Monitoring Mood & Staying Happy

Earlier in the week, I found one of (many) notebooks and in it I used to write lists of things that made me happy, especially when I found myself feeling down and/or stressed. The last time I wrote one of these lists was in April 2015 and my only rule was not to stop writing until I had filled a page. Naturally, I decided to try doing this again and I’d forgotten how hard it can be. Not that I consider that my life is any more or less empty than before, just that you do have to think in order to fill the entire page.

Once I had finished the list, it was fun to see how the small things in life make me happy. Some of the points I made were: ‘listening to rain‘ and ‘long journeys.‘ Some of the things listed are small and petty but if they make me happy, then they make me happy.

I can strongly recommend doing this if you’re ever down. It’s a great way to step back and see all the good things in your life. My advice is write it down! No matter how small, petty or silly! Write it down and be shameless! Don’t stop until you fill that page! At the end of the day this is personal and you don’t have to share this list with anyone. It’s just for you.

This brings me quite nicely onto what I originally intended for this week’s blog post.

Earlier this year I started a bookstagram account and alongside this blog, it is my pride and joy. For a while now I have followed Ashleigh who for one, is such a lovely person and genuinely brightens my day, and two, she fills out a ‘Mood Mandala’ in her bullet journal.

Ashleigh’s Mood Mandala – @afrolicthroughfiction

Ever since seeing her do this on a regular basis, I have thought that I might benefit from doing this. Mainly because ever since the turn of the new year, I have felt very unsure and confused of how I’ve been feeling. If someone were to ask me how I’ve been doing since January 1st 2017, I’d probably get a little flustered before stating that I don’t really know. It’s all one big blob of emotion. Whilst I can understand that a lot of people may feel like that, I think it would be beneficial for me to be able to see it displayed in such a pretty way.

I know that I cannot commit to a bullet journal because I don’t really have the time, nor am I particularly gifted when it comes to doing anything mildly artistic. Now I have set up a Mood Mandala start in May, which I have no doubt will be an interesting month due to exams and all that good stuff. After counting many times, I believe I have 31 rings to colour in for each day in May. I have listed 7 feelings down which are as follows: Stressed, Productive, Relaxed, Excited, Content, Panic/Worry and Down/Sad. Of course, being a human being is so complex so on a daily basis I may feel all of these and more in a day, but I wanted to keep this relatively simple. I’ve also written one of my favourite song lyrics at the top of the page because it makes me giggle and it’s quite cute.

Part of the beauty of monitoring mood like this, is even though I am presenting it in such a simple way, I can look back at the end of May and know that all of those feelings are valid. I’ve always been someone who knows and tells people that negative feelings are valid and I will continue to say that bad days are allowed and like I’ve said before, this is a beautiful way of demonstrating this.

That wraps things up for this week. I just wanted to add a thank you to Ashleigh for taking time to send me some photos of her Mood Mandalas but also for being such a sweet person to have on my feed everyday. Here at the links to her: Twitter | Youtube Channel | Instagram

I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night so we should have my observations up next week!

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A Re-Reading Mission: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Thoughts

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When it came to the films, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has always been one of my favourites. However, as you’d probably expect from it being the longest book, there is a lot that the film doesn’t have in it. Altogether my notes for Order of the Phoenix are about three pages long but after rearranging and sorting them out into some sort of plan, they are covered in multi-coloured scribbles. Now, I have a better plan together, let’s discuss my observations…

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Little Improvements

Spring can be a great time to make new goals and so a few weeks ago, I took a look at my life and I came to the conclusion that I would be happier if I made a few little changes to my daily routine. Now I’m a few weeks on and honestly most of it has been a failure but I’m hope to pick up these improvements again as during the time I did manage to carry out these improvements, I generally felt better.

My little life improvements goes as follows:

Scheduled Bedtime:

I am a person who cannot survive off a few hours sleep but recently I have struggled getting to sleep quickly. By setting a scheduled time to switch off my laptop and get ready for bed, I’ve definitely been able to settle down quicker than before. Not only do I switch off my laptop the same time every night but, after getting ready for bed I try and allow enough time to do about half an hour of reading. Reading regularly at my own leisure is something I haven’t always been good at but now I have this allocated time, I’m definitely getting through books a lot quicker than I would have.
Scheduled Wake-Up:
This is one I’ve most definitely failed at. I’m extremely good at ignoring my alarms and on occasion I do completely sleep through them. However, I know people who do have a scheduled time to wake up and it’s done them good. Despite intending to do this, I have probably achieved it once or twice. I’m sure when I get back into a routine I might get better at waking up at a consistent time but we’ll see.

Eat Less Bad Stuff:
I definitely intend to eat healthier and better. Some days I snack regularly whilst other days I hardly eat anything and let’s be honest, both of those situations aren’t great for me so I’d like to sort that out. However, not snacking takes a lot of self-control, something which I do not have an abundance of and therefore I have largely failed at this. I have had days in which I have decided to eat fruit rather than biscuits or something similar, or decided instead of having a snack I’ve just gone out for a walk, which surprisingly has worked.

Drink More Water:
Yes, I am more than aware that this was one of my New Year’s Resolutions and it was successful for a month or so, but then I ended up crawling back to the fizzy stuff. After the break from some drinks however, I have definitely found that I didn’t enjoy drinking some of the drinks I used to like. In order to try and drink more water I have set a reminder on my laptop (as I spend a lot of time typing away) to get me to drink water and currently it’s set to every hour. It’s definitely helped as when I’m away from my laptop I am drinking water more regularly.

Go for Regular Walks:
Again, this is a little improvement which is both successful and not so successful. I have found myself walking more to get to places and also taking the dog out more often. Unfortunately, my dog is getting old and is a small little guy so can’t go for long walks that often but it’s quite easy to see when he is getting tired and wants to go home. Not only is this good for the dog but also good for me as it gets me away from my laptop and my cosy little room.

So those are a few improvements I have attempted to implement into my life and I will continue to do so. I’m sure when I settle back into a regular routine these will become more successful and I will feel a little happier on a day-to-day basis.

A Re-Reading Mission: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Thoughts

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Wow. So, I’ve finished book 4 of this series and that was actually quite an interesting and odd one for me to read. For those of you reading this who have read/seen Cursed Child, you’ll know exactly why, but I am going to avoid spoilers as best I can throughout this. In my notebook, I have two pages of solid notes in preparation for this post and I am going to predict that this is going to be a VERY long one… Let’s see how this goes..

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A Re-Reading Mission: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Thoughts

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I managed to finish Prisoner of Azkaban and it’s the first book of the re-read that I’m not having overwhelming amount of thoughts on. I’m definitely not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, in fact, Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favourite stories in the Harry Potter franchise. With Prisoner of Azkaban comes even more aspects of the Wizarding World which I adore, including gadgets and characters. I’m pretty sure that this post will not be particularly long but let’s see how we go…

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