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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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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