27.06.20 – 16:53pm

So I haven’t worked out for about 5 days which doesn’t seem like much but for someone who’s been working out every day for the past 2 months it’s a lot. I normally stretch out too but I didn’t do that either this week.

Maybe it’s because of the weather being so hot that I just couldn’t workout but it definitely made me feel more stiff, sluggish and I made bad food choices more often too. I don’t eat completely healthy but rather more consciously and try to incorporate more fruit and veg into my meals.

Today the weather’s a bit cooler so I decided to do a quick warmup instead of exercising properly but I couldn’t even do that. So I did my usual stretches instead and it legit felt SO good. I normally stretch daily for about 20 minutes and it’s a combination of Yoga and Pilates I found on YouTube (I’ll link it below). Sometimes I try to meditate for about 5 mins after but haven’t done so in a while so I did that today too. Time goes so slow when you meditate it’s kinda annoying. I haven’t been able to go past 6 mins without getting fidgety and opening my eyes.

The feeling after doing all this made me remember how good it feels and that I should try my best to pick myself up again. I noticed quite a few differences from when I exercise, stretch and meditate regularly than when I didn’t for a few days. This is what happens when I do it regularly:

  • I feel more energised
  • Get better sleep
  • Make healthier eating choices
  • Breathing feels better such as my heart and lungs
  • My bad knees don’t hurt as much when I kneel down
  • Mood is ultimately lifted
  • Scientifically it helps with your blood circulation too
  • Helps with lower back pain
  • It just generally makes me feel more at peace
  • Makes me feel less stiff and more flexible

For those who don’t exercise or simply don’t want to (which is totally fine) I would still recommend you meditate for just 5 minutes a day and try to stretch your body. Meditation is great for practicing stillness when you’re really busy either physically or when there’s too much going on in your mind. Like I said it really slows time down and tests your patience too, especially when we’re used to doing things fast and getting things over with.

Likewise stretching your body takes time as you need to hold each stretch or pose for a few seconds for it to be effective. It’s great for improving blood circulation, flexibility and easing tension from your muscles. It really opens up your chest where your probably hunched over most of the time. It also forces your arms and legs to go against the natural force of gravity since you rarely lift them up over your head.

I used to think it was a little cliché that everyone who has a lifestyle/productivity channel on YouTube encouraged viewers to eat healthy, exercise, mediate, journal, sleep early etc. But in reality it really does work and it’s all been proven scientifically to reduce stress, anxiety and keep your body feeling energised.

I hope you can try and incorporate atleast one of these things into your daily routine. It really does improve your quality of life since you’re treating your mind and body better. It’s something we can easily forget to do so don’t worry if you don’t do any of these already.

As always, thanks for reading! Xx


Nicole Kastoun (25 min full body stretch) – https://youtu.be/X5mR2UbzZ-g

Black. Lives. Matter.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to learn and educate myself on Black Lives Matter and Black history. I’ve read books, watched films and seen documentaries too. But nothing will make me truly understand what Black people go through every single day…because I’m not Black. Yes, I’m a person of colour but I still have certain privileges that Black people don’t.

Seeing how much of history is whitewashed and the amount of ‘white saviours’ who are actually absolute trash is kinda scary. We’re taught such a glorified white version of history and you’d only go on to learn the real truth if you were studying it at A Level or University.

I think the first time I actually learned about this was in GCSE History when we learned how white people took over the land of Native Americans simply because of their own overcrowding in the East (such as New York). Most of this was due to the huge influx of immigrants from Europe – wait so if they settled in America then ya’ll are immigrants too huh.

Not to mention our greatest ancestors (from the prehistoric era) were from Africa before they moved to Europe and Asia. But learning about how the British went to India and Africa (and countless other countries) stole their land, people, culture and artifacts (which they have on display at the British Museum and won’t give back) is absolutely devastating. Just learned about what the British did to the Aboriginal people (Native Australians) too and ugh it’s sickening!

We like to think our communities here are quite mixed in terms of ethnicities but ignore how much racism still exists despite being well integrated. It’s somehow covered up well enough for me not to know anything about actual cases against Black people until the one of Stephen Lawrence came up during high school. And that was only because his killers were finally caught around 19 YEARS later. If they were never caught (with solid evidence) I along with my classmates would never have known.

Without going on for too long (as always) let me just remind you that Black Lives Matter is NOT a trend it’s a movement! I’ve seen so many people show support for a week and then not speak of it again. I’ve also seen a lot of deleted black squares from people who learnt that it’s not going to solve anything. What they should do instead is educate themselves, sign petitions and donate. And they have. I’m happy to say I’ve done all three. There are so many resources we have for free and petitions are all over social media so access is easy. It’s okay if you can’t donate, as long as you continue to show support and use your voice! (Also don’t be pressured to go to a protest either especially in the circumstances we have now)

I haven’t in the past since I didn’t know enough but now I’ll try to use my voice on things that actually matter. Starting with BLM! ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

Thanks for reading! Xx

25.05.20 – 23:55pm

So now that Ramadhan is over I’ve gone back to listening to music 24/7, eating junk food all day and finding new ways to occupy my time again. The last month or so was such a blessed time where I kept most of my fasts, prayed a lot more than usual and was still able to get a quick 10 minute workout in everyday.

Ramadhan went suprisingly well even in lockdown. It was fun praying with my family for the first time and seeing how friends and family kept sending food and gifts as a treat since we couldn’t see each other. Eid was even more special because of this. That went surprisingly well too!

Now that my 30 day ab challenge is over I’m trying to find something new to try. I might give Pilates a go since it’s really good for toning your body. I’m not aiming for weight loss since I’m quite happy with where I am (even though I ate way too much the past the few days – there’s still so much dessert left!) My very very very faint ‘11 line’ abs are still there which just shows that if you workout out consistently then a couple odd days where you treat yourself doesn’t make that much of a difference! As long as you get back to eating like normal that is.

Also I had no time at all to learn Spanish the past month either so I’m hoping to start that again soon. It’s quite an easy language to learn (she says) so I’d definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to learn a new language! ¡Vamos!

I’ve started taking free online courses too so I can brush up on some background knowledge on that new thing I wanna do (from my previous post) so I’ve actually got a lot to do now. I guess I just need to form of routine and try and get everything in. It might look a little like this:

  • 30 mins Morning workout
  • 30 mins Quran – I try to pray certain parts everyday for my own peace of mind
  • 1 hour of FutureLearn (for the online course)
  • YouTube break
  • 30 mins of Spanish (since I want to take notes to try and remember everything)
  • 20 mins reading before bed – definitely helps to fall asleep easier!

It might seem like a lot but it’s only around 3 hours of my day (minus the YouTube part). So I still have a lot of time to myself if I stick to those timings.

It’s a little ramble-y but those are just my late night thoughts trying to plan for the next day. There’ll definitely be days where I don’t stick to any of this and days where I’m on a roll! It usually depends on my mood and motivation which actually changes a lot!

If you’re trying to get back into a routine then I hope this can give you some motivation too! The lockdown definitely gives us more time to get more in during the day but it’s okay if you don’t want to be productive either! I’ve been sleeping a lot most days and eating so unhealthily and it’s made me really lazy. I really hate that sluggish feeling and I want to change that. Then for a while I’ll get back to being lazy! It’s all good, don’t worry.

Thanks for reading! X

Career change

Since graduating last year I’ve been trying to figure out what’s right for me career wise. I knew I didn’t want to do what my degree was in but I had no clue on what I could do instead. I thought I wasn’t good enough at any of my hobbies to make it my career and I didn’t think I was good at anything else either.

Until recently when I watched one of Lavendaire’s videos on YouTube which couldn’t have come at a better time! It’s titled ‘How to figure out what to do with your life: 7 helpful exercises’. (Linked below) The main exercise was a form of Ikigai which is a Japanese concept that can help you to find your purpose or meaning in life. All you have to do is find what you’re good at, what you love doing, what the world needs, what you can be paid for it and find what meets in the middle! Here’s a little diagram to help you understand it better.

The next couple of steps were to visualise your life 3 years from now in every detail possible and write it down. It sort of works as a manifestation as well as a clear goal of you want to achieve. You could then plan out each aspect of your ‘dream life’ and find out how long it will take to achieve it and how much it will cost. I’m trying to do that now!

Since going through this exercise I’ve finally figured out what career I want to go into. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort since I’m starting from zero but it’s definitely a passion of mine and I can’t wait to make it my career! Hopefully I’ll be able to write about it along the way.

Let me know if you use this help you to figure out what you want to do in life too!

Thanks for reading x

16.

I recently took a trip down memory lane and went through my year 11 leavers book. I didn’t think it’d be emotional to look back on but boy was I wrong. It was definitely emotional to see what everyone had written about me. Friends, classmates, teachers and people who I didn’t talk to much but still had something nice to say. It was amazing to see how many people had wished me the best for my future. I think it was just what I needed.

I remember 16 being one of the best years of my life. It’s not like anything too crazy happened. I just remember it being a happy time in my life where lots of small but nice changes happened. And I had a lot of fun! (Wish I could go back)

Looking back has reminded me of my past self but honestly I haven’t changed that much. If anything I’ve grown into the person I’ve always wanted to be. Sort of like bringing my ideal self to life so it’s no longer just inside my head. But that’s still a working progress.

I think 16 was definitely the start of my self-growth journey since for the first time I had chosen what was right for me instead of going along with my friends’ choices. And I didn’t regret it one bit! It made me more confident, independent and more intuitive which meant less self doubt (something I’m still working on).

Ahh 16 definitely was sweet.

I think everyone should look back every now and then especially to see how far you’ve come whenever you doubt yourself. (Or just to have a laugh) It’s definitely given me a bit more motivation! I hope it’ll help you too!

Thanks for reading! Xx

Getting rid of old grudges

Over the past couple of months I’ve found myself talking to people who (in the past) I didn’t like that much or might have even fought with. But now, when I see them doing well I’m genuinely happy for them. I didn’t think I would be. But I am. And that makes me realise how far I’ve come. I’ve long forgotten or forgiven them (and myself) for petty little things which felt so important back then. But they weren’t. Reminds me of how immature I was.

Seeing someone do better than me and feel jealous or that I should do better is definitely not in my mindset anymore. Now I just feel happy, tell them so it makes them happy too, and then move on. Like a little happy virus! (pun intended)

Even for those who I might still be a bit iffy with, I know it might take some time for me to feel this way about them. So for now I’ll just keep my distance, focus on myself and then one day I’ll find myself going back to them and hopefully have something positive to say (and be genuinely happy for their achievements)

I’m glad I’ve grown into someone I’m proud of. Someone who’s not going to feel low or inferior since we’re all running our own race. And I hope this reminds you to slow down too.

Thanks for reading! Xx

Benefits of fasting

Since Ramadhan is coming up I thought I’d go over a few possible benefits that fasting has on us. It’s pretty similar to intermittent fasting where you usually eat for 8 hours and then fast for 16 so the benefits of each are pretty similar.

The first is detox. After a few days of fasting your brain starts to realise that you’re consecutively not eating during most of the day. So it diverts the energy that’s used to digest your food into cleansing and detoxifying your body and can lead to better gut health.

The next is mental health. It’s shown to reduce mental stress and well as strengthening your mind helping you to focus better. I’m sure I’ve had exams while fasting but can’t remember if it helped! Maybe I’ll see if it helps me to remember my Spanish lessons!

It can also lead to a healthier heart as well as reducing blood pressure and keeping sugar levels in check. But of course this is also down to the food you eat while fasting. The same goes for weight loss. If you eat pretty healthily during Ramadhan then you’ll most likely lose weight. A lot of people have the misconception that fasting during Ramadhan will help them lose weight even while eating fried/fast food each night. You’d actually gain a lot instead and it would probably make fasting harder.

Again if we go back to mental health. I believe that if we pray Quran each day and spend some time to learning more about Islam and practicing gratitude, your mind will definitely feel more at peace; hoping to reduce any worries or stress you may have. I definitely think it’s a great time to start these habits in the hope that you’ll carry on for the rest of the year.

Thanks for reading!


Aljazeera- https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2019/05/ramadan-2019-health-benefits-fasting-190505051542870.html

MuslimAid – https://www.muslimaid.org/media-centre/blog/the-benefits-of-fasting/

How my mindset has changed

The past year or so I’ve gone through huge changes in my mindset which has definitely made my life much more simpler and happier. Since this post would be waaay too long even if I try and break it up, I’ll stick to 5 ways my mindset has changed for now. So here goes:

1. Money is precious, spend it wisely. Or in simpler terms, stop buying stuff you don’t need! I don’t want to buy things for immediate gratification that I’ll forget about later. If I’m using money well earned then I’ll try and spend it well, not on things I don’t value. E.g I’ll only buy new clothes if I really need it, not just because it’s on trend or it looks cute. Chances are I won’t wear it much and I’ll keep wearing the same 3 outfits everyday.

2. I’ll workout because I want to, not because I have to. We often think if we eat a lot of junk food we should workout to burn it off. Or that we need to workout everyday (or as frequent as you can) to lose or gain weight…or just to stay fit and healthy. But that mindset can often make you feel guilty when you don’t workout since you’ll end up relating that to what you ate. I used to think that too. But now I workout because it makes me feel good, more energised and more happy. I don’t have a goal weight or any sort of target I want to achieve. Just stronger and happier. And that makes all the difference since it becomes part of your lifestyle and you actually enjoy working out! (The same thing goes with my eating habits)

3. Doing something alone isn’t weird. Infact, I prefer it sometimes. I used to be the type of person who wouldn’t go anywhere alone. But the more independent I got the more I loved it! I realised that we hardly spend time with ourselves and you should learn to love your own company. Without listening to music and without scrolling through your phone the whole time. I used to think I couldn’t go watch a film, or go do an activity alone. Now it’s all I want to try since most of the time it gets left out when you’re waiting for someone else to join. I think everyone should try and remove that stigma within themselves but I guess that goes as you grow older.

4. My phone is literally just that…a phone. You use it to communicate and that’s about it. It shouldn’t become your life. Yet I spend upto 6 hours on my phone daily! That’s a long time! I don’t even use it to call that many people when that should be it’s main use. Maybe it’s because of my ‘phone anxiety’ but that’s definitely getting better since I’ve been making more calls recently. I deleted all the apps I don’t need and restricted my notifications too (keeping messages on my lockscreen and social media on the home page). I’m definitely taking back control!

5. Just do it! I found myself saying this more and more recently. I get loads of anxiety anytime I try something new even if it’s something simple like cooking or driving. But now I say just do it! What could possibly go wrong! (yeah a lot of things) I try to tame that fear and 99% of the time I get through it without any issues! Things are definitely a lot worse in your head, so you just have to reassure yourself that it’ll be okay. Treat your mind like a friend and tell them that everything’s gonna be okay. (You got this!)

There’s definitely a lot more but like always it’ll have to be for another time. Let me know your thoughts and if you want a ‘changes in my everyday life’ kinda post.

Thanks for reading! x

How going to the gym made me more confident. Part 2

Following on from my previous post…ah yes the strength training.

Honestly, it didn’t cross my mind at all that I would be lifting weights. But here I am starting from the very lightest weight trying not to look too embarrassed. (Just remember that everyone started out that way and it might make it better) You don’t want to strain yourself by jumping in with bigger weights. But actually, the best thing to do is to practice with just your bodyweight. Then the lightest. Then work your way up and you’ll be strong as hell before you know it!

I’ve done Pilates before (Blogilates ay up) and it’s great for toning up your body but using weights is a completely different story. The amount of confidence you feel when you get past your personal best is amazing! (Yes you can do that with just about any sort of exercise but this makes you even more confident since it’s really heavy weights) You’d think heavy lifting is just for men but when you see so many strong women outlifting them it honestly makes you feel so proud! #girlpower

Also the whole weightlifting thing would mean I was in the area of the gym which is always filled with men. (And not in the best way since it’s smelly and sweaty) It was definitely really intimidating at first but the stronger I got the less I cared. I just focused on myself. I think growing up I’ve always thought my best self would be when I lost a bit of weight and was in my ideal health and body. But the more I lifted, the more I ate. The total opposite, yet the best I’ve ever left!

I completely understood those who lost loads of weights and gained it all back because they were unhappy even though they looked amazing! I also learnt that when I didn’t see results straight away (as you shouldn’t) but felt great and happy. How it made you feel was a lot more important than how it made you look. Though looks are a huge factor in this too but you’ll care less eventually. By that I mean you’ll stop picking out your flaws or try to cover them up. It’s a long process.

There’s definitely some science-y, chemical imbalance-y things that are a part of this too but all I know is that exercise releases endorphins and that endorphins make you happy. (Got that from Legally Blonde and Elle Woods is absolutely right!)

The point is, I’m gonna have to make a part 3. There’s so much more I want to say. Let me know if you’d like a whole series including workouts!

Thanks for reading! x


Blogilates – https://www.youtube.com/user/blogilates

Daily habits

Even though our days our getting longer and the weather’s getting better, we’re still stuck inside without much to do. This whole lockdown situation has given us so much more free time but not everyone can spend it however they want.

Fortunately I have loads of time to myself so I’m able to do the things I can’t normally do on a normal day. I’m trying not to waste so much time and actually be productive. But I know for a lot of you, it’s taken a huge toll on your mental health, so don’t feel like you need to do any of these. Everyone’s taking it differently but these are some of the habits I’ve been trying to practice lately.

First I’m trying to exercise every day (or every other day) with a quick FaceTime workout for extra motivation! It’s really important to get your body moving, especially if you’re sat at a desk (or bed) all day. Even though we can’t go out much, we can still excerise indoors and honestly it’s kinda easier. Going out to the gym takes a lot more effort!

If you don’t like exercising, you can do a quick yoga routine or even have a little dance party! Anything to keep you moving and it has great benefits for you both physically and mentally.

Next I’ve been trying to read more. I have loads of books piled up but hardly get a chance to read them. Mostly because I’m lazy. Currently I’m reading Demian by Hermann Hesse and it’s really hard to explain what it’s about so I’ll leave it right there! I haven’t picked up a book in so long I honestly forgot how it felt to see the story and characters in my head.

I’ve also been trying to pick up a new language. I say this a lot but I like learning commonly used words in different languages. I learnt a few in Japanese and lost a little bit of interest so I’m moving on to Spanish. I’ll go back eventually! This happens a lot! I think specially now since we have so much time it’s perfect to pick up a new skill, hobby or language. For hobbies, I try to paint but somehow still don’t have enough time! For skills, you could learn an instrument if you have one or pick up some cool editing skills. I actually need to learn myself.

I’ve also been watching a lot of Ted-Ed’s on YouTube and now my whole life feels like a lie. There’s so many things you learn at school which you find out later that it’s either not what actually happened or there’s so much more to the story. Like who knew there were so many Cleopatra’s?? I thought there was only one!

Anyway, I’m quite privileged to even have all this time to wonder and delve into new things. A lot of people are stuck in tiny one bed apartments all alone feeling so isolated and I should be glad I have my family with me (no matter how annoying). There’s a lot of people in poverty who can’t abide by the social distancing rules since everyone lives so close together. They can’t get food or medicine either and here we are hoarding anything we can lay our hands on. Though our community spirit and increasing appreciation for our NHS, key workers, supermarket staff and delivery people is definitely a bonus!

Thanks for reading!


Ted-Ed YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDEducation