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Today’s blog post is a slightly different type of post, but if you are following me on Instagram you might know that I haven’t been feeling so good recently. My mental health has gone downhill and I’m finding it really hard to cope at university. It seems that a lot of the ways I was using to cope last year aren’t working so well for me. It was writing down everyday sparkles that got me through depression last time, so I’m hoping that sharing the things that have brought me joy recently might have a similar effect.

Playing the piano

I had piano lessons from when I was about 7 until around 15. I took multiple piano exams, as well as music theory and I really loved playing the piano. But when my depression was at its worst, the things that used to make me happy no longer did. Playing the piano was one of the things I cut out of my life, it just felt like a chore.

I’m now 19, 20 in 4 months and only recently have I started to play again. I randomly played a few weeks ago, the night before I was going back to Bournemouth, and totally fell back in love. Luckily, my brother’s old keyboard was in the attic so I could take that back with me. I brought some of my old piano books back with me, along with the Harry Potter and The Greatest Showman soundtrack books! It has been something to distract my mind recently.

Baking

I loved baking as a child. My friend and I would bake every weekend. The further I got into my eating disorder, the less I wanted to bake or cook. I stopped baking for a long time and it’s still something that I’m a bit weird about. But a few weeks ago I really fancied baking some Autumnal biscuits. I ordered mushroom*, pumpkin* and stay pawsitive* biscuit cutters from Etsy and got baking. I don’t own any kitchen scales so I totally guessed the quantities and ended up only putting about half the amount of sugar in – they tasted much nicer though! I also bought some writing icing pens and I had so much fun decorating them. (I did end up liking the ones without writing icing a lot more 🙈)

Since then, I have baked some pumpkin spiced cupcakes which I used my homemade pumpkin puree to make. They were the best cupcakes I’ve ever tasted 🎃

Burning a wax melt

It’s no secret that I love wax melts! If you follow me on Instagram, you will definitely know this. The Hawthorn Collection has just released their Winter & Christmas range and I’m definitely going to order their Winter sample box soon. I also love the idea of a wax melt Christmas cracker 😍

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My cats

My adorable cats always help me feel better. There’s something so soothing about hearing them purr or snore. Holding one of Monty’s paws makes me feel safe and relaxed. Plus, they always seem to know when something is wrong or if I am upset.

Related post: 6 ways my cats help my mental health

Finding my tap shoes

Something you may not know about me is that I took dance lessons from age 2 until about 15. I mainly did ballet, but also tap and modern. I loved dancing, right until the very end when I gave it up. I always had the intention to start up again when I finally recovered from Anorexia but sadly my dance teacher died before I was ready.

I hadn’t really thought about dancing again until I stumbled across some of my dance show videos a couple of weeks ago. I remembered how much I loved it. I didn’t really enjoy modern that much and ballet is something I want to keep to myself, but tap dancing is so much fun. When I went back home, I rooted around in my room and I found my old dance bag which thankfully had my tap shoes in. I was worried that I had thrown them out but luckily I didn’t as they are pretty expensive! Ever since then, I have been looking up adult tap dancing lessons around Bournemouth. Hopefully, I’ll find one soon.

Reading

Reading is definitely something that has always brought me joy. Who doesn’t love reading? Getting absorbed in a book for hours and only getting up once you’ve finished. Lately, I have been loving the books from the Bridgerton series! I’ve just finished the fourth one (Romancing Mister Bridgerton) and I’m currently convincing myself that I should order the next one. I only order books from World Of Books because they are second-hand and buy their books from charities! And I do need to order a uni book…

Taking part in the Carbon Literacy course

Carbon Literacy is ‘An awareness of the carbon costs and impacts of everyday activities and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.’ – The Carbon Literacy Project

I’m so lucky that I am at a university that is teaching Carbon Literacy! As soon as I heard about it, I signed up right away. There were 2 zoom sessions consisting of 3 hours each, as well as self-studying before both. It sounds intense but I found it so interesting, especially hearing other peoples opinions. I thought that I already knew a fair bit about carbon footprints and the climate, but I learnt so much. If you are at University and it’s available, I highly recommend joining in! It’s also an amazing qualification to have on your CV.

Related post: 10+ ways to reduce your digital carbon footprint

Spending time with my parents

As I mentioned earlier, I’m really struggling at the moment with uni and feeling homesick. I went home for reading week after only spending one day back in Bournemouth. It sounds a bit pathetic, but I’m just really finding it hard to cope. I need some kind of safety and someone who will eat meals with me. I loved every second I spent with them last week. We have agreed that I will spend most weekends at home until I feel better. Just 7 more days until I see them again.

Rewatching sitcoms

This is always something that has brought me joy. Literally any sitcom. I read somewhere that introverts like rewatching programmes because they know what will happen and so they don’t have the anxiety about wondering what happens. Or something like that. I love that, and it is definitely me.

I think Brooklyn 99 is my favourite, though I’m currently a bit heartbroken that it has ended. At the moment, I’m rewatching Modern Family for the millionth time. I finished watching Peep Show for the first time last month (where have I been? I know!) which I loved and now I need suggestions for more sitcoms. Oh, and I also got the 6 months Amazon Prime student free trial so any sitcom suggestions from there too.

Having a gin & tonic

I have been loving gin & tonics recently. My sister got me a bottle of Hendricks gin which is definitely my favourite. Hendricks gin, a cold tonic and a slice of lemon is just delicious! I seem to be making them stronger with every glass 🤣.

Eating hash browns

Another little thing that has brought me joy is hash browns. I have been craving them so much lately. I had some delicious potato rostis at Flamingo the other week which tasted exactly like hash browns. We also have a packet of hash browns at home which I occasionally have for breakfast. There’s something so tasty about hash browns.

Leggings

Bit of a silly one, but I rarely wear leggings. Someone once told me that if you wear leggings, you are slutty. So I stopped wearing them. I found some of my leggings at home when I thought they were a pair of tights. I wore them anyway and now I have fallen back in love with leggings. They are so comfy! And a definite essential when on my period.

Reconnecting with my best friend

I had a moment where I was convinced I had lost my best friend. I think we were both feeling very unsettled about everything and we drifted a bit. We have started facetiming every week and I’m going to visit her on Saturday. All is good again. We all need someone we can text our random thoughts and weird dreams to.

Family zooms

Like most families, we started our family zooms in lockdown. Sometimes they were a catch-up, other times we played games or had a craft evening. When lockdown ended, we didn’t do them much. We did a craft one a couple of weeks ago and have another one tomorrow. Now to decide whether to do scrapbooking, zentangle or digital drawing.

What are some things that have brought you joy recently?

Best wishes, Cx

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47 Comments

  1. HASH BROWNS!!! OMG they are amazing. They remind me so much of going on vacation as a child because we would ALWAYS stop at McDonalds on the way to the airport and get has browns and McMuffins. We’ve made our own in the house and they’ve been amazing.

    1. Awwww, making your own sounds like fun!

  2. I love this post! When we’re feeling so low and trying to pick ourselves up again, it’s always these very simple things (like hash browns and leggings) that can bring us a lot of joy. Very happy to hear that you’re picking up some of your creative hobbies again. Maybe we’ll hear some of your pinao skills soon? 🙂

    1. Thank you 💕

  3. Being away from family is such a difficult thing, I can understand. Sending you so much love. I use to play the piano but eventually lost interest but can see that interest in my little one brewing. And I love reading and baking too, when I am able to find the time. Although, lockdown has had negative impacts but it has brought about things like zoom calls with friends and family that we wouldn’t have considered before which is a good thing!

    1. Thank you xx

  4. family zooms was totally unexpected but at the same very much so due to the times that we live in. oh covid!

    1. Definitely

  5. I am sorry you’re struggling and hope for better days ahead for you.

    I love both Brooklyn 99 and Modern Family. My daughter and I are about half-way through season 10 of Modern Family on Netflix. It’s a great show to make you laugh out loud.

    I need to find a carbon litercy course. It sounds very interesting.

    Something that has brought me joy recently is the beautiful fall colours, roasting pumpkin seeds, and the excitement of the trick-or-treaters who visited our house on Halloween.

    1. Thank you. Definitely recommend the carbon literacy course! I’m loving the beautiful colours too, currently drying out my pumpkin seeds 🙂

  6. I loved reading about the things that brought you joy recently Caroline! My cat always brings me joy, especially after I’ve had a bad day! That’s an amazing achievement playing the piano, I would love to learn to play it! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    1. Thank you, me too x

  7. I’m sending love. I follow you on Instagram and so I know you’ve mentioned these struggles. Recently TikTok and the Vampire Diaries have been bringing me joy. I also have been super thankful for the daytime since it’s getting dark earlier now.

    1. I feel you, it’s getting dark so much earlier x

  8. What a great post! I love how uplifting it is to read about someone else’s joy. Definitely treating myself to a gin and tonic asap 🙂

    1. Thank you xx

  9. I really think it’s important to allow yourself to indulge in the things that bring you joy. It certainly helps me get through the rain and darker days. I loved your list and the fact you’ve recognized a wide range of things that bring you joy. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you 💗

  10. Great post Caroline! Making new meals has brought me joy lately 🙂

  11. Love this list and glad you’ve found ways to make yourself feel better.

    I didn’t move away to uni, but my hubby did. I think I would have struggled. But coming back at the weekends balances this and should help.

    Hash browns – love them!

    And yes little thing like leggings do make life a lot better.

  12. Awesome, that’s really good for you! A lot of the same things, bring me joy as well, such as spending time with my parents. I haven’t had time to play piano. I think I work too much, and not enough play. LOL
    ~Michelle
    https://michellescrazybusylife.net

  13. Dear Caroline,
    I stumbled across your page on instagram and decided to read up your blog. Trust me, whatever you are saying, I can feel everything. I have to go back to the uni tomorrow. And I am trying to make myself feel excited about seeing my friends after 20 months, but I just can’t do it. I just don’t feel like leaving home and going there. My university is in another city which is far away from my home. And that’s why I can’t go home when ever I wish. I feel terrible when I see those living close by go to their home. But then like you said I too try to find things that bring me joy. I am glad that you are talking about mental health because it requires courage. You have that courage and never let it fade away because I know how difficult it is to talk about it. Talking about it would mean undergoing everything again. I admire you for this.
    It’s a pleasure to read your blog. Keep on posting.
    All my love from India

    1. Thank you so much for reading, your comment means a lot to me. I hope you are okay, message me on Instagram if you ever want to chat!

  14. It is great to see the ideas for positive things to do. I need to get into baking.

  15. gosh i enjoy baking as well! i’m getting into reading again, though i find it hard to finish a book as fast as i did before. alas, as long as i start to read again then i guess it’s fine x

    erin | littlesipsoftea.com

    1. Definitely x

  16. Hello Caroline! I hope you are well now. Good to see how you cope up with stress from your university.
    Music is also one healthy distractor I use like singing and playing the guitar. hope to see your snippets playing piano too. 🙂 Rewatching sitcoms is also great and of course pets!

    Lovely | thelovelymusings.com

    1. Thank you. That sounds lovely 🙂

  17. I love the honesty in this post and how personal it is! Lately I reconnected with a friend of mine which really made me happy. I realized how much I had missed her and our connection. I have also started exercising regularly which has helped in lifting my mood.

    1. Thank you, I feel you x

  18. This is a wonderful list Caroline – it’s great to read all these things that have helped bring you some joy as you take the time to take care of yourself 🙂 Like yourself, time with my cats and baking are two things that really help me – the cookies you made look delicious! Always connecting with friends and family is always a great way to have a pick me up I find! Take care of yourself during this time.

    1. Thank you xx

  19. I love this post! There really is something about the little things bringing the most joy isn’t there 😊

    1. Definitely!

  20. It’s great to hear that you’ve rediscovered many old passions and reconnected with loved ones. I started re-watching Brooklyn 99 again since it ended too, it’s such a great comfort show! Thanks for sharing your list of joys, sending you lots of love!

    1. Thank you, I’m with you on that x

  21. I’m glad to hear that you have found things that bring you joy. I played piano since I was a kid until I left for college & I have thought about starting again, but I would have to buy a keyboard first. Also, the cookies look amazing & that’s great you reconnected with your best friend!
    Lately, I’ve been enjoying reading & meeting up with a couple of friends.

    1. Thank you, I definitely recommend starting it again – I found that it was all in my muscle memory. x

  22. I love hash browns! They are so good and my boyfriend and I have gotten into the bad habit of eating them as a midnight snack! I have loved spending time with my parents too recently and Christmas shopping brings me so much joy. Thank you for sharing your joys! Em x

    1. Aww, I love that! x

  23. […] admit, I hadn’t been feeling very Christmassy because I was feeling so low, but I’m feeling good about myself again so now I’m in Christmas mode. My housemates and I are even having a little […]

  24. ellegracedeveson says:

    Baking is like my therapy, it brings me such happiness and takes my mind off everything whilst I’m doing it. Spending time with my parents is just my favourite thing ever, I just love it. I think it’s so important to do more of what makes you happy and brings you joy! I really enjoyed todays blogpost, thank you so much for sharing Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

    1. Definitely, thank you x

  25. I hope you can experience better days soon. I am glad you chose to share the things that brought you joy recently, and I hope writing these things down will bring you some happiness.

    🎹 It is amazing that you have started to play the piano again! Your biscuits look delicious; I like the little mushroom one with yellow and green dots!

    It is not pathetic at all that you went home for reading week! Feeling homesick can hit you at any point. I remember my first year of Uni, and I thought I was alright until I smelt a Sunday roast at a pub, weird I know, (my mum made them every week), and I instantly started missing my mum, so I went home the next weekend. I am glad you found a setup that works for you!

    Leggings are my best friend. They are convenient, cosy and look good with a variety of pieces. 😊

    One little thing that brought me joy recently was finding a knitted blanket made by my Grandma. It was tucked into the back of a wardrobe at my parent’s house. 😊

    Thank you for sharing, and good luck with everything! 😊

    1. Awww, thank you! <3

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