Lifestyle

  • How to avoid the Toxic Positivity trap!

    There is absolutely no denying right now that the hype around positivity, self-love and personal development is huge, and for good reason! 

    We’re more aware of our own mental health demons and with modern day life being such a ever increasing minefield, we need to build up that positivity muscle!

    I’m forever sharing how Personal Development has literally changed the game for me. I recently shared some of the books I credit to having an impact on that in my post Personal Development & Mindset Books to up-level your life!

    But that’s not to say I didn’t struggle with it at times! 

    Toxic Positivity: what is it?

    I’d go to events and read books, where I’d feel like I was just being told to think positive ALL of the time:

    If something good happens, be grateful and think positive!

    If something bad happens, it’s for the greater good so think positive! 

    If you’re having a mediocre time, think positive and it will improve! 

    And this ladies and gents, is what’s known as Toxic Positivity! 

    Psychology Today defines Toxic Positivity as the concept that keeping positive, and keeping positive only, is the right way to live your life. It means only focusing on positive things and rejecting anything that may trigger negative emotions.

    Now, there is something to be said about being able to see the positives in life. However, you also need to experience and be in tune to all of your feelings and all of lifes up’s and down’s. 

    Without feeling the low’s or feeling pain, as awful as they can be, we would never appreciate the highs and the good without them. As with everything, it’s about balance!

    It’s legitimately impossible to be positive 100% of the time. And more to the point, it’s downright unhealthy!! 

    You’ll see me sharing a lot about seeing the good in situations, and trying to uncover the lessons where possible, but at the same time, I highlight my struggles and my down days because there needs to be balance in life. 

    How else can it show up?

    The other way we can participate in Toxic Positivity can be in the forms of how we give advice to others, or how we go about being supportive. 

    Say for example a friend has been struggling with finding a new role recently. They’ve been applying to everything, getting nowhere and really starting to feel shitty about the whole process. 

    Then you come along, with your secure job, regular income and unimpacted life and tell them how ‘It’s all going to be fine’, ‘Something will come up soon’ and to just ‘Stay positive’ 🙃

    Can you see how triggering that may be to someone who is finding the exact opposite?

    What may be more beneficial is to understand their circumstances better, offer to pass their CV to your own HR Department and to seek ways in which you can assist in their search! 

    We need to be aware of our own ways of deflecting and minimising other people’s feelings in order to protect our own. 

    Toxic Positivity can also be used to mask other things; such as what you’re truly feeling. 

    If things have got tough, but you want to maintain to your outside world that everythings OK, you may cover up these feelings with enhanced levels of positivity. 

    As a way to downplay the pain, or perhaps shame, that you may be feeling, it’s not uncommon to be more positive than ever so as not to share what’s going on inside, or even as a way to feel like you’re not bringing others down. 

    Suppressing your emotions can lead to stress and physical reactions within the body so it is far better to unleash whatever it is that you’re feeling and start to deal with it piece by piece as you may find that it’s actually easier to deal with than you imagined! 

    If you are particularly struggling with this , it’s worth connecting with the guys at Mind. They’re available for support to help you move forward.

    How can we manage it?

    Learning to manage our feelings plays a big part in this too. 

    We’re becoming conditioned to believe that any form of negative feeling relates to a mental health issue. 

    The slightest bit of anxiety and we’re self-diagnosing! Plot twist: anxiety is a totally normal reaction! When we feel we’re under threat or we feel worried, tense or afraid, anxiety kicks in. 

    It’s when your anxiety starts having a major impact on your life that it then becomes an issue. If it starts to become a regular occurrence then it should be looked into. 

    But feeling anxious, stressed, concerned about your future etc., is all totally normal and shouldn’t be buried in positive emotions. 

    Trying to unravel the root cause of the problem and how you can resolve it will go further than covering it up with fake positivity. 

    If you are feeling like this and want to find ways to get some clarity, you could try:

    • Journaling what you’re feeling
    • Writing out your gratitude’s
    • Try some self-care exercises
    • Listing everything you’re feeling and putting action points with each one to make progress with it
    • Talk with someone; whether that be a friend or family member, or a professional such as a Doctor, Therapist or Coach

    What action can we take?

    Now is a perfect time to start being super real with yourself; because it’s OK to do that and how I pretty much approach most things! 

    Times are hard right now! We’re spending more time on our phones, we’ve got too much time to think and theres a lot of negativity doing the rounds. 

    I wrote a post recently on how you can manage your social media experience which you can find here!

    Now is the time for you to take complete ownership of what you consume and how you manage your feelings. Don’t get bogged down with the bullshit, because a lot of what you’re being fed right now is exactly that! But at the same time, don’t overcompensate on positivity to try and block those things out. 

    Just take them for what they are, form your own educated opinion and ‘file it’!

    So look, I am the biggest advocate for a positive life and mindset! What I want you to understand is the difference between genuine optimism and the issues with Toxic Positivity! 

    Seek out the positives in all situations; even if you can’t see it immediately, there usually is something to be taken from it. 

    But don’t harness all other feelings and experiences in favour of only being positive! 

    Let me know in the comments about your experiences with Toxic Positivity and lets carry on the conversation!

    Keep it real homies ✌🏽

    CK x

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  • Life Lessons I wish I knew in my 20’s!

    So I left my twenties for good a couple of years ago and boy was I glad to see the back of those ratchet AF days!!

    I meaaannn what the actual hell was that decade even about?! The highs, the lows and everything in between. 

    Whilst they can contain some of your most fun years, your twenties are without a doubt the biggest rollercoaster on your emotional wellbeing for sure! 

    Because you feel like you’re kinda grown; you’ve left school, perhaps gone to Uni or moved out, started making your own paper and got some responsibilities. 

    But at the same time, you’re not 100% sure how to boil an egg, have no idea what’s going on with your pension and still rely on your old girl to do your washing!

    Aside from the practical things, there are also tons of life lessons that you discover during that timeframe that help you to get a better understanding of what is life, and how to evolve into the next phase stronger and wiser! 

    I feel like in your 20’s, you need a ‘big sister’; whether that be an actual big sister or just someone close to you to help you navigate those turbulent years!

    Someone who will give you really good advice, wipe away your tears when you no doubt fuck up and help you get back on track to become your best damn self! 

    Well, guess what ladies, you are in LUCK because I am here today to give you my best pieces of advice that I wish I’d had in my armour back then! 

    So let’s get to it, here are the life lessons I wish I knew in my 20’s:

    Stop spending money you don’t have to impress people you don’t know!

    Probably one of my favourite quotes and the biggest life lesson I ever did learn…albeit a little too late 🙊 oops! 

    I grew up around people who were all about the designer labels. I mean, kids would wear Ben Sherman shirts, Moschino jeans and Patrick Cox loafers to school – now if that doesn’t SCREAM 90’s boujee fashion, I don’t know what does! 

    But it was everywhere, and I truly think it played a massive part in my money story as I grew up. I used to believe that I needed to have expensive things for people to treat me a certain way. I guess I didn’t want people to think I was poor, even though I was putting a lot of my designer stuff on the credit card so effectively, the money wasn’t even mine in the first place! 

    I was literally putting myself into debt so that strangers thought good of me. Now…just think about this for a second. Do you remember the last stranger you walked past today? How about yesterday? Do you remember what you thought about them?! EXACTLY! So spend your money for YOU – forget about anyone else! 

    Your weight does not define you!

    Trust me when I say, it is going to go up and down for LIFE! I spent all of my teens and most of my 20’s a consistent size 6/8, around 9 stone and able to literally eat whatever the hell I wanted! 

    And then I turned like 26 and things started to change! My figure has progressively changed and my weight has continually increased ever since and I’m over trying to second guess it now! 

    But we’re oh so conscious of our bodies during our twenties and we let it take over the entire narrative sometimes when it’s such a small part of who we are. Like how would you describe your best friend? Would her weight be in that description? No! 

    As long as you are healthy and comfortable, focus on the more important things. But also, learn to dress for your shape. I have big thighs and knees but a small waist so I accentuate my figure by wearing a certain style of clothing. This helps me feel a lot more comfortable and get on with the bigger things in life so that my weight or body shape isn’t constantly on my mind holding me back. 

    Other peoples opinions of you are NOT your problem!

    This kinda leads on nicely actually because, a lot of what concerns us, is actually nothing to do with ‘us’. We stress and we get down on ourselves because we are worrying about what other people think about us or what they think about what we’re doing. 

    But it’s worth bearing in mind, that what someone else thinks of you, shouldn’t be on your radar. Peoples opinions are formed and based on their own perspective. So for example, if someone is judging your figure, it’s not because there’s something ‘wrong’ with your figure, it’s because their thoughts on what defines a good or bad figure has caused them to form an opinion; whatever that may be (side note: we always assume it’s the worst when we have NO idea!). 

    Another example would be if someone judges your choice of career. That’s based on their own train of thought of what would be right for THEM; not you. 

    Essentially, what I’m trying to say is that people’s opinions have a hell of a lot more to do with their lives and their experiences than it has to do with you at all. As the saying goes, ‘opinions are like arseholes…everyone’s got one’! So stop letting them be your problem!

    Don’t stress yourself out deciding on a perfect career!

    Hi, I’m Char! I’m 32 and still have NO idea what I want to do when I grow up!! 🙋🏽‍♀️

    And that’s OK because we don’t need to have it all figured out! In an ideal world, yes, we’d have a good idea of what we were going to do from a professional perspective. But we also don’t know all of the options out there most of the time which makes choosing something and sticking to it all the more difficult!

    After working full time for (gulp) 18 years already, I have a pretty good understanding of my strengths and what I enjoy, but giving that a job title….not as easy! 

    My advice is just to do what feels right. If you’re in a job that may not set your soul on fire but you enjoy and you’re happy, stick with it! If you’re unhappy and not sure on your next move, take time to establish what you want from a role, what you’re good at and what you enjoy then use to start searching for companies, roles or industries that align. It will probably take time to piece it all together but once you have your foundation, you’ll have something to build upon. 

    Stop comparing yourself to strangers on the internet!

    We’re all guilty of it, right? We see that girl always enjoying the finer things in life, has an abundance of time to herself and just seems to basically spend her days taking pics for the gram of her oh-so-fabulous life 😒. Ugh – I get it. 

    But we don’t know the backstory. Remember the internet isn’t real life, it’s the ‘reel life’. No one’s posting their failures. People aren’t out here showing the bad, only what ‘looks’ good! 

    A lot of the time, people have grafted to get what they have. Whilst they may look like an overnight success, that rarely is the case. Just because they’re in their early twenties, doesn’t mean they haven’t put the work in also. It just means they jumped on their own wave early doors and managed to take advantage perhaps quicker than some others. 

    But everyone is out here on their own path. There’s no rule book that says life has to be lived in a particular order so just because you’re at one stage and they’re at another, doesn’t mean one person is ahead. 

    I know I often struggle with feeling like I should have a lot more of my shit together right now because I’m still single, have no kids, salaries good but not where I would have expected it to be after all these years working and so on. And then I think, but I’m a homeowner, I have a nice car, I’ve travelled to some cool places and these are all things that other people may look at me for and think ‘I wish I had that’ or ‘She’s so lucky to live like that’ whilst I’m out here thinking the exact same about someone else! 

    So we all just need to stay in our lane, and when we see someone living the lifestyle we desire or has the things we want, just think if ‘she can make it happen then so can I’, because girl, ain’t nobody out here with no god damn superpowers so it is 100% achievable to you too!

    I also wrote a blog post about how to improve your social media experience which you can check out if this resonates. 

    So look, these are just a few of the life lessons I wanted to share with you guys to hopefully help you put a bit of perspective on a few of the day to day struggles we come across. 

    We all have so many things we discover every day though so please do share some of your own life lessons below or pop me a message if you’d prefer as I’d love to hear them!

    Until next time people, keep it real ✌🏽 x

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  • A letter to my younger self

    I’ve recently been giving this blog a lot of thought. Why am I doing this? What do I want to gain from it? How can it serve others?

    I realised I wanted it to serve as a platform to share the things I wish I’d known in my 20’s and to have you guys along with me for the ride as I learn how to deal with life in my 30’s!

    I aim to be the voice you never knew you needed to hear! Sharing my life lessons and struggles with you in real time, but also those that have happened to help you if you find you’re going through something similar!

    Something I felt called to do over the past couple of days is to write a letter to my younger self. I wish I could let her know everything would start to change for the better. And whilst life is still far from perfect, it’s still an incredible improvement on what it was!

    So to kick this off, here is a letter to the me from 10 years ago:

    Hey 22 year old Char,

    What a decade it’s been! Neither of us could have ever imagined the journey we’d end up on and how things would change so dramatically, yet so organically.

    As I write this to you, you’re going through a major upheaval and life shift. You’re single after a 3 year relationship, you’ve moved back home to Mums, you’re in a job you hate and all you want to do is go out!

    Going out is life right now; you’ve vowed to make the most of your new found freedom after sacrificing your early 20’s for “love” and the only way you know how to do that is going out and getting absolutely shitfaced on your credit card because you’re absolutely brassic!!

    It upsets me how much you can’t stand being in your own company but let me tell you now, 10 years later, you love nothing more than spending time on your own to reflect and embrace in your own passion projects.

    It took some time to realise but you go out to seek validation from others; to feel like part of something and to take away from the fact that you really don’t like your life as it is, because you have no idea how to make it any better.

    Those constant feelings you have of loneliness, anger, upset, trauma…they’ll become the things that make you stronger and allow you to be able to help others.

    You have every right to feel the way you feel. The loneliness is real girl; you’ve not yet found your place in the world as you don’t know who you are. You’re different to others and you always have been and so forcing yourself to fit in isn’t going to serve you. Embrace your differences. Understand what makes you different and revel in those traits because they’re what make you so special.

    The anger is one we’re still trying to understand the root cause of I’ll be completely honest. You’ve spent so long already being angry, and you’ve got a few more years to go before you start actively working on that but what I can tell you, is it’s only yourself that your punishing by harbouring those feelings. They’re deep-rooted and I fully understand you want to change, but just know, you’ll eventually reach a time where you discover a way to start releasing that pain.

    The experiences you’ve been through and all that you go through in the coming years, will all piece together eventually to allow you to empathise with others and help them to navigate their own lives by using your challenges to give back.

    Char, do you remember the times you used to absolutely sob because things would forever go wrong? You’d be let down by ‘friends’ at the last minute constantly. You’d always be passed over for the jobs you knew you’d absolutely smash. You’d be rejected by guys with no real understanding as to what you’d done wrong. You just couldn’t seem to catch a break and felt like you were running on a hamster wheel getting absolutely nowhere.

    You cried so god damn frequently, and you didn’t deserve to feel so much hurt and pain. I hate that you used to scratch at your wrists; wanting to feel pain but not wanting to actually go through with anything serious because you always felt deep down that this was the last time you’d feel this way. In a couple of years time, you’ll finally feel comfortable enough to try to explain to someone how you feel, and their response will be that you may be bi-polar. And even though it makes some kind of sense, you won’t do anything with that because mental health doesn’t start to be talked about for years after that.

    But if you’d have had the support network back then, friends you could have talked to, resources to utilise, who knows how life may have changed for the better.

    What I do want you to know though, is the biggest success story to come out of all of this, is the work you’ll start to put in to yourself is what will serve you the most.

    All the designer shit is irrelevant so stop buying it! Honestly, who cares whether people think you’ve got money or not?

    Going out and getting smashed 5 nights a week isn’t going to give you the friendships or relationship you’re looking for either so you can knock that on the head an all because all you’re doing is wasting time and getting yourself a reputation.

    But once you start focusing on yourself, over time, you’ll start to become the person you’ve always wanted to be! We’re not quite there yet but this is an on-going journey and things are ever evolving. But the tears these days are minimal. The pain you used to feel in your heart no longer exists. The need to be accepted has been replaced with self-acceptance and self-love.

    Some things you can keep there in your 20’s as we’re not so keen on them in the 30’s life 😂:

    • Negative self-talk. You’re literally feeding the pain by constantly talking shit on yourself. Stop that and you’ll really notice a difference in your overall being.
    • Feeling like the people who treated you bad deserve to feel bad too. Forget them Char; they’re honestly not worth the space in your brain. Karma will do it’s job when the time is right.
    • Believing that all of the bad things you experience are your fault. Honestly, they’re not. Sometimes life is just a bitch and once you start to see what good is around you, you’ll notice it more and start to see the ‘bad’ for what it really is.

    Just hang on in there girl because you’re about to go through a major shift! I promise you every single second will be worth it if you stick with it.

    I love you so much and I’m so glad that things are about to change for you because for all you’ve been through, you deserve it.

    Char, aged 32 x

    I hope that from this you feel like you know me a little better and also, I hope that some of you can take something from this to help in your own life.

    This blog is as much for me as it is for you so if there’s content you want me to include, please do comment below, drop me a message or DM me on Insta x

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  • Personal Development and Mindset Books to up-level your life!

    This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you click on a link and purchase something I recommend, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps keep my website up and running and is very appreciated. Thank you for your support!

    Reading has become a real passion of mine again recently. When I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with books! Like literally, you’ve never seen a child be so excited to go to the library as I used to be 😂

    Books were a form of escapism for me. They took me to a different place. Helped build my imagination. Showed me possibilities. Developed my vocabulary. 

    These days, they help me to learn, to grow, to understand myself and others better. They help me to become a better human and they challenge me to keep pushing myself for a bigger and better life. 

    Typically when I read these days, it’s for self-improvement. My book of choice tends to be ‘self help’ books (I prefer to use the terms ‘Personal Development’ or ‘Mindset’ to describe them though!). For me, they’re the cheapest, most easily accessible way to improve and enhance the person you are today.

    The journey of improving your mindset and working on yourself is one that never ends. Like, one personal development book can for sure change the game for you but as you evolve, you need to keep utilising the tools and resources to keep that continual evolution in play!

    So here I’ve listed some of the books I’ve read over the past few years that have really had a lasting impact on the person I am today and the way that I approach life:

    Good Vibes, Good Life – Vex King {Aff}

    I had to start with the legend that is Vex King! This book is an absolute perfect starting place for anyone yet to enter the world of Mindset/Personal Development. It’s an easy read but it really gets you in the feels! You’ll get to understand more about self-love, the Law of Attraction and how to make positive changes in your life to really live it to the fullest! 

    It’s one that I’ve read 3 times in a year and no doubt I’ll keep going back to it! 

    Self-Love & Spiritual Alchemy – Dani Watson {Aff}

    I really liked this book because it starts out with a couple of exercises to help you understand your limiting beliefs and how you can transform them which I found really powerful. There are also exercises throughout the book to put what you’ve read into action. 

    Dani talks you through her own journey from an unsatisfying career in law to discovering her passion in coaching! It’s inspiring and she shares the mindset tools she uses to live the life she used to only dream of! There’s a lot about the Law of Attraction in this book too and how you can use it to achieve your goals! 

    You are a Badass / You are a Badass at Making Money – Jen Sincero {Aff}

    I’ve grouped these together as they’re by the same author but You are a Badass is focused on how to live your best life and You are a Badass at Making Money helps you reset a poor money mindset! 

    If you like my style of writing, you’ll totally relate to Jen Sincero too! She’s real, no bullshit and tells it like it is! It’s spiritual, high vibe, funny and relatable! 

    In You are a Badass, she too talks about self-sabotaging beliefs, self-love and gratitude. There’s also a chapter focused on improving your perception of your own self-worth and it’s worth grabbing a copy of this book for that chapter alone! 

    You are a Badass at Making Money is essentially a step-by-step guide to uncovering your money demons, how to understand them for what they are and then how to start having a more positive relationship with money. Once you’ve improved your money mindset, check out my Boujee Budgeting strategy that got me out of my £1000 overdraft!

    Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis {Aff}

    No, it’s not about skincare or how to keep yourself clean! This book is all about putting those lies we tell ourselves to bed at last! Where we think we should be in life, how we think we should act, how much we should weigh…all of these thoughts have a habit of consuming us and Rachel Hollis breaks these down to show that we all just need to be focusing on ourselves and our own journey!

    Another no-holds-barred classic that packs a punch!

    The Secret / The Power / The Magic – Rhonda Byrne {Aff}

    No list would be complete without The Secret! It’s like the Holy Grail when it comes to mindset and manifestation! Covering the basics of the Law of Attraction, it highlights how thoughts become things and how you can co-create with the Universe to be, do and have all that you want!

    But…personally, I found The Power and The Magic SO much more powerful and they’re totally underrated! 

    The Power talks all about how having more love in your heart and in your life is the key to a fulfilled and happy life! Relating it to money, relationships, health and your overall life, The Power really encourages you to build a more rounded existence.

    The Magic is a 28-day gratitude challenge and gives you tasks to complete every day. It’s a great way to learn how to incorporate more gratitude into your life aside from writing them down in the mornings or evenings. 

    So these are my personal go-to’s from the world of personal development and mindset! The ones that have truly had an impact on me and that I recommend to friends all the time! Which one’s have you read? Which ones are you going to check out? And do you have any you would add? 

    Let me know in the comments below or pop me a message on the ‘gram

    Keep evolving ladies…the best is yet to come x

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