How to de-stress and clear your mind

Sometimes we all need to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of every day life.  We all have stressful things going on in our lives, whether that being the stress of work, education, family etc. And we all need to wind down, de-stress and clear your mind.

C.L. Sajnog says: “What is the importance of clearing your mind? Think of your mind as a glass, and your thoughts as water. If the glass is full, you can add no water. The water will only spill over the sides.”

If you don’t clear your mind, your thoughts will get the better of you and build up and up.  By doing this you’re not allowing your mind to think clearly and you’re allowing stress to build up.

So, what do I do to de-stress and clear my mind?

#1 Go for a walk

Going for walks can clear your mind, that could be walking down your street, around the  local park or on the beach. Try it, it’s great. Just getting fresh air into your lungs is great, just walking and taking everything in can really open your mind and clear it of all of your worries, stresses and thoughts.

#2 Exercise

Picture credit: Positive life force

Now I know, this is not for everyone. But for me this is a massive de-stress – just going into the gym, getting on the treadmill running a 5k and doing weights is a way for me to clear my head. And by doing this my aim for next year is to run a 10k! It also has many health benefits that will help you clear your mind.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America: “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilise mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.”

Hence why I feel great and on the days when I do exercise my mind is so clear!

Try it and you never know how you might feel. Don’t throw yourself straight in, just ease yourself in and see how it makes you feel.

#3 Colouring books

Ahhhh mindful colouring! Now that is what calms me down. It takes me back to being a child and colouring in my colouring books! Those were the days, no stress, no worry. If only we could go back, ey!

There are SO many different colouring books out now for adults, such a wide range. From Disney to flowers and The Great British Bake off. Now I hold my hands up, I have multiple colouring books. I have small pocket ones for on the go, full off patterns. I have animal ones, flower ones and yes, of course – The Great British Bake off! Because, well….why not!

It is generally a good stress release, although I can’t do it for too long as I start colouring out of the lines. And that certainly stresses me out, I don’t know about you?

#4 Reading

I have never been one for reading BUT a lot of people seem to think that reading is good to clear your mind. Probably because your mind wonders off in your book and you forget about everything else around you.

Hmmm, it sounds like something I should try!

#5 A relaxing bath – with candles and bubbles!

Aaaaaaand RELAX. Now after a long, hard day we could all do with a wind down. This is one of my favourite ways of shutting out the world. Run a nice warm bath (with some bubbles,) get some candles lit around the bath and just relax.

In our flat its silent, and silence is bliss. But if your home is not so quiet, try putting the radio on to drown out any background sound!

Let know how you like to clear your mind and de-stress or if you are trying some of these things for the first time!

Charlotte x


17 things to ALWAYS carry in your handbag

For a woman carrying a handbag around with the kitchen sink in seems to be the norm. But do we really need to be carrying around all these things? Probably not.

The first problem we all face is which bag? So many bags! You find one…it’s too small. You find another…it’s too big. Luckily I have found the perfect bag! This is the first, most expensive, designer handbag I have EVER brought. But it is beautiful, so oh well! Shout out to Kurt Geiger for making fabulous bags! (See below.)


#1 – A makeup bag: makeup, lip balm

Essential for keeping all your little things together. In mine I keep my lip balms, mascara, blusher and brush. Just in case, you never know when you need to have a touch-up.

#2 – Compact mirror

The compact mirror, the trusty mirror! You never know when you need to check your makeup or reapply your lip balm, and to do that you need your mirror! I always put mine in my makeup bag.

#3 – Hair bobbles and clips

You never know when you’ll need a bobble or hair clips. I always keep them in my bag just in case the weather changes or I’m in a rush and need to put my hair up or out of my face.

#4 – Hair brush

Again, if I need to sort my hair out a hair brush is what I need to save the day. If it’s in my bag it’s a win-win situation.

#5 – Headphones

Don’t be the person who forgets their headphones, because there simply is nothing more annoying than getting on the bus in the morning and reaching into your handbag to find NO HEADPHONES.

If that happens then the whole day is ruined because now you must listen to Polly tell her friend Sally all about her emotional break up and you have to listen to the awful music playing out loud at the back of the bus by the teenager at the back of the bus with their hood up…. And that then results in you needing painkillers.

#6 – Notebook

Notebooks are essential, especially in my handbag. Being a Journalism student means that I could need to take notes at any time. Whether that be a lecture or interviewing someone for an article.

#7 – Diary

If I want my life to be anywhere near organised, I MUST have my diary. I need to have it with me because there’s always something going on. I always check my diary for deadlines or events happening in the area etc. It’s handy to keep in my handbag because then I can just use it when I’m out and about to jot things down. So, to keep organised….keep your diary in your bag.

#8 – Pen

If you have the previous items, you would need a pen…or in my case, several pens. You always need to have a pen in your bag because you never know when you might need one, or when someone might want to use a pen.

#9 – Tissues

Tissues are a must! You could have a cold, be upset, someone else could be upset or it could be hay fever season. These things could spring on you at any time so it’s good to keep these to hand.

#10 – Wipes

I love to keep these in my bag. These are ideal for when you’re rushing around working up a sweat, if you’ve been to the gym or it’s a hot day. They are a great way to freshen up! I only buy the small packets as they are easy and light to carry around.

They are also great if you spill something or get anything down yourself.

#11 – Feminine products

Now, being a woman this is a MUST. One of the most important things to carry in your bag, ever. We’ve all been caught out before, come on girls – admit it, it’s not nice at all. There simply is nothing worse when your time of the month appears out of nowhere, but then not having any products to hand. What a disaster. Don’t let that be you, ALWAYS carry a few products spare. Just in case!

#12 – Sanitiser and hand lotion

You never know when you might need hand sanitiser. You may touch a sticky door handle, sneeze into your hand or shake someone’s sweaty hand… you just never know! So be sure to always carry around a small bottle, to help fight those germs!

Hand cream is a MUST. Throughout the day, when I’m typing or writing my hands get really dried out. So keeping hand cream in my back is a saviour, it’s small so it fits perfectly into my bag and it smells divine.

#13 – Mints and medication

Now, no one wants to be that person with bad breath after they have just been for lunch. I love food, so it’s good to enjoy it. But check your breathe and have a mint, just to be on the safe side. You never know who you might be meeting with!

Medication, is important. Whether that being prescription or paracetamol. I made the mistake once of forgetting my vertigo medication, and I had a dizzy spell making me ill. I have never made the same mistake since.

#14 – Snack

Again with food…like I said before, I love food. So having a snack in your bag is ideal. If it stops you from going to McDonald’s then it’s great!

#15 – Spray

You know when you have those days where you just need to freshen yourself up, it’s hot or you’ve been rushing around. Just grab your bag, get your spray or perfume out and I guarantee it makes you feel one hundred times better.

#16 – Purse

Always carry your purse around with you and keep cash on you! You never know when you might need to get a taxi or a train or food in emergency!

#17 – Keys

I for one am a nightmare for forgetting my keys. So always keep them in your handbag, once you have locked your door put them back in your bag!

Moral of the story, always have these things in your bag. You never know when you might need them!

what is in my handbag


How has Slimming World changed my life for the better?

Slimming World has changed my life in many ways. The way I think, the way I eat, everything. I used to look at food as comfort, so I just ate and ate. Most of the time it was purely out of boredom and stress, eating things like chocolate for the sake of eating it.

It wasn’t until New Years Eve just gone, when I released I really have a problem with my weight, (Picture below.) I lacked confidence within myself; my skin felt awful, I’d moved up into a bigger clothes size and my general health was dreadful – I was always ill. That picture was the point in my life where I looked at myself and thought I can no longer carry on like this, I need to change my life now or my health will only get worse.

Before (left,) After (right)

I signed up to Slimming World in January. This was the start of a new chapter in my life, a new healthy version of me. It was hard for me to walk through the doors of the group, especially when I’m not originally from Sunderland, and stand on the scales and to actually see my weight.

I left the group sad that I’d let my weight get the better of me and take over my life, but I was motivated that I would no longer allow the weight to control my life any longer. I would lose the weight and be where I want to be in life, confident in my own body and happy.


Credit to Fitness made easy

To be on a diet and to be able to eat practically what I want and love is great. I can eat as much rice, pasta and potatoes as I like and that’s great for me because I LOVE CARBS. Yes, carbs and chocolate are the love of my life, not going to lie to you. ‘Carbs are love, carbs are life’ is my kind of motto.

It’s a diet that does NOT feel like a diet, it’s a lifestyle change and if you power through your first month or so you start reaping the rewards – trust me! So far on my journey I’ve almost lost a stone and half, which for me is a great achievement.

Nothing feels better than walking into group and reaching a milestone. The first one for me being my half a stone award, I cannot tell you how happy I was receiving the certificate – over the moon!

But as many things in life, it’s not always easy. It can be a bit of a rollercoaster and you could take the ‘round the wrekin’ route as I call it or the scenic route as others call it. Now I love a good challenge so this is great for me. One thing to ALWAYS remember is that it’s ok to treat yourself!! Never feel guilty and beat yourself up over something you have eaten, ever. You’re only human, it’s natural.

As I said previously there’s nothing better than reaping the rewards from your weight loss. A few weeks ago I got my Club 10, meaning that I had lost 10 per cent of my bodyweight AND on top of that I got young slimmer of the year in my group, wow! I walked out of group with a beaming smile across my face, and that’s all down to MY lifestyle change with Slimming World. I can see and feel the difference in myself; I have more energy, I rarely get ill like I used to and my fitness is SO much better, among many other things.

I can’t imagine my life now without this way of life and eating. It’s perfect for me and I can’t thank my group leader and the group enough for their support. They never judge and always listen and offer advice, couldn’t ask for anything better!

So proud of my journey so far, can’t wait to belt up for the rest of the journey to target!

Charlotte x