7 ways to get out of the 2020 slump

2020 has been a strange one and it’s so easy to get yourself into a slump at the moment. There is a lot of tension out there from constant arguing and opinion slinging on social media to people actually having a go at each other in the street – I have had this directed my way a couple of times recently from complete strangers which is just the weirdest thing ever. I’m all about keeping positive right now and have 7 ways on how to get out of that 2020 slump.

Switch off from social media

This sounds like an obvious one but social media can be a bit of a toxic space at the moment, especially on Facebook and Twitter. We are all constantly on our phones and having that endless stream of doom and gloom news can really start to get to you after a while. 2020 has seen a huge increase in the suicide rate and social media will definitely play a part in this. Turn off your phone for a few hours a day and step away from the news and newspapers to give yourself a break from it all. They say ignorance is bliss and I can’t help but agree as when I take a break from the news and social media it makes me feel a whole lot better and is the perfect way to reduce stress or anxiety levels.

Less slump, more get up and go!

Being on lockdown and staying indoors for long periods of time can definitely get you in a slump and feeling sluggish. The weather is turning colder and you might just want to stay in your pyjamas binge watching Netflix. This is completely ok but not all day, every day. Make a plan to do something productive every day. Start reading a new book, clear out your wardrobe (see my previous blog post with tips on this), re-organise a room in your home, do something creative, go for a nice Autumnal walk, do those jobs that you have been putting off for a while. You will feel so much more positive and productive when you get up and get moving.

Write yourself a list

Following the above point, writing lists is a great way to get a plan of action in place. There is something really satisfying about crossing things off of a list when you complete them too and you will be able to see everything you are getting through and accomplishing. Writing down a list is also an excellent way to clear your mind as sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming when you have a million things buzzing around your head all at once and a list helps to see everything written down clearly. Plus, it’s always nice to treat yourself to some new stationery.  My favourite places to buy fabulous stationery are Smythson, Papier, Paperchase, The Magic Notebook, and Juniqe.

Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
£8.00
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
£115
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
£7.00
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
£7.00
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
£69
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
£8.00
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
£115
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
£7.00
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
£7.00
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
£69
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
Paperchase A4 Jungle Forest Notebook
£8.00
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
Smythson Mara Chelsea Notebook
£115
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
Paperchase Luxe A5 Subject Notebook
£7.00
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
Paperchase Letter H Notebook
£7.00
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
Smythson ‘S’ Monogram Panama Notebook
£69

Practice gratitude daily

One way to avoid falling into a slump, is instead of focusing on negative things, think about all of the amazing things you already have in your life. Be grateful every day for what you have and it will definitely make you feel more positive. You could even write down one thing a day that you are grateful for and then read over them by the end of the week. You might be surprised at how lucky you are even by the most simplest of things. Here is an example of a daily gratitude list:

  • Monday I’m grateful that I have my own home/place to live in.
  • Tuesday I’m grateful that my family live near to me.
  • Wednesday I’m grateful that I have a good job and have been able to work during the pandemic.
  • Thursday – I’m grateful for having an easy pregnancy this year and that I am about to be a new mum.
  • Friday– I’m grateful for having a great support network around me.
  • Saturday– I’m grateful for all of the amazing, friendly messages that I receive on Instagram every week and meeting new people.
  • Sunday– I’m grateful that I have a fridge and cupboard full of food.

Pampering

Whenever you feel a little stressed out or in a slump, having a nice hot shower, using some gorgeous products can make the biggest difference. It’s an instant mood lifter. Having a little pampering session, like spending time doing your nails, applying a hair or face mask, or having a long exfoliating soak in the bath – these are all things that you might not have time for usually every day but setting aside an an hour for a little pampering is a great way to get you feeling good about yourself and out of that slump! Cult Beauty have some amazing sets at the moment for a perfect pamper night in.

Cut back on alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant which means that any amount you drink can make you more likely to get the blues. Drinking too much, too often will make you feel tired and sluggish – definitely not good when trying to avoid being in a slump! Lots of bars and restaurants have been closed this year which has lead to an increase in home drinking and it’s easy to get into a habit of over doing it. Take a step back from the home boozing, have a little detox and practice the other tips in this blog post and you will feel so much better for it. 

Do something nice for others

Thinking about others and brightening up someone else’s day is an instant mood lifter. Why not send a little care package to someone to cheer them up, or a bunch of flowers. You might know someone who is not able to get out of the house easily and taking them round some essential bits and bobs could be a massive help for them. It will make you feel good to help someone out. I think 2020 is a year where we all need to be checking in on each other more than ever. Make the time to call someone and see how they are doing. They might be more grateful for that chat than you realise. 

If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my other tips around self care HERE

A little pregnancy life update!

I’ve been a little quiet on here recently but this is all because I have a little pregnancy life update to share with you all! I am 22 weeks pregnant and expecting my first baby. It has been a little secret for a while now but if you follow me over on Instagram (@hannahluloves if you want to find me over there) you will already know the news.

I’m looking forward to working on some pregnancy related content, from beauty products that I have been using, how I have been styling my growing bump, baby shower ideas, nursery decorating and more, so keep posted for all of my upcoming blog posts. Here’s a little bit about how the journey has been so far….

A lovely little surprise

We found out that I was pregnant back in February, just as the Covid pandemic was really starting to heat up. I was still going into work until around the 2nd week of March when we decided to start working at home. Well, this couldn’t have come at a better possible time for me! It meant I didn’t have to do a 3 hour commute back and forth into London each day and meant I could relax at home which was really handy, especially during the first few months..

Pregnancy First Trimester

If you don’t know (and I definitely didn’t!), pregnancy is split into 3 chapters or what they call trimesters, which are 3 months each. The first trimester can be one of the toughest to deal with as your body is going through a load of hormonal changes as well as it being the time when you grow a completely new organ from scratch – the placenta – which is vital for looking after your developing baby.

During the first trimester a lot of women have morning sickness and can feel really unwell. I luckily had it pretty easy with no sickness at all. I would feel really tired around 4pm each day, but being at home meant I was able to take it easy. It was kind of like a drained tiredness sort of feeling, like when you don’t feel 100% well or when you are a bit hungover. Women also get food cravings during this time but I didn’t seem to have any. No strange urges to eat the sofa or any lumps of coal for me! The only other thing that I experienced during this time was that I felt freezing cold all of the time. I had layers and layers of clothing with hot water bottle to help warm me up but this stage didn’t last too long.

Scans and checks

Around the 12 week point we went for our first scan. This is what they call a dating scan where they estimate your babies due date and our baby is due to arrive around 1st November. Due to the whole Covid nightmare it meant that anyone pregnant had to go into scans alone, without their partner which was really disappointing. It was quite strange seeing that there was a teeny little person inside me for that first scan and I know my boyfriend would have loved to have been part of that.

Around the 20 week point, we went for our 2nd scan which is where they do all of the checks to see that everything is growing and developing properly. They can also tell you the gender at this point. We were convinced the whole time that it would be a boy and the sonographer was able to confirm this in the 2nd scan – we guessed correctly! He was being a little bit naughty that day though and was in awkward positions, covering his face so it made it tricky for her to do the checks she needed so I had to go for a 15 minute walk to move him about a bit! We played some music to my belly as we walked around outside and it seemed to do the job.

We decided to go for a private scan after this so that my boyfriend could come into the room and be able to see the baby moving around for himself. Its a shame that hospitals are not allowing partners into the scans even if they wear a mask or protection – especially for first time pregnancies. The private scan was a much nicer experience than the hospital and we were both able to hear the heart beat together which was lovely as well as being able to see his little face in 3D which they don’t offer at the hospital.

Pregnancy Second Trimester

I’m now into my 2nd trimester which is when you are meant to get a “pregnancy glow” and when the sickness from the 1st trimester has passed. I’m not sure that I have a glow but my nails have grown really long and strong which has been handy as all nail salons have been closed during lockdown so I haven’t been able to get any nail extensions done since around February! I didn’t have much of a bump until around week 20 when it really started to pop out of nowhere and quickly! I had to take out my belly button piercing which I have had since I was about 15 as my stomach started to stretch and it couldn’t stay in there any longer.

The other thing which has been exciting is I have started to feel him moving around in my belly the last 2 weeks or so. I wasn’t sure what to expect and it was difficult to tell if it was the baby moving or something else but I can definitely tell now and it’s a funny little wriggly sensation that will soon get stronger as he continues to grow.

So this is everything that has been going on with me and now the news is out I hope you enjoy the rest of the journey!

How were your 1st and 2nd trimesters? 

Did you have any funny cravings?

Leave me a comment below!

If you enjoyed this lifestyle related post you might also like this HERE

Sweet treats at Feya cafe, London

Feya Cafe, London

Image @Feya Instagram

I can never resist a beautifully decorated cafe or restaurant and Feya was one of the top places that I wanted to try out. As you’ll know from one of my previous blog posts HERE, London has an amazing selection of Instagrammable cafes, with new ones popping up all of the time. I have been to a fair share of these and love to visit new places that open. So how does Feya compare to the other luxury cafes out there at the moment and would I recommend visiting? Let’s get into my review…

Interior design

Due to the popular success of Feya, they have opened up a second cafe. The original cafe opened in Marylebone just behind Selfridges in London and the latest venue to open is based in Knightsbrige, a short distance walk from Harrods. I have been to both branches and as expected, both are beautifully decorated. I love the attention to detail and the pretty girlie touches everywhere, right down to the little things like the gold cutlery. Each cafe has it’s own style of interior design. 

Feya Cafe, London

Feya Cafe, London

The Marylebone branch is quite small but if you try and plan your visit earlier in the morning to avoid the lunch time rush, you should be able to find a table. This cafe has a pastel pink exterior and you are greeted with a counter displaying all of the delicious cakes and treats. Hanging from the ceiling are gorgeous white faux flowers and there are intimate seating areas with luxurious velvet chairs. The perfect setting for a coffee break on a day out shopping!

Feya Cafe, London

The Knightsbridge branch though is my favourite of the two. It’s a much larger space, filled with more seating area options. To the right hand side of the cafe are lush purple and green velvet scalloped edge chairs placed around marble tables and this side has an enchanted woodland type feel to it. To the right hand side of the cafe are the most amazing gold bird cage booths, surrounded by handing greenery and wisteria. It’s a gorgeous mix between the marble tables, gold accents and burgundy velvet seating. They have thought of everything with the design of this and even the ceiling is a beautiful navy blue with twinkly lights across it. 

Feya Cafe, London

Feya Cafe, London

Feya Cafe, London

The Food

Ah the food! This should be the real reason that anyone goes to one of these places, rather than just for capturing that cute Instagram shot. Feya offer a brunch menu, a savoury menu, or a choice from their dessert menu. Each time I have visited I chose from the brunch menu and I ordered the Wisteria waffles which is like an actual piece of art when they bring it out to you! A delicious warm waffle, topped with pretty edible flowers, a scoop of ice cream, white & dark chocolate drizzle and a selection of mixed berries. HEAVEN!!

Feya Cafe, London

Feya Cafe, London

images – various @Feya Instagram

If you don’t have such a sweet tooth, then the savoury options are great such as a three cheese tortellini, avocado on toast, pasta, salads, toasted sandwiches or poached eggs with muffins.

Also to mention, apart from a lovely selection of coffees and teas, they also offer smoothies and the most delicious coolers and pressed juices which are a great refreshment for a warm day in the City.

Feya Cafe, London

Feya Cafe, London

Worth the money?

With these sort of high end cafes, you can expect to pay a premium so you expect it to be good, from the food, to the service and to the decor. I have been to other cafes in London such as Elan where I always find the service to be pretty rude, to the point where I don’t think I will ever go back to one of their cafes again. But with Feya, I have been more than once and would definitely go back and highly recommend visiting one of their branches when you are next in London. If you have a day out shopping, this would be just the sweet treat to finish off your day perfectly.

You can visit the Feya website HERE for more details.

Have you been to either of the Feya Cafes? 

What is your favourite luxury cafe in London?

Leave a comment below and thanks for reading! xx

Self Care: Things we need to stop stressing over in 2020

It’s January and officially a brand new year! Self care is so important during this month in particular, as after the huge Christmas build up (which pretty much starts the moment Halloween is over) it’s a well known fact that people can feel a bit deflated and the January blues can kick in. I wrote a blog post about this last year HERE if you would like some tips on how to keep positive during January.

There are a few things that we need to stop stressing about and leave well and truly behind in 2019. We really shouldn’t be over-thinking or worrying about these sort of things and I’m sure you will be able to relate. 

Cosmetic procedures

Cosmetic procedures used to be a little secret and not something to really broadcast or talk about. However these days it seems that EVERYONE has had some sort of enhancement. Lip fillers are now a standard procedure and the majority of girls that I see on Instagram have had some kind of lip treatment and I have found myself starting to wonder if this is something I need to have done myself. I have never had any issues with my lips before, but it just goes to show that the images we see online on a daily basis, can really start to affect the way we think and how we look at ourselves, which is not a good thing. This has even led me onto looking at jaw fillers, nose fillers and an obsession with having the perfect straight, white teeth which I actually had done last year. I have nothing against anyone having a cosmetic procedure if it’s something they really want and if it makes them feel better, that’s amazing. But having procedures just for the sake of it, or because it’s seen as a trend is not healthy and we all need to learn to love ourselves as we are without comparing ourselves to how others look.

Also, our beauty regime these days is not a cheap process! We can’t just apply a quick layer of fake tan with a face of make up for a night out anymore. Now days there are so many things that us females feel the need to have done, from micro bladed brows, Russian lashes, hair extensions at £400 a session, nail extensions, tan, make up – the list goes on. To add to this,  new beauty trends pop up all the time and the pressure to be involved in these sort of trends are constantly looming in the background.

Baby Gate

“When are you having a baby then?

“You better get a move on now that you are in your 30’s” 

“You don’t want to be an old mum though do you?”

If only I had a pound for the amount of times I have been asked these sort of questions! It seems that when anyone has been in a relationship for any length of time, it becomes the question that everyone feels they have the right to ask you. Perhaps some of us are just happy being a couple and enjoying life together without children. A crazy thought right?

I’ve found myself starting to get annoyed with these sort of questions. They have started coming from friends that have had their own children and there’s nothing worse than your own friends ‘pregnancy shaming’ you. I have even been questioned by my boyfriend’s friends about this subject which really surprised me. I don’t know about you, but being told by a male that you are “running out of time” just seems bizarre to me. My womb is my own business thank you very much!

So, I feel that people really should avoid asking couples about this subject. You never know, they could be trying for a baby and not getting anywhere which could be distressing for them. For me personally, it starts to make me panic and makes me feel that I am falling behind others my age which is really silly and a classic example of peer pressure. I love my life at the moment – if I want to go on holiday or on a last minute night out, I can. I don’t have to try and find a baby sitter and I don’t have scary child care costs to worry about and that suits me just fine. But equally, I do want a family of my own and I do appreciate that there is a time restriction for females but we should be allowed to do things at our own pace without judgement and without feeling the pressure from others.

FOMO 

The fear of missing out. This is another modern day thing that I feel all of us suffer from which needs to stop. Social media is the biggest route cause of this and we all need to remember that these platforms are a showreel of someone’s life. No one ever posts the boring bits of their day or the part where they are sitting at home in their pyjamas looking like Hagrid. 

So, when you see everyone else on yet another luxurious holiday, or with yet another brand new outfit, dont let it make you feel that you are falling begind or that you are not in the same league as these people.

It’s easy to look at friends too and compare yourself to what they are doing. It’s normal to so this but it’s also important to stress that everyone has their own path in life and just because you know someone that is buying a house or getting a sparkly new kitchen and you aren’t at the moment – then that’s ok! Your time will come and if anything, it will encourage you to work towards your own goals more so enjoy the process of your own personal journey in your own time.

Lipstick – special Isabel Marant collection by Loreal

Is Instagram creating a new breed of social climbers?

A social Climber

A Social Climber is anyone that becomes friends with someone if they have something that they want. They become ‘friends’ with people in particular who ‘know people’ that can be of use/benefit to them. In turn, they become (or attempt to become) friends with that first person’s more ‘popular’ friends, then leaving the first person behind. They repeat this cycle to get to the ‘top’ as they see it.

This is something which has been playing on my mind a lot recently and I’ve been noticing the trend of this happening around me quite a lot. I know I can’t be the only one experiencing this so I wanted to write this blog post to put it out there that social media channels, particularly Instagram, is encouraging a new breed of social climbers. 

I love Instagram as it’s so visual and great for inspiration. I personally really enjoy using it for picking up on new emerging trends and seeing how other bloggers or Instagram models put together outfits, looking out for the latest bars or restaurants that are opening and also for home styling ideas. It’s great though for anyone, whatever their passion or interests might be. I wrote a blog post a year ago about my thoughts on Instagram HERE  which you also might like to take a look at.

Follow/Un-follow culture

Instagram has always had a problem with the follow/un-follow process. If you are not aware of this, what happens is that the account will start following people to get them to follow them back. Once they follow back, they then hit the un-follow button. Usually they never notice that this person un-followed them and they have essentially got away with it. The reason they do this to boost their follower account and there are even companies that you can actually pay to do this for you as a ‘bot’ which is craziness!

Fake Instagram friendships

When I first joined Instagram there were girls that would comment and engage on my posts all of the time. I was happy to be networking with some really lovely people, (or so I thought) and I genuinely loved supporting them back with their posts. However, a while ago, two of them stopped leaving comments as regularly and then stopped following me all of a sudden. It made me slightly paranoid, making me wonder what had changed. Did they no longer like my content? Had I done something to offend them? Had I missed any of their posts lately and it had annoyed them? 

It really bugged me for a while and then I realised – they didn’t need me anymore and I was someone they could drop now that they were climbing up the ‘Instagram ladder’ with more and more followers and they had used me along the way to get there. After thinking about it, the whole thing is really quite stupid and just confirmed to me that these girls were not my ‘friends’ at all – I hadn’t even met them in the real world! I had to give myself a talking to and not to be so silly to even worry about such a thing. That’s what happens sometimes with Social Media though – it can be a funny old place and no wonder why so many people struggle with it. On the plus side, I still have a lot of interaction with some girls that have been there from the beginning and they are really lovely. 

Moving forward

This has really opened my eyes though. I’m seeing Social Climbing happening everywhere, not just on Instagram and it’s definitely something to be aware of.  I’m not saying that you need to be suspicions of everyone that you meet, wondering what it is that they want from you, but I will be a lot more conscious that this sadly is a thing now.

I think that this will also really make me pay more attention to how I interact with other people. My Instagram account has grown since I started blogging last year and I still love interacting with a lot of the same people that I did back in the very beginning as well as new people I have come across along the way. I would never want anyone to think that I didn’t have time for them and that the number of followers you have makes you more ‘important’ than anyone else – it’s a nasty way to behave and people will always see through it in the end. As they say, Karma will always find it’s way to those who deserve it.

Have you had experiences with this before?

Leave a comment below if you have!

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