Travelling with anxiety…

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As you can see from the title this is going to be a non bookish post. Mental health is an important topic to me and so I wanted to chat about it with you guys today. I’ve been struggling with anxiety for quite a few years now and although I work on ways to improve myself, it can still can hard at times. So I wanted to talk about how I deal with my anxiety and since I’m going away I thought I’d talk about travelling with anxiety. I’ve tried diazepam as well as herbal remedies but none of them seemed to work. Instead I’ve had to find ways to manage it.
Although I love travelling and seeing new places, the process of getting there fuels a lot of anxiety for me. Normally we would fly to our destination but this year we’re having to do things a little differently. My dad had an eye operation and so he can’t fly, which means that we will be driving and catching ferries to get to Sicily. While flying is definitely more stressful for me, I’m not looking forward to being stuck in a car for a long time. For me, being stuck in one place with no way out isn’t very nice. I know we’re not flying this time but I wanted to make this post anyway. I think it is so important to have an open discussion about this.
Things that work for me:
  • Be organised – I make packing list and get things together in advance.
  • Music – listening to music helps me to settle into my headspace and hopefully shut out whatever is going on around me.
  • Organised bag – I like to have everything I need in my handbag, from my kindle to earphones to hand cream. I also like to have a stress ball with me because a lot of my anxiety manifests itself in fidgeting hands.
  • Remind myself that I’ve travelled quite a lot in the past and it’s always been fine
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use a stress ball – my anxiety tends to manifest itself into fidgety hand
  • Wear comfy clothing while travelling

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Top tips:
  • Do plenty of research on your destination
  • Travel during off peak season so it’s not super crowded
  • Travel with someone you trust
  • Don’t assume that your anxiety will hinder you
  • Have all important things (e.g. ID, documents, and credit cards) in one place
  • Make a packing list
  • Pack some of your favourite snacks
  • Distract yourself
  • Be kind to yourself and don’t push yourself too hard
  • Focus on your breathing, particularly if you are feeling very anxious
  • Try out meditation/breathing apps such as Headspace and Calm
  • Consult with a doctor and/or therapist
If you can figure out the reason behind your anxiety, because a better understanding of it will hopefully mean you can manage it better. Despite the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to travel to quite a few places in my life I still find it a very anxious experience. I’ve just found ways to come with it as best I can. What are your tips on travelling with anxiety? I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

10 things to do before 30

Hi guys, I hope you are well. I know it’s normally 30 things to do before 30 but I’m being more realistic and talk about ten things instead. So it’s my 24th birthday tomorrow so I thought it would be a nice idea to share some things I want to do before turning 30. Let’s get started.

 

  1. Travel to Japan
  2. Learn a second language
  3. Go on a road trip
  4. Improve my cooking skill
  5. Do yoga regularly and improve my flexibility
  6. Value myself more
  7. Read all the books on my bookshelf 🙂
  8. Exercise regularly/ be fitter
  9. See the Northern Lights
  10. If feasible have my own dog

 

I have more travelling goals but I figured I’m not going to be able to visit all of them in the next 6 years. I’ll quickly mention some place I want to visit now: South Korea, China, Scotland, Croatia, the Amalfi Coast and Germany. I would also love to revisit Prague and Hong Kong. These goals are pretty flexible and may change over time but at this point in my life these are things I want to do. Have you got any goals like these? Any places you want to visit? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

A-Z of Me

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I figured I hadn’t done a more personal post in a while so that is what I am doing today. I saw this over on Jenny in Neverland and thought that I would give it a go. From what I understand you come up with something that is important to you or something that you like for each letter of the alphabet. In other news, I passed my driving test this morning and I am so happy about it :). Let’s get started.

 

A is for animals – I have always been an animal lover and would love to work with them in the future. My favourite animal is probably a wolf but I have a few other favourites as well. I’ve had dogs’ in my life since I was 4 years old and we currently have 2 border collies.
B is for Brighton – I was actually born in  Brighton, but we moved to Devon when I was four years old. Unfortunately I don’t remember much but I still love Brighton. 
C is for cynical – I would say that I have quite a cynical view of things. 
D is for dyslexia – I was told when I was 8 years old that I have dyslexia with elements of dyspraxia and have been dealing with it ever since then. The main way it affects me is my processing speeds so it takes me a little longer to process things.
E is for eating – I love food, although I am a bit of a picky eater. Some of my favourite food includes pasta, sushi and Chinese food. 
F is for family – I am very close to my immediate family and they are my support centre, so of course they are important to me. 
G is for Ghibli (Studio Ghibli) – to be honest I couldn’t really think of anything else for this one but Studio Ghibli have produced some of my favourite films and I always look forward to any new releases from them. Two of my favourites are Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke.
H is for history – my favourite subject at school and the subject I would study if I choose to try University again. I have always loved this subject and I had some great teachers at my secondary school. 
I is for introvert – I definitely identify more as an introvert. I am quite a quiet person, unless I am completely comfortable around you. I much prefer staying home to going out and I need to recharge after being in most social situations.
J is for Japan – one country that I would love to visit. 
K is for kindness – because it’s good to show kindness to each other
L is for little – Not only am I a short person (5’2), I also have small hands and feet. 
M is for mental health – I’ve had issues with my mental health for years now and I think it is such an important issue to be vocal about. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression since I was 12 and I was recently told that I am on the Asperger’s Syndrome scale.
N is for Netflix – because I like it and I couldn’t think of anything else for this letter.
O is for organised – I am quite an organised person and I actually really enjoy organising things. 
P  is for Philippa – which is my full first name, but most people call me Pippa.
Q is for quiet – As I’ve mentioned I am quite a quiet person and I don’t like loud noises. To this day I have to cover my ears if I go to a fireworks display.
R is for reading – no surprise that I love reading. I didn’t actually start loving reading until my mid to late teens but now I love it. Obviously my favourite genre is fantasy but I like to read other books from different genres too.
S is for sarcasm – my sister and me are quite sarcastic people.
T is for travelling – I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit over the years. Some of my favourite places I’ve been are Prague (Czech Republic), Italy, New York (USA) and Hong Kong. 
U is for the UK – the country I was born in… I couldn’t think of anything else for u. 
V is for video games – I love play video games, either on the Playstation or my Nintendo 3DS. Some of my favourite games include Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tomb Raider, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, Uncharted and Assassins Creed.
W is for Winter – my favourite season, although I do also love autumn.
X is for X-ray – once again I couldn’t think of anything else and I’ve had a few X-rays… I’ve also had two MRIs which were kind of traumatic.
Y is for Year of the Birth – 1994 which is the Year of the Dog in Chinese Zodiac. I find this quite fitting since I love dogs.
Z  is for zzz – because I love sleep.

 

It was actually quite tricky coming up with all of these… but I got there in the end :). I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Bullet Journal Set Up 2018

Hi guys I hope you are all well. I know we are now well into the new year but a new year meant a new bullet journal set up and I wanted to share that with you guys today. I had my first bullet journal last year and found it really useful so decided to continue with it this year. I hope that’s alright with you guys.
Once again I’ve started this bullet journal with my goals for the year. These include some personal, blogging and bookish goals. Then I have a year in review spread over four pages. I didn’t use this last time but I think it’s quite useful to see the year in 6 month sections with space to note down any events. After that I have a spread of a stats tracker for the year as well as a blog post tracker. I know it’s not all about numbers here on my blog but I quite like having a view of the activity of my blog and how it’s doing. Next I have a page to keep track of my goodreads challenge for this year and a space to note down my favourite books of the year. On the opposite page I have a page dedicated to my reading statistics for the year ahead. I didn’t do this last year but I thought I’d try it out. I’ve split it into three sections; gender, star rating and nationality. I was thinking of also adding a space for the page numbers of books but I decided to just keep it at those three. After that I have an Instagram tracker which is pretty self explanatory; I use it to keep track of the days I post.
The next pages are all taken up with my monthly blog schedule, as well as a page to note down anything each month, such as TBRs, monthly favourites etc. All my blog posts are written down in blue and everything else such as any blog tours I’m involved with or my contribution to the Fantasy Faction site are noted down in black. An orange dot means that a post is finished and scheduled. I tend to note down in pencil first while I’m still planning out a month and then once the schedule is finalised I’ll write down in pen.
The first spread after my monthly spread is focused on my TBR. These are all the books I own but haven’t read yet at the start of the year. I’m hoping by the end of the year I will have most of these books read. Next I have a spread to keep track of the series I’m currently reading. All of the series listed are series I want to finish at some point. At this point I have over 20 series I am currently in the middle of so I thought this spread would be useful to track my progress with each series.
After that I have my most anticipated books noted down, as well as a page with some of my anticipated film releases for the year ahead. Speaking of films the next spread I have is films I’ve seen in 2018 page. I did this last year and wanted to continue with it this year. I love watching films and I liked keeping track of what I’ve seen. Next I have a page to note down any new favourites throughout the year – pretty self explanatory :). After that I have my mental health tracker. Again this is one I had last year and I think it’s a good idea for me to note down how my mental health is doing each month. Next I have a fitness tracker, which is colour coded by activity. I’m not a very active person but I’m hoping this year to get into the flow of exercising regularly. Hopefully this will help motivate me as well as allow me to keep track of things. As you can see January wasn’t a great month for exercise but I’m hoping to do better next month.
After that I have a page to note down any milestones that may happen in 2018, such as 500 followers on my blog, as well as space to note down any events that happen in my life, such as travelling somewhere for the first time.  Next I’m currently taking an online course about dog psychology so I have a page to keep track of my progress with that. The next spread is all about book requests of 2018. This is split into three months where I can note down the books I’ve requested, whether it was accepted and whether I’m reviewing it. After that I have two pages to plan for future recommendations post. The penultimate page I have is a list of 18 new authors I want to try out this year. Lastly I have a page to write down my favourite books of the year, separated into a two columns for my 5 star and 4 star books. I also have a space to note down any disappointing reads.
That’s all I have for you guys for now. I’ve found the bullet journal to be really useful, especially when it comes to keeping organised with my blog. Have you tried a bullet journal? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

Reading Resolutions/Blog Goals 2018

Hi guys I hope you are all well. As it is the start of a new year I thought I would do a post about my reading resolutions and blogging goals for the year ahead. February will mark 2 years of blogging for me, which went quite quickly really, and I am so happy to have stuck with it. While I definitely plan to remain primarily a book blogger I would love to expand my blog a bit this year and do a more wide range of posts. I will still be posting a lot of bookish content and Fridays will always be reviews but expect to see other stuff too like posts about films, travel, baking, music etc. Basically I want to blog about everything I love – I hope that’s OK with you all. Don’t worry though, this is still very much a book blog. Let’s get onto my other goals.
  • Read 100 books – I may or may not lessen this but for now I want to keep it at 100 books. I only just managed it in 2017 though so we’ll see what happens.
  • Read 12 classics and 5 non fiction books.
  • Reach 500 followers – I would love to grow this blog even more and reach new followers.
  • Improve photography – I want to improve my photos and possibly try new ways to showcase books to you guys.
  • Keep consistent with my posting and come up with new post ideas.

 

I am looking forward to another year of blogging, although thinking about a years worth of blog posts is a little daunting. Hopefully 2018 will be a fantastic blogging and reading year. Have you got any goals for 2018? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

2017 Favourites

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for another favourites post – this one is going to be all my non bookish favourites so films, musics, TV etc. Who doesn’t love talking about their favourite things? 2017 has been an alright year for me – I had my blogging 1 year anniversary, had my first review posted on Fantasy Faction site as a contributor, started learning to drive, passed my theory test, went to Crete for the first time and started a distance learning course about dog psychology. I know that probably doesn’t seem much to a lot of people but with my mental health I’m pretty happy with the past year. Anyway let’s get started.

 

TV:
  • Eternal Love aka Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms
  • Final series of Orphan Black
  • Season 2 of Stranger Things
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
Films:
  • Arrival
  • Wonder Woman
  • Siege of Jadotville
  • Star Wars: the Last Jedi
Video Games:
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)
  • Assassins Creed: Origins (PS4)
  • The Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)

 

Music:
  • Dua Lipa’s album – favourite song: New Rules
  • Don’t smile at me (album) by Billie Eilish – favourite song: Bellyache
  • Gashina by Sunmi
  • Peek-a-boo by Red Velvet
  • Havana by Camila Cabello
  • Discovery by Kailee Morgue
  • Wishlist by Kiiara
  • Fine by Tayler Buono

 

Other:
  • My bullet journal
  • Adidas sweatshirt
  • HP sprocket (portable printer)

 

That’s all I have for you guys today. Overall 2017 was an alright year for me, although the anxiety of starting to learn how to drive wasn’t great :). What were your favourite things of 2017? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Places I Want To Visit

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I am going to do a non bookish post, as you can probably tell from the title. I wanted to share some of the places that I would love to visit. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit through my life but there are quite a few places I really want to visit but haven’t yet. To be honest I’m an anxious traveller (or just person really) but I still love visiting new places. Let’s get started.

 

Places I’ve never been to:
  • China
  • Japan
  • San Francisco and Washington, USA
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Croatia

 

Places to revisit:
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Prague, Czech Republic

 

Hopefully I’ll slowly become more confidant with travelling as I do it more. Where do you guys want to go? Or where is your favourite place you’ve been? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa