The Road Goes Ever On: How I’m Coping With Dissertation Stress

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I actually took this photo in June, back when I was visiting my parents, hanging out of the car window. I thought it would be appropriate for my post today as the lake is so serene, and the fields and hills so beautiful and lush, whilst the road speaks of progress, leading us on to something else. (Pretentious much?)

Currently, I’m in the middle of writing my Masters Dissertation. Well, I’m actually pretty near the start, and so very far behind considering I only have three weeks until the deadline.

Oh god.

Anyways, I wanted to procrastinate write a quick post about staying relaxed, and keeping focused on the task in hand. Not that I am very good at this – I suffer from massive anxiety issues – but sometimes it helps to plan these things, so I guess this is a little bit of my relaxation plan!

It’s so easy to get burned out really quickly and feel mentally exhausted when all you do day after day is read, think and write. When times so short it feels like you can’t afford a break, but here are a few things I do to try and make it a bit easier on myself…

 1. Drink lots of water – I know this should really be a bit of a given, but I find that when I’m studying really hard I’m a lot more prone to dehydration headaches than I am usually. I’m crazy into coconut water at the moment, so if I’m going to the library I’ll always take a few cartons to line up on my desk, and that seems to stave off the worst of the headaches.

2. Do some exercise – Again, should be a given, but I’m really quite lazy. Having more important stuff to do gives me a great excuse not to do anything, but if I’m studying all day that means I’m a lot more sedentary than usual. After a few days I find I really feel the effects of this, becoming lethargic and pretty much just feeling a bit icky. I have an exercise bike, which is great because I tend to put on a tv show to cycle to, so I get the exercise and a bit of headspace at the same time.

3. Have a good read – This is how I motivate myself when I’m really struggling to concentrate. I pick a good, easy read (no Tolstoy ’til I’m done!), preferably with short chapters, and then reward myself with it. So, if I’m reading for my writing, it’s an article, then a chapter of my book, then another article, etc.

4. Bath – I find I relax a lot more in a bath than in a shower, so I go for a bubble-bath with a super lovely scent, and soak. The calm and quiet really help unwind my mind, and then when I hop out all clean and refreshed I feel ready to start again. I also do have some moments of inspiration, which is why I keep a notepad next to the tub!!

5. Face Masks! – Haha, anything to pamper myself, right? Again, this is kinda the idea of a wee break that leaves you feeling shiny and new, and ready to get on with it. Healthy mind in a healthy body. Or at least a clean one…

6. Quick Tidy Up – Classic procrastination technique. However, I really find that I work much better in a tidy environment. That’s why some days, when I just can’t hack the state of the kitchen, I head to the library, just so I can concentrate. When I wake up in the morning it takes me a long time and about two cups of tea to be capable of any coherent thought. Whilst I stagger around grunting, I try to make use of this time by making sure everything is where it’s supposed to be.

7. Cook fresh food – I am a stress eater, and when I’m studying nothing in the house is safe from my belly. My boyfriend has started hiding his food. I have spent some time looking for it. Anyways, it’s easy when you’re feeling out of steam to grab that frozen pizza with the cheese stuffed crust night after night and just whack it all in your mouth, maybe with some onion rings and curly fries to keep it company, but you will just feel gross later. Cook something properly yourself and not only is it time concentrating on something other than your work, but it will probably also make you feel healthier.

8. Vits. and Mins. – I don’t always take supplements. I get a little bit anxious about the whole thing do you turn into a carrot if you exceed the RDA of vitamin A? when I’m being my normal-self. However, I know that when I’m studying, despite my last point, my diet will be all over the place. I try to make sure I take a general multi-vitamin to hopefully keep my body a bit happier, but I couldn’t swear if this is anything other than a placebo.

9. Scented Candles – OK, it might feel a bit weird if you get up at 8 and light a candle, but I do a lot of my studying at night, so this seems a bit more socially acceptable ? then. I suppose it’s all about feeling nice and relaxed, so able to focus without distractions. I find a comforting smell just helps to make me feel more at ease and clear my mind.

10. Rainymood.com – Really, this list is making my realise that environment is everything. Rainy Mood is a website that just plays the sound of a rainstorm on loop. I love it. A friend introduced me to it years back. He used to put the site on, and then play heavy metal over it. Not quite my thing. However, I get far too distracted if I listen to music, but I can find silence quite oppressive. This is my compromise.


 

So, that’s what I do to try and stay calm. As I say, I’m not that great at it, unfortunately.

Anyone out there got any tips to share? Or did you find any of my points useful? Leave me a comment and let me know xx

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Not Another Bill!: July 2014

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This is my second month of receiving Not Another Bill! Last month I received a beautiful frame and print, and it was gorgeous. After that injection of beauty into my home, I couldn’t wait for my next parcel. This really shows the diversity of N.A.B, as last month was something to decorate my walls, this month is something to decorate my neck!

Studio Fludd is an exciting Italian art collective, taking its name from the English scientist Robert Fludd. This guy is a pretty interesting occultist, working on controversial topics in the 16th – 17th century. Their inspiration is alchemy, manipulating matter and material.

So, this month’s surprise is a multi-faceted Botswana agate stone on a neon thread with a pastel fastening. It came  wrapped in crepe paper inside a pinky screen-printed origami envelope. Not only is the necklace gorgeous, but the packaging is delightful. Opening it really gave me that internal squee feeling of being involved in the pretty!

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I’ve worn this basically every day with every outfit imaginable. Lovely jubbly!


 

At £18 a month, it’s a bit of a pricey subscription, and I don’t think I’d be comfortable spending that much money monthly on a surprise if I wasn’t so convinced of the quality. N.A.B. is deeply concerned with providing the best of the best, though, so I’m quite a happy little subscriber!

What do you guys think? Do you have a subscription or are you tempted to get one? Leave me a comment!! xx

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Birchbox July 2014: Sun, Sea and Sand!

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July already! How did that happen? The summer is just flying by! This month’s Birchbox has a lovely summery vibe, and contains some fantastic products that are already climbing rapidly in my summer top ten! The title of the box is ‘sun, sea and sand,’ which I have been forunate to get a bit of, living on the coast. I, however, have been referring to it as the purple favourite colour alert! box, as there are plenty of lovely violet based tones going on in there.

Models Own: Nail polish in Magenta Divine ~ £5

I am not going to post a picture of my nails wearing this as I would normally because my nails are super unhappy at the moment, and I think a glitter varnish would kill them. However, I think this would make a lovely glittery topcoat, and I can see myself wearing it a lot on my toes. I did test it on my thumb nail, and it spread nice and easily, so no silly glittery clumps to battle against.

Balance Me: Wonder Eye Cream ~ £20 for 15ml

I was very pleased when I heard this was a featured item, as I got a Balance Me face cream as a magazine freebie, and have enjoyed using it. The eye cream is refreshing and easily absorbed. I haven’t noticed much of a difference to my eye area, but that’s not unusual for me. However, I find that even if it’s not visible, it feels good, so I’m sure I’ll use it a fair bit!

Laqa & Co.: Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Menatour ~ £14

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I love love love this pencil! I’ve been on the hunt for a good purple for such a long time and this is my perfect product. The colour seems to really suit my complexion, and there is a nice gloss to it on the lip. I know I will wear this nearly everyday. It is quite hydrating, and although it doesn’t have major staying-power, it lasts pretty well. Unfortunately it seems to be sold out online, but hopefully it will reappear when I need to replace it!

Benefit: The Porefessional ~ £24.50

I love me some Benefit! I have a bit of a haul I need to post in the next week or so, so I was super excited to open my box and see this! I have heard such great things about this product, but have never considered buying it as my pores aren’t that much of a problem for me. I have been wearing it anyway, as it is a super balm that really melts into the skin and gives it a radiance that means that I feel like I can go without foundation on those days we’ve had recently that have just been too hot. I’m a melter! Therefore I’m thrilled that Birchbox enabled me to encounter the porefessional and to discover how awesome it is!

Whish: Three Whishes Lavender Body Butter ~ £14.50

This is a very light-weight lotion that smooths very easily into the body, feeling very hydrating and with a gentle, more of a hint, of lavender scent. So far this product seems to only be available from Birchbox so that’s quite exciting in itself, n’est pas?

Filosofile: 4-sided Nail Buffer

Onto the French! Take a look at these guys’ website! Lots of cute little things which raise a smile! I’ve not actually used this buffer yet, but I’ve needed a new one for ages, so good timing, Birchbox!


 

Lovely box! A good mix of goodies to play with and to feel fabulous with. The only sad part is I now can’t wait for August! Oh well, patience is a virtue, after all…

How was your box this month? Are you ready for some fun in the some? Leave a comment and let me know!! xx
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Glossybox June 2014

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As many of you will know, I was severely disappointed in last month’s GlossyBox. There was too much variation between individual boxes, and the quality of the products wasn’t great. I wasn’t alone in feeling letdown, and it looks like GlossyBox has really listened to the feedback, as this month’s box is a marvelous improvement! Great value and good variety have produced a seriously impressive GlossyBox this month!

Nailgirls: 3-in-1 Base/Topcoat & Nail Strengthener ~ £13.50 for 15ml  

This is a sort of all purpose nail polish friend that you can use as base and top coat with the idea tht it particularly strengthens the nail. I couldn’t find this on the nailgirls website, but as this is billed as a new launch, that may be because it is a cheeky wee exclusive! It does its job well, and I think I got an extra day or so out of my manicure. This was perfectly timed, as I was just running out of my regular base coat.

Teeez Trend Cosmetics: Beautiful Flat Stiff Brush

How pretty is this brush?! It’s really lovely looking! To be honest, I’m not so keen on the brush itself. It’s a little too hard for me, and doesn’t seem to work so great with my eye shadows. That may be because all of my eye shadows are pretty cheap, but hey ho… I feel it might be quite good for cream shadows, as you’d have lots of control, but I don’t own any, so that’s a shame. I can’t find the brush for sale online, but I have seen a few on ebay.

Embelleze Novex: Brazilian Keratin

Once again, this is something I couldn’t find online! Am I highly incompetent with Google? Maybe! I saw something that might have been it on amazon, but I’m not confident enough to post a link here. It is a great product. You use it on clean, dry hair, applying it evenly and leaving it in for 15mins before washing it out and styling as normal. In that sense, it’s a bit of a faff, but my hair was easily shinier and smoother.

So Susan Cosmetics: Concealer Quad ~ £16.95

The packaging for this2014-07-02 09.25.02 quad is just so cute! I absolutely adore it. Now, my big secret, I don’t use concealer. Never have. Therefore I was quite interested to give this a go – maybe there was something I was missing out on?

The four shade in this palette blend together well, so should suit most skin tones. I found the formula pretty hard, and struggled to create the look I wanted. I’m not sure whether this is typical of concealer or not, so I can’t really comment on it. To be honest, this palette has not sold me on concealer, but I am glad to have it – just in case. It is available from So Susan’s website.

Roger & Gallet: Fleur de Figuier Eau Fraiche ~ £32.00 for 100ml

Mmmm, this smells lovely! Think fresh, spring days in fields with flowers and long white dresses and loose hair and floral headbands. Hehe, quite an image, huh? This is a generous sample, but if you need more, you can get it at Marks & Spencers.


So, this month’s box was a hit for me. It is actually July now how did that happen? and I’m really looking forward to the stars and stripes American themed box coming out in the next few weeks! You can sign up at GlossyBox if you fancy trying it out!

What did you think of this month’s offering? Leave me a comment and let me know! xx
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