Becky Barnes https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk Thu, 26 Mar 2020 17:20:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/cropped-B-32x32.png Becky Barnes https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk 32 32 Look for the Sunshine & Supporting Small Business https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/03/26/look-for-the-sunshine-supporting-small-business/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/03/26/look-for-the-sunshine-supporting-small-business/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 17:20:01 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=11380 •Post features gifted item• What a week… Can’t lie, this past week or so has been extraordinary hasn’t it? So why, you might ask, amongst all this panic and disruption am I even bothering to blog? Well therein lies the answer. When things are bad, this little corner of the internet has always been my…

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•Post features gifted item•

What a week…

Can’t lie, this past week or so has been extraordinary hasn’t it?

So why, you might ask, amongst all this panic and disruption am I even bothering to blog?

Well therein lies the answer. When things are bad, this little corner of the internet has always been my means of escapism, and goodness knows we need a bit of that right now!

In fact I hope this is the kick up the arse I needed to dedicate some real time to this love of mine.

Find the Sunshine

In what feels like an incredibly dark time, it helps me to try and find the sunshine. I urge you to try and do the same if possible (easier said than done I know) – first and foremost, I’ve been trying to reframe my thoughts.

Small Business

I found this post quite helpful. It’s a wee bit problematic in the sense of its glaring privilege (not all of us can afford proper nutrition or have loved ones to call for example). But on the whole it has helped me put things into perspective.

Supporting Small Business

Towards the end of last year, I made a pledge to try harder in my efforts to support independent business. This meant, instead of mindlessly buying endless crap from ASOS (soz ASOS) I would spend that money buying something from an indy brand instead.

I’m going to share my purchases on the blog (you might have seen some on my instagram too) – the first of which is this awesome set from Lucky Sew and Sew who make made to measure lingerie.

Small Business

Joy Giver

I know it might seem a bit superficial, but yes, pretty things do make me happy and I have no shame in admitting that. In a messed up world if I can find joy in beauty then I don’t think I’m doing too bad.

Plus buying from a small business means I get to feel all virtuous.

Speaking of pretty, I have to mention the gorgeous necklace I’m wearing in these shots. I was sent the starburst shield ( you can see their other women’s necklaces here) from the folk at Daisy London.

It is so up my street, stunningly beautiful with an art deco feel. The brand itself is a predominantly female run business who create boho inspired jewellery.

Soaking in the sunshine 🙂

Okay, so moral of the story? Reframe your thoughts and identify the things that make you happy. Got it gang? Good 😉

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A guide to dateless number plates https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/03/17/a-guide-to-dateless-number-plates/ Tue, 17 Mar 2020 15:00:05 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=11377 The idea of a number plate is to identify a car and to ensure that you know when it was registered and therefore how old it is. This may be true for most cars out there in the UK; but there is also the idea of dateless number plates to get to grips with. So,…

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The idea of a number plate is to identify a car and to ensure that you know when it was registered and therefore how old it is. This may be true for most cars out there in the UK; but there is also the idea of dateless number plates to get to grips with.

So, what is a dateless number plate and why are they something that you might want to buy for your car?

How do dateless number plates work?

The first question that you are likely to have when it comes to dateless number plates is how they actually work. Dateless number plates were created back in 1903 and they had a format of simply one or two letters, which will donate the region where the car was registered, followed by a sequence of numbers to confirm what number car it was that had been registered.

During 1932, the format of these number plates changed and they had three letters, followed by a space, then a sequence of numbers that were issued by the office whereby they were registered.

Why do people want to buy them?

You might think that dateless number plates don’t make a whole lot of sense, but, the truth is that they are amongst the most popular private number plates which can be bought in the UK. The reason for this is because they are created in a format that does not show how old the vehicle is. They are also a little different too, which means that you can find a number plate that can make sure that your car or van will stand out when compared to others out there on the road.

Another reason why some people may want to buy a dateless number plate, particularly those that were issued after 1932, is because the three letter format will make up names of people. Such as Jon, Ben and Sue.

It is important to remember that whilst you can use a dateless number plate on a modern car, you cannot ever use a newer number plate on an older car. This is because you cannot change the number plate of the car to make it look like it is newer. These are rules that are set out by the DVLA and must be adhered to.

You should also keep in mind that dateless number plates, as they are incredibly sought after and timeless, can be amongst the most expensive private number plates that you can buy. However, they are an investment, they are something that you might have to pay out for, but, in the long-term, will hold its value and allow you to sell on in the future.

So, if you are looking to make your car totally unique, or you perhaps want to buy a gift for someone who loves their car, then you might want to take a look at dateless number plates and see if they could be the ideal present or treat for yourself?

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Opinion | Let's Talk Period Pants https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/02/05/opinion-lets-talk-period-pants/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/02/05/opinion-lets-talk-period-pants/#respond Wed, 05 Feb 2020 12:33:52 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=6920 My relationship with periods has not been a good one. My teens were blighted with the most excruciatingly painful and heavy periods. The constant changing of pads and leaks through my trousers were (I thought) very embarrassing and at the least inconvenient. Back in the 90s there was no such thing as period pants or…

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My relationship with periods has not been a good one. My teens were blighted with the most excruciatingly painful and heavy periods. The constant changing of pads and leaks through my trousers were (I thought) very embarrassing and at the least inconvenient. Back in the 90s there was no such thing as period pants or moon cups – we were strictly limited to pads and tampons. Messy, expensive and bad for the environment.

 

What are Period Pants?

Period pants are everyday regular knickers with a built in absorption panel that acts as a pad to soak up your period blood. The pants I’m sharing with you today are from ModiBodi who have a huge range of pants that have varying absorbency levels. And not just for periods too, they have pee, perspiration and pong proof pants and swimwear technology too. Honestly for an old bird like me, the technology is mind blowing.

The varying levels available from Modibodi

 

How Do They Work?

Basically you just pop them on like normal knickers and go about your business. It really is that simple. No more crunchy pads (affectionately known as ‘crisp packets’ in my house). No more fear evoking tampons – I was a child of the 90s, Toxic Shock Syndrome was a HUGE thing in Jackie and 17 Mag. We were all convinced we were going to ‘die from tampons’. The sad truth being, you genuinely can. Seriously. Accidents happen, busy lives mean we could all be forgiven for forgetting if we’ve took our tampon out, maybe pop another one in and before you know it, you’re being rushed to hospital, I shit you not.

Anyway I digress with my 90s horror stories… Caring for your period pants couldn’t be simpler either. I nicked this very lovely graphic from the modibodi site to explain.

 

I was a little concerned about how they’d work when travelling, but as you can see, as long as you rinse them out, you can always wash them when you get home.

 

What are they like?

They are like… pants! Hoorah! Seriously, they just look like normal, lovely pants. There’s no heavy clumpy looking crotch area. They don’t have a big sign on them saying ‘WEIRD PANTS AHOY’. They are soft and comfortable, they fit really well and you genuinely wouldn’t know the difference.

 

Let’s get real about periods

Honestly, it makes me so emotional to think that my daughter has so many more options than me when it comes to periods. And that she is growing up in a time where it’s becoming less and less taboo to talk about them. Companies like Modibodi are working so hard to normalise it and make periods more manageable for women everywhere.

 

Do they work?

Well my friends, this is where I fail you in my blogging duties. I actually don’t have periods at the moment. I’m on the depo birth control which stops my flow. So you might question why I bothered accepting them as a gift; the truth is, I’m so passionate about normalising periods and making sure people have access to other options, that I wanted to promote them through the blog, and rest assured, I wore my own pants under these ones to shoot them, and I’ll be passing them onto a friend, so they can get full use out of them. No waste here.

In terms of their effectiveness let me direct you to a really comprehensive review from sustainability blog – ‘Small Footprints, Big Adventures’ and for pure eye candy, let me direct you to my lovely pal The Em Edit.

 

I think, I *hope* I’ve covered everything. As mentioned, do check out the blog posts above and of course the Modibodi website. And as always if you have any other questions, pop them below or grab me on social media.

I wont say, have a happy period, because we all know that’s BS, but what I will say is I hope this gives you food for thought when it comes to your period options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Natural Beauty | How to make your blue eyes pop! https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/02/05/make-blue-eyes-pop/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/02/05/make-blue-eyes-pop/#respond Wed, 05 Feb 2020 10:39:45 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=6917 It’s important that you feel confident enough to rock each day with a big smile on your face right? That’s what your makeup can do for you, in both your personal and professional life. Getting the right balance with your makeup can accentuate your natural beauty and make your confidence soar, something that you really…

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It’s important that you feel confident enough to rock each day with a big smile on your face right? That’s what your makeup can do for you, in both your personal and professional life. Getting the right balance with your makeup can accentuate your natural beauty and make your confidence soar, something that you really deserve. The infographic below highlights some simple ways you can make your beautiful blue eyes pop. They’re easy to execute, and you won’t break the bank either.

Less is usually more so you don’t have to go overboard. Generally, both men and women tend to prefer faces with up to 40% less makeup, but some women feel unattractive without any makeup at all on, so balance is everything (sources cited in the infographic).

Because of this, something simple like adding white to your bottom waterline creates a beautifully feminine look, that works great for wedding season. Alternatively, combing gold and peach works surprisingly well and can really make those eyes pop.

There’s plenty more detailed below, and just because these makeup ideas work great for blue eyes, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them if your eyes are a different colour. Feel free to experiment until you find a look you love and bring out your natural beauty.

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Business | Creating Digital Flatlays | AD https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/02/03/creating-digital-flatlays/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/02/03/creating-digital-flatlays/#respond Mon, 03 Feb 2020 22:20:03 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=6901 My blog is in its 9th year now. Pops was just one when I started. How crazy is that? So; I’m hoping as the blog evolves I can bring you more how-to’s, blogging advice and inspiration. As always, I have a confession to make… I am not great at flatlays. What has become a bit…

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My blog is in its 9th year now. Pops was just one when I started. How crazy is that? So; I’m hoping as the blog evolves I can bring you more how-to’s, blogging advice and inspiration. As always, I have a confession to make… I am not great at flatlays. What has become a bit of staple in the blogging world, has eluded me for quite sometime!

 

What are Flatlays?

Flatlays are arial shots, usually of a collection of items put together. They’re used to promote products, display items or as another means of creating content for bloggers and influencers.

Not bad for a first attempt – Coffee anyone?

For some annoying reason though, I can never crack them. They always look terrible, so I’d kind of given up. That was until I was introduced to a fancy new tool by Design Bundles.

 

A digital alternative

I was really intrigued when I was introduced to a product from Design Bundles. Their Scene Creator tool enables you to create flatlays without having to try and nail that tricky photography yourself.

 

The general gist is you pay for and download a pack of images. They consist of backgrounds and various items that you can place on top of the items to create your own flatlay.

 

Do I need photoshop to use it?

No absolutely not. If you’re not a photoshop wizard like me, then fear not. These mock up images can be used in Canva too. Canva is an amazing click and drop tool that I use for all my social media graphics for clients and for the blog. Just upload the images to your account, and start having a play around.

 

 

Can I use it with my own images too?

From what I can see, if you’ve got a basic product shot you want to add in extras, this is great way to beef out your images, so-to-speak. As long as your image is crisp, clear and has no shadows, these extra images will sit really nicely with your own product shots.

 

Is it easy to use?

Well, if I can use it, then I’m going to say yes. I am a total dummy when it comes to stuff like this. But I was able to down the files with no problem and upload them into my Canva account. From there, it was simply a case of click and drop. Each individual component can be resized and flipped, moved around and placed exactly how you want it.

You can add text and logos in too, meaning you can truly make each image your own. The uses and possibilities really are endless. From blog headers, to social media covers, Pinterest graphics and more. It can even be used for small businesses to create product mock ups for example.

 

The Verdict

I was really surprised at just how easy it was to use and how effective it was. I love images it has helped me produce and I’m looking forward to having even more of a play around with it and seeing what I can create! I’m definitely going to try to shoot my own products and mix the graphics from the Scene Creator in and see how that goes… Wish me luck!

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Opinion | Curating a Safe Space online https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/30/curating-a-safe-space-online/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/30/curating-a-safe-space-online/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2020 10:59:01 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=6868 Social Media is not a new phenomenon. For most of us, it is a huge part of our day-to-day life. For some of us, it’s our profession (hi). But it doesn’t come without its problems, negative headlines and controversy. With this in mind, it’s now more important than ever for us to understand how to…

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Social Media is not a new phenomenon. For most of us, it is a huge part of our day-to-day life. For some of us, it’s our profession (hi). But it doesn’t come without its problems, negative headlines and controversy. With this in mind, it’s now more important than ever for us to understand how to create a safe space online so we can fully enjoy and embrace what I think is an incredibly powerful tool.

 

What is a ‘Safe Space’ online

It’s a bit subjective isn’t it? But the whole reason I wanted to write this post was because I’ve recently joined a few facebook groups which I don’t think are working for me. It made me question where my safe spaces are and how they relate to where I am on my personal journey.

So, for some context, this is in relation to me and my body, but this can apply to any areas of your life that you are navigating or feel passionate about.

Safe Space Online

After a week or so in the group, it’s apparent a lot of the members are in the very early stages of accepting their bodies and accepting fat bodies on the whole. A lot of the posts are in relation to weight loss, ‘loving’ their bodies and how to overcome negative feelings towards themselves.

It’s a difficult process and those early stages are TOUGH. I know, I have been there. But right now, where I am in my journey, it all feels a bit icky. I’ve worked incredibly hard to reach a stage in my life where I have reconciled my negative body image and self perception. I’m in a place of acceptance and moving forward, celebration. Reading these constant streams of self-deprecation, negative thoughts and specifically diet chat makes me feel incredibly sad.

I whole heartedly want to remove myself from any environments where this is still a thing. But surely, I’m throwing my fellow fats under the bus if I do that?

Don’t I need to be in the thick of it to truly make a difference? The simple answer is no.

If I am to make any sort of difference, I have to preserve my own sanity first and foremost, and concentrate on the message I want to get across and messages I want to consume. By staying in spaces that foster negativity I’m doing myself and those within them a disservice. I need to immerse myself in spaces that are appropriate for where I am on my journey, and hope that those who are still struggling are able to identify with the positive messages people like myself are putting forward.

So in a very long and rambling manner, what I’m saying is, a safe online space is one that’s appropriate to you.

 

How do I create and curate that space?

Think about what it is that you want to achieve. Why do you go online and on social media? Are you hoping to be challenged? Do you want to be entertained? Soothed, delighted, elated? All of the above? Then seek out accounts that do those things for you.

Find your people, the ones who align with your personal morals and ethics. The ones that, if you met them in real life, you just know you would get on with. Ask yourself questions – is it your sense of humour? Is it your aesthetic? Does it make you feel alive?

You see, that’s the beauty of social media, it has the power to do all those things and so much more. It opens up a door to a world you might not have ever known. It introduces you to people you might not have ever met. It’s a joyous, powerful tool and that’s why it’s so important to continually craft it to suit who you are and where you are in your life and create that safe space online.

 

It’s okay to mute and/or unfollow

I’ve been on social media for over 10 years now. In that time I’ve completely changed as a person. I became a mother, I got married and divorced. I’ve been through trauma and heartache, joy and pain. So it’s only fair to say that my outlook on life has completely changed and in-turn the people and accounts I followed 10 years ago will have changed too.

safe space online

If someone or something, a brand or a blogger, an artist or even a cute cat is not working for you anymore, then hit that button and unfollow the shit out of them. You don’t owe them a follow.

We often feel obliged to stick with people out of misplaced loyalty, but it’s really okay to let go and move on. And if you’re not quite ready for that, then mute is your friend.

Be careful not to create an echo-chamber

This is all good and well, creating a safe space is incredibly important. But what’s also important is to ensure we don’t surround ourselves more of the same. While it’s okay to move on from old situations and people that make you feel uncomfortable and no longer align with who you are; It’s also important to follow people who inspire and challenge you to become the person you want to be.

Look at your feed and ask yourself – is it diverse? Does it give you an understanding of people who are not like you? Does it align with your personal ethos?

I could have a feed full of fat, white, able-bodied women who all look like me. But what good would that do me? I need to create a space that, yes has those who I identify with, but also has a mix of those who I don’t. Those who challenge me, excite me, entertain me, educate me.

 

Where to start?

Take a long hard look at your socials. Really read and consume what’s there. How does it make you feel? If it makes you feel terrible. Then mute/unfollow.

It’s okay to feel sad or even angry if it’s in a way that fires you up. And it’s okay to look at disgustingly pretty things like interiors or fashion shoots. But just make sure they’re not making you feel bad about yourself.

Comparison is okay if it inspires positive change, but if all it does is make you feel like rubbish, then it’s not healthy.

Chose inspiration over comparison. Choose education over frustration. Really dig deep and ask yourself how your social media makes you feel. If it doesn’t make you feel alive, then you need to make a change.

 

 

 

 

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Lifestyle: Different ways to finance your car  https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/27/lifestyle-different-ways-to-finance-your-car/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/27/lifestyle-different-ways-to-finance-your-car/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2020 10:27:03 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=6864 Buying a car is a big deal for a lot of people as it costs a lot of money which can take, for many of us, a very long time to save. Luckily, if you don’t have all of the money saved for your dream car, there are other options too, such as Personal contract…

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Buying a car is a big deal for a lot of people as it costs a lot of money which can take, for many of us, a very long time to save. Luckily, if you don’t have all of the money saved for your dream car, there are other options too, such as Personal contract plan purchase and even parking out a personal loan. As it is such a substantial amount of money, choosing an option such as one of these can be more realistic.

 

Situation dependent, there will be a finance option for everyone when it comes to buying a car. One of the best things you can do is do your research on all of the options and make a decision on which suits you best.

 

Buying a car outright

 

Buying the vehicle outright is the most ideal option, but one that not everyone can afford. Even if you can’t pay for the vehicle in full, having savings put away to pay off a deposit or a large chunk of the payment will always be helpful.

 

Additionally, it is equally as important that if you do pay for the vehicle in cash, that you have money still saved in-case of an emergency. If you’re buying a second-hand car, there is no guarantee that everything will be working smoothly.

 

On top of this, even if you do have the cash to pay for the car outright, it might be a good idea to pay some of the total amount via credit card to keep you safe. This is because if you use your credit card you benefit from credit card purchase protection if anything were to go wrong. But make sure you pay off the credit card when you can.

 

Using a personal loan

 

If you can’t afford to pay for the vehicle yourself but you have a good credit score then choosing to use a personal loan might be a good option.

 

With a personal loan, you can get the full amount of the vehicle price and buy it out, you will then have to spread the cost over 1 to 7 years. Choosing a loan is often cheaper than payments plans and you can shop around different banks and building societies to find the best interest rates.

 

It is important to note that as it is a loan, you need to ensure that you will be able to make the repayments and it is not wise to secure the loan again your home as you will be putting it at risk.

 

Personal contract purchase (PCP)

 

One of the most popular ways cars are purchased in this day and age is through Personal contract hire. With this you do not own the vehicle and will put a deposit down and then make monthly repayments. You will be making payments based on the difference between the price of the vehicle brand new and the predicted price at the end of the agreement, this means the repayments can be quite low.

 

At the end of the agreed term you can choose to give the vehicle back and possibly do the same with a new car, hand the car in and pay nothing at the end, or pay a final lump sum and keep the car.

 

Hire purchase (HP)

 

Hire purchase follows a similar set of rules as PCP. You will pay approximately a 10% deposit and then monthly repayments over a fixed period of time. You only own the car once the final payment has been made, which is why this type of hire is better for longer term contracts when you wish to keep the car at the end.

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Interiors: How a Clean Home Translates to a Sound Mind https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/20/interiors-how-a-clean-home-translates-to-a-sound-mind/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/20/interiors-how-a-clean-home-translates-to-a-sound-mind/#respond Mon, 20 Jan 2020 18:02:58 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=6815 Thanks to the (well-deserved and long overdue) growing awareness of mental health and wellness, many of us have become acutely more conscious of the things that may impact us psychologically. There are many things that contribute to mental wellness (or lack thereof): stress from working and family conditions, childhood trauma, an unhealthy lifestyle, genetics, and…

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Thanks to the (well-deserved and long overdue) growing awareness of mental health and wellness, many of us have become acutely more conscious of the things that may impact us psychologically. There are many things that contribute to mental wellness (or lack thereof): stress from working and family conditions, childhood trauma, an unhealthy lifestyle, genetics, and just about any combination of these factors. We often do our best to deal with them in whatever way we can, but one thing we may neglect to consider is how our very homes contribute to our mental health.

 

 

The effects our homes have on us depend largely on how we use our space and live in it. If you live in an unorganised and cluttered space, you’re more likely to find yourself constantly stressed. Additionally, clutter has been found to significantly impact anxiety levels, sleep quality, and the ability to focus. A survey cited on House Beautiful found that 82% of British citizens were adversely affected by the presence of clutter, with many saying that it induced increased stress levels.

 

Clutter and a generally unclean environment could also lead to the development of mould, which studies published on the American Journal of Public Health found to be linked to depression. Living in a home rife with mould could lead to the development of mould toxicity, which has symptoms that are mostly psychiatric in nature, such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit problems, brain fog, and insomnia. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to address this. Aside from the usual chemical-based treatments and ready-made products, ‘How to Get Rid of Mould’ by HomeServe recommends making your own mould solution at home using a simple formulation of four parts water and one part bleach.

 

 

Mess and clutter are constant reminders of unfinished tasks and they bombard our minds with excessive stimuli that cause our senses to overload. This, in turn makes it difficult to physically and mentally relax. It also inhibits creativity and productivity by cramping open spaces that usually inspire most people to think, solve problems, and brainstorm. A New York Times article about clutter talks about its physiological effects, which include increased production levels of cortisol which is also known as the stress hormone. ‘Clutter Affects Health’ by WebMD also explains that clutter affects us mentally by weakening our memory – if our surroundings are cluttered, chances are, our brains are cluttered too.

 

 

In most cases, a clear and open home is a natural reflection of an equally clear and open mind. This is why having a clean and organised home is extremely important. A small study cited by Good Housekeeping found that people who mindfully washed the dishes – meaning to say they took the time to inhale the scent of the soap and basked in the feeling of the warm water on their skin – reported a 27% decrease in nervousness and 25% increase in “mental inspiration.” An assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, Darby Saxbe shared that cleaning gives people a certain sense of mastery and control over their environment. Anxiety and depression often leave the people experiencing it feeling out of control and incapable of finishing even the most menial task. As they clean, they regain some sense of control and accomplishment.

Everything starts at home. When you have a functioning, organised, and clean home, you can shift your focus on more essential things such as ‘Career & Self-Progression’. So, before your clutter starts piling up, dedicate some time to clean up so your mind clutter won’t pile up as well.

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Accessibility in the Home | Making your Bathroom Grandparent Friendly | AD https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/09/accessibility-in-the-home/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/09/accessibility-in-the-home/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2020 13:18:26 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=6809 This post is a collaboration with Mobility Plus. In the not-so-distant past, multigenerational living was not out of the ordinary. Many households had at least three generations living in them. With house prices rising and families looking for more flexible ways of living, multigenerational living is becoming ‘a thing’ again. It’s definitely something Scott and…

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This post is a collaboration with Mobility Plus.

In the not-so-distant past, multigenerational living was not out of the ordinary. Many households had at least three generations living in them. With house prices rising and families looking for more flexible ways of living, multigenerational living is becoming ‘a thing’ again. It’s definitely something Scott and I have considered. And when considering living with old bids (sorry mum and dad) – There is a lot to think about. One aspect being accessibility. Which is why it was really great to speak to Mobility Plus about their products.

 

Me and the ‘bids’

 

Accessibility in the Home

The range at Mobility Plus is made up of a fantastic selection of walk-in baths and walk-in showers. I’ll be quite honest, at first, when you hear the words ‘accessible’ and walk-in baths, it doesn’t really give you a sense of a beautiful aesthetically pleasing interiors. But having looked through the range I was really surprised with the range and how great they actually look. As a bath-loather myself, it’s a piece of interior design I’m always looking to lose – but I really do like the idea of these nifty little walk in ones!

Making your bathroom Grandparent friendly

My parents themselves have already had a walk-in shower fitted in their bathroom and mum says it has been a lifesaver. She has arthritis in her spine, and although she can still get about, she is finding it increasingly difficult to get in and out of regular showers and you can forget about a standard bath. And with dad having recently had a replacement knee fitted, it really has been vital for them.

I know if my parents, or Scott’s mum ever came to live with us, it would have to be one of the first things we did to the house. Being able to to go to the bathroom independently is vital for the elderly and anyone with mobility issues. It maintains a sense of dignity and independence for them.

 

There are lots of additional things you can do to improve the accessibility of your home and bathroom too. Installing grab rails, anti-slip mats and a shower seat for example.

 

If you or a family member need advice on making your bathroom more accessible, the folk at Mobility Plus are on hand to answer your queries.

 

 

 

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Reviewing and Reflecting on 2019 | Career & Self-Progression https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/07/career-and-self-progression/ https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/2020/01/07/career-and-self-progression/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2020 18:46:29 +0000 https://www.beckybarnes.co.uk/?p=6794 Well this is a bit of a blogger cliche isn’t it? But I’m going to look on this as a bit of therapy and self-progression for me and possibly/hopefully a bit of inspiration for you. Who knows! As I started to write, it became clear that I would need to break these posts down into…

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Well this is a bit of a blogger cliche isn’t it? But I’m going to look on this as a bit of therapy and self-progression for me and possibly/hopefully a bit of inspiration for you. Who knows! As I started to write, it became clear that I would need to break these posts down into a series, (oh great I hear you all groan). There have been some huge changes and events over the past year in both my personal life and career that I think warrant deeper exploration… So here goes.

 

How was my 2019?

I’ll be completely honest, it was a bit of a mixed bag! There were some definite highs and crushing lows. But all in all, it wasn’t terrible by any stretch!

Personally, I started off the year in a relatively new relationship, which thankfully is still going strong. My mental health was on a decent level and I was living in a home I loved.

Professionally and career-wise (and somewhat regrettably, intrinsically tied with my personal life) I had some lose ends from the year before that I really wanted to tie up and the only way I could see to do this, was to take on full-time employment and dissolve my freelance work.

In hindsight, this was a possibly a huge mistake… actually no, let me reframe that, it was a huge learning curve. One that was quite distressing. But ultimately, needed if I was ever to make lasting changes in my career and self-progression.

 

 

My Career and the impact ‘traditional’ work environments have on my Mental Health

I’ve never been great in what you would call a ‘traditional’ work environment. For the entirety of my working life, I have struggled to feel comfortable in the workplace. I tried lots of jobs as a young adult, from bar work and retail, to working in educational settings and for the most part in administrative roles.

I can genuinely say, in each role, there was an element of enjoyment. It wasn’t all doom and gloom I promise. I love interacting with people and the most rewarding of my roles was working in education as a learner support. Helping young people with learning disabilities was intense but joyful.

But even at my happiest, I found being in public for prolonged periods incredibly overwhelming.

Going to work every day was exhausting. Not in just the usual tiring, knackering, frustrating kind of way. But in a way, so soul destroying that I would find myself cycling between periods of ‘okay’ and periods of utter devastation, where I felt so overwhelmed, my whole body would just shut down. I would sob uncontrollably, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t bear the thought of facing another person again. I would be panicked to my core, I needed to be in solitude and it couldn’t happen quick enough. At it’s absolute worse I would consider suicide on the way to work, lingering on the railway bridge just that little bit too long.

Sometimes this would happen at home, so I would ring in sick. But more often than not, this would happen mid-shift. I’d find myself locked in toilets or cupboards, frozen to the spot in a stairwell, or at best just completely silent at my desk, not being able to function and hoping that no one would notice because if they did, I would ultimately crumble.

 

A feeling of shame and embarrassment

I was so ashamed of how I acted I would often leave jobs suddenly, write letters of resignation, or just never turn up again. I couldn’t believe what an utter failure and embarrassment I was. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just go to work like a normal person?

 

Enough is Enough – Self Progression

In the last 10 years, I have tried to return to employment – every time, I’ve failed miserably. The last time being early 2019. After being self-employed for so long, I felt like I’d reached a point where I couldn’t grow the business any more without financial input which I simply didn’t have. I cautiously started looking for work, and very soon I found an opportunity I thought would be perfect for me. The promise of flexible working and working from home, the place seemed really forward thinking and fresh. I was really excited and could see me progressing my career and really reaching my potential.

At first I was really living off the adrenaline of a new challenge, the thrill of excelling at something and getting recognition for it from my colleagues. But as reality started to slip in, things became more and more difficult. The promise of flexible working and working from home began to disappear, and what was available was limited and not at all flexible.

This compacted by my usual fears and feelings of being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people, traffic, (animals – yes animals) I found myself crumbling again. I really thought this time I could do it, that somehow I had changed. But the fact is I hadn’t and finally, I have come to realise that, that is absolutely fine.

 

I wasn’t made to be ‘normal’

There’s nothing wrong with normal. In fact, I crave it sometimes. But I know now after wasting so many years, that I wasn’t made that way. My fabric is cut completely different, and that is okay. I have worked incredibly hard to position myself in a way that means I don’t have to work in a traditional work environment. That in fact, I excel in an environment that I can control. An environment that allows me to put myself in situations that work for me. I can still be social and interact, but on those days I’m not able to, I still have a safe space in which I can work and still earn money.

 

 

Working from home allows me the step away from situations that would have previously had a detrimental affect on my mental wellbeing. And for a long time, I saw that as me ‘hiding’ that I was running away from my ‘problems’ but you know what, I refuse to see my difference as a problem. It’s an intrinsic part of who I am and I’ve found a way to work with it and be bloody good at the work I do.

In the spirit of Career and Self-progression I’m doing a free 5 day course with a wonderful lady called Kate Taylor – who I was recommended by another fabulous lady called Katy Taylor (I know haha!) – if you’re at all interested, you can access it here. It’s not sponsored or anything, I’m just really enjoying it!

 

 

 

 

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