paper. The paper says, "Just do it."

Creating something new to share with the world can be hard. You’ll face criticism, sometimes it will be constructive, other times it won’t be. You might fail. You might succeed. It’s all a guessing game. But let’s not forget the positives and how to stay focused.

Don’t aim to please

This is a big one. As a writer, there’s always someone telling me to change something because they didn’t like it. I’m not talking about workshopping and passing on helpful feedback – that’s a God send. I’m talking about the people who want to change you and your craft to match their needs, not yours and potentially everyone else’s.

But have you ever thought, maybe they’re just not your target audience?

I have a friend who is a painter. She paints beautiful moody pictures with dark colours and wistful strokes. But when she showed her friend, she was quickly met with, “Why don’t you paint happier pictures? These are too dark.”

That, my friends, is an opinion. That is not constructive, and it’s potentially hindering the artist’s individual style. One that might actually make them stand out and become successful in the future.

Why don’t I write happier stories? Because that’s not what it’s about.

David Bowie once said, “All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience.” I couldn’t agree more. Anytime someone shared only their opinion, without constructive criticism, it would have potentially killed my writing if bent to their words.

If you tried to alter your original idea to meet someone else’s expectations, it could soon become inauthentic and weak. Staying true to your gut will automatically make it more genuine, and in the long run, more successful.

Your intention will reach other people who relate, but that’s only possible if you believe in your own craft.

Just because someone doesn’t click with your style or idea, doesn’t mean it should change. I’ve met so many people who decided to not pursue their passion for fear of being disliked, but the only person they hurt was themselves.

Think about it this way: trends happen because something new and exciting has come about. That new show you love? It had an original story line. That book you can’t put down? It was a refreshing take on a classic.

Why do you think the new thing you want to introduce to the world will fail? Why do we think if something isn’t popular right now, then people will hate it?

That trend used to be something new and unpopular. It became a trend because people loved it. Just like they could love you and your idea.

Just do it

I’m sure many of you have seen the video of Shia LeBouf screaming, “Just do it!” If you haven’t, here’s a link.

This is how loved ones feel when you second-guess yourself. Frustrated. You want to know why they’re frustrated? Because they believe in you.

The only way you’re going to make this happen for yourself is if you just do it.

Scared that what you write is going to be crap? Just get it on paper and then edit it. Workshop it. Get support from loved ones and other writer friends. People who want you to succeed will help you.

If you go to a constructive workshop for your writing, it doesn’t matter if your story isn’t their style, they will help you shape it to something even stronger, without tainting your intentions.

Scared that your idea isn’t good enough? If you start working on it, it will grow. A first draft is never perfect, but that’s part of the process. That is a stepping stone to something better.

Remember, you’ll start with an idea and then after a few drafts, it will bloom. It will become complex and moving and beautiful. So, why stop before you even reach that step?

Just do it!

Educate yourself

If you’re a writer, write and read as much as possible. If you’re a painter, paint as much as possible. If you’re an IT expert, keep researching and working on your skill.

You can be great at what you do, but there is always something new to learn. And how wonderful is that? No matter how skilled you are, you will always have something to look forward to. You can consistently grow.

Join a class, get a degree, meet up with like-minded people. Practice, practice, practice. Watch YouTube videos, read articles. Buy a masterclass on www.masterclass.com (review coming soon – it’s amazing).

Never stop learning and you’ll always have somewhere to go.

Click here to learn some important life lessons to lead a happy life.

Stop thinking you’re the only one

You’re not the only one trying to chase their dreams. You’re not the only one being rejected or accepted. You’re not the only one who feels like everyone they pitch their idea to is annoyed by them. You’re not the only one struggling, failing, getting back up and trying again.

You’re not the only one. So share the experience, keep going, stay humble, be tenacious, fight for what you want and don’t be afraid to keep trying.

At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.