10 Reasons You Should Wake Up Early | How To Be An Early Riser When You Really, Really Don’t Feel Like It

Whether it’s summer, the weekend or still lockdown where you live, sometimes waking up early can be difficult. Without the incentive, you can easily lie in bed for a couple more hours. This post is not only to help you, but also myself. There are many perks to waking up early, and I want to compile them all in a post. So, whenever you’re contemplating a lie-in you remember how good an early start makes you feel.

1) You have some alone time in the morning 

This one appeals to me the most. As someone who enjoys quiet time, in a busy house it can be hard to find. Especially when your brother plays guitar non-stop all day (I’m surprised his fingers are still intact!)

2) Bird song

Maybe the city gals don’t relate to this one, but since I live semi-rurally bird song is not hard to find. If you do live in an urban landscape, I’d recommend turning on bird sounds just to feel more at peace. It’s one of my favourite sounds and it’s always best in the early hours.

3) Early morning sunshine!

During winter and summer, early morning sunshine is at its best. I love the golden glow it emits on to the garden and through the kitchen window. It makes me smile every time I see it!

4) Head start on the day

While everyone else is asleep, you can be cracking on with your to-do list. I always have an afternoon slump so I rely on the mornings to get things done. Then later on, when you hit that wall, you don’t have to fear. You’ve already got a lot of shiz done!

5) Ability to stay off screens for longer before work/school/blog begins

I like to spend time off social media in the morning. However, if you wake up later (say 9am) and have a meeting a 9:30, you won’t have much time to detox from screens before launching yourself straight into work. Wake up early, spend less time on screens in the morning, feel better.

6) Time to meditate (no interruptions)

I’m not the sort of person you’ll find cross legged completing a guided meditation. But meditation is more than the trendy kind you see on YouTube. My form of meditation is journaling. In the morning, not only can I get journaling done and dusted, but I can journal for longer without interruptions.

7) Less time wasted

If I wake up late I feel as if the day has slipped away already, so I don’t force myself to complete much. Whereas when I wake up early I launch into tasks and get much more done. In the evening I’m never productive, so that’s why I like to sleep earlier then I can make the most of my time.

8) The afternoon slump… it’s not as bad for a morning person!

If you wake up earlier, the afternoon slump tends to fall around lunchtime. Therefore you can take your lunch break while you’re feeling a bit demotivated, then refresh and launch back into work. But when I wake up at 8, my slump tends to fall around 3pm.

9) Going for walks while it’s not busy/no screaming children

Dear children, they’re sweet little people but they’re so damn loud. Getting out for your walk early has many benefits: you avoid the blazing sun, it’s nice and cool, no-one is about, children are still in bed. I love quiet so getting out early means there is more tranquility. The only people you encounter are similar minded people! Therefore interaction is avoided at all costs… except for maybe a smile or an awkward ‘hello’.

10) Feels like an accomplishment 

I hear people moan about how they ‘can’t possibly get up so early’. So when I get up early, I just feel like I’ve accomplished something.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post! It’s a little different to my usual, but self-growth is a niche I would like to delve into more. 

Do you enjoy posts like this? What is one thing I’ve mentioned that you relate to?

Have a lovely week everybody! 

catherine x

(I swear I’ve not written such a short post since my six word stories)

My Instagram

Check out what I’m reading…

Pin this for later, or just check out my boards

My bookstagram

5 Things I’m Grateful For This Summer | Collaboration With Daisy’s Corner

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the blog. This Friday’s post is in collaboration with my online bestie Daisy, from Daisy’s Corner. Organised girl boss Daisy had this collab planned far in advance, and finally it is time to share it with you! In this post I will be sharing 5 things I’m grateful for this summer. Daisy is doing the same, so after reading this post you must click here to view her half. This is going to be a very happy, wholesome post! I hope you enjoy.

Early Summer Mornings

I don’t get up early every day, although I am making an effort to. I just love the golden glow in the morning! Sitting in the garden with my journal, or a good book, in the early hours is an unbeatable feeling. Plus, with the weather being so hot in the UK at the moment, it’s about the only time I can go outside without roasting to bits.

Frozen Fruit (Blueberries In Particular)

This time last year I had not yet discovered the joy of eating fruits frozen. Berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, are super yummy when frozen. They’re are comparable to sweets, except better in my opinion! All fruit is a blessing, and I could not live without it. Lockdown has made so many of us more grateful for the little things. I try to believe that I was expressing gratitude before lockdown, but never like this.

My Garden

All throughout lockdown I have been especially grateful for my garden. In the beginning stages when only 1 hour of exercise daily was allowed, I felt so grateful to have my outdoor space. We’ve started inviting a few people round for barbecues and it’s been an awesome family space. On top of that, it’s served as our own ‘camping’ park. Since we can’t go on holiday this year, I have been camping in the garden for a breath of fresh air – literally.

That I Can Go For Long Walks

As we are no longer restricted to one hour of exercise per day, I can now get out on long walks. I live semi-rurally, where there are many amazing walks nearby. I am extremely grateful for that opportunity. The countryside, and the beautiful hills, are where I belong. If I could walk up and down a mountain every day, I would. It gives me such a buzz (much more satisfying than post-workout adrenaline!)

Audiobooks

Lockdown forced me to start using a library app, rather than the in-person experience. That led to my discovery of audiobooks! I’ve always wanted to try out this way of reading before, but I thought I needed to spend money. Turns out, the library has them there for me! Without coronavirus I would have never discovered this feature. Although it is a dreadful virus, the consequential lockdown it caused has brought many a realisation. Audiobooks are such a convenient way to get through books while completing other activities. My favourite is colouring and listening, or even when I’m editing photos for Instagram.

I have a childish obsession with rainbows…

We are missing out on so much opportunity this summer. My family didn’t book anything, but planned to go inter railing around Italy. In the past year I have also raised £1800 to go on a Guides camp, which was inevitably cancelled. Despite the drastic change of plans, I’ve still had an awesome summer thus far. Counting my blessings has kept me positive and inspired! I do encourage any of you feeling a tad low to write down 5 things you’re grateful for either in the comment section or on paper. Really reflect on what you have written down. I promise you, it’s the best habit to get into a routine of.

Many thanks to Daisy for offering me the chance to do a 3rd collab together! You have no idea just how much I love chatting with you, and that Zoom call once was the most fun. Daisy just completed her first year of blogging! It’s been a wild ride, and she has grown so much in this short space of time. Please go over and support her blog, YouTube and Instagram. So much hard work goes into maintaining content like this so even the smallest support means a lot. 

What are you especially grateful for this summer?

catherine x

My Instagram, now posting again!


Pin this post for later…

Check out what I’m reading 

My bookstagram

The Uprise of Self-Care Sunday | Does It Negatively Affect Your Mental Health?

When I say ‘it’s okay to do nothing’, I genuinely mean it. If your social media feed looks anything like mine, you have probably heard this a lot. Some people host a Sunday event called ‘self-care Sunday’ which I think is an amazing idea. However, the mainstream connotations of self-care: baths, pampers and baking are not going to work for everyone. Now I have already written about this. But revisiting it a few months later is beneficial, since there are so many of you that have joined since then (thank you for 700 followers!)

Workaholism

I find that when people take you through their ‘self-care Sunday’, or ‘rest day’ they are still being mega productive. The workaholic mindset is worrying, especially among young impressionable people. Self-care Sunday should be for self-care: not for sharing it on your Instagram. Also, other people’s ideas of rest days might be more or less productive than your’s. So if you see someone going for a run on their rest day, that’s them. That makes them feel better. But if you sit on your bed eating chocolate raisins and watching Doctor Who all day, that can also make you feel better. Everyone has different ways of caring for themselves so please don’t compare them.

Is This The Real Life, Is This Just Fantasy For Instagram?

Telling your followers that you do take days off for self-care is important, they need to be aware that you’re not a Boss Babe 24/7. When influencers share their seemingly perfect self-care on the Internet, you speculate: are they doing this to take care of themselves or to post it on social media? Followers need to know that you’re not always working at the desk, but they also need to know that self-care isn’t just bubble baths and long walks.

For some people, going for a walk isn’t self-care. Diet culture perceives walking as a way to lose weight, and how can you enjoy an activity that intends for you to lose weight? There are so many people that can’t enjoy exercise because they’re only thinking about the end result, and disordered ideas that thinner is better. Rather than run for the fun of running, in the back of their mind (or the front) they’re thinking about how this will help them get fitter and potentially thinner. Glamourising weight loss is a whole other story.

I keep getting side-tracked. Wow, that shows how rusty I am with posts like this. Anyway, rest is a sub-category of self-care. Let me show you this:

Self care 

  • Eating well
  • Getting exercise
  • Doing your hobby
  • Journaling/getting out your thoughts in some sort of medium

Rest

  • Chilling in bed
  • Catching up on telly
  • Eating chocolate
  • Cuddling with your cat

Taking care of yourself also means getting things done, to unload unnecessary stress. You can’t eat chocolate and watch Netflix all day every day, without consequences of bad health. Similarly, procrastinating an essay until the night before it’s due because you’ve been binge-watching telly is not self-care. Although watching Netflix might be a way of taking care of yourself and relaxing, prioritising it over the work that needs to get done will not make you feel any better. Self-care means something different to each individual, but the main principle is taking care of yourself as the word states.

Scenario

It’s a Monday afternoon, last lesson of school. The teachers sets you an essay, to be completed by Friday. You’re so tired by the time you get home; you don’t get started yet. However, this pattern continues until Thursday. Now you’re in a panic! Only a few hours to get this essay sorted? Why didn’t you do it sooner?

You didn’t do it sooner because you prefer to watch Netflix in the evenings. And chilling out, according to your social media feed, is self-care. That excuse keeps you going.

But, is waiting until the last minute really self-care? No. Perhaps getting a chunk done, rewarding yourself with an episode of Stranger Things, then getting another chunk done would be self-care. Otherwise you’re spending the entire week watching Netflix with the pressing concern of completing the essay in the back of your brain. You can’t properly enjoy relaxing in front of the telly when you know something is due in a few hours.

I will explain procrastination in further detail, as a separate post. However this one is supposed to be about self-care. Sorry the tangents are a bit annoying; I can’t help it! Eventually this will get better, but at the moment I don’t want to erase any paragraphs because I feel like they contribute to the post. 

Self-care is individual. 

Even I, the one preaching this message, need a reminder sometimes. I need to be told that taking care of yourself is not solely watching Doctor Who and eating chocolate raisins. It’s getting my work done, then rewarding myself with Doctor Who.

Okay, and back to the first paragraph. It’s called cyclical structure, and perhaps it will improve the continuity of this article. Umm, commenting on my writing as I’m writing is a little bit strange. I don’t know: do you like it? Or would you prefer me to shut up and get the facts down?

“It’s okay to do nothing”

What is nothing to you? You can’t simply do nothing. You are always doing something. Now, watching TV is not nothing, is it? It’s watching TV. So if you spend an afternoon watching TV, label it as such. Do not fall into the trap of calling relaxing ‘doing nothing’. Because relaxing is something. Relaxing is a key part in taking care of yourself. Next time you sit in a bath, singing along to 1D and using a hairbrush as a microphone, call it SELF-CARE. Not NOTHING!

As Winnie The Pooh says, ‘doing nothing leads to the very best something’.

How do you practise self-care? Does it consist of journaling, exercise or TV?

I hope this post starts up a conversation. I would love to chat with you. Although it is dissimilar to my regular content, I did really enjoy writing it. Let me know your thoughts: whether you read the whole thing through or just skimmed over parts? I know I am not usually compelled to read through chunky posts, I much prefer ones laid out with questions and answers. What about you?

Take care of yourself.

catherine x

My Instagram

Check out what I’m reading

My bookstagram (where I share bookish photos and thoughts)

Exciting Announcement! | Staying Happy During Lockdown + The Uprise Of Positive Social Media

I can’t contain my excitement to announce this new initiative! For a while I’ve been considering starting my own hashtag because they seem to be really popular on Instagram at the moment. Also, since The Positivity Project, I’ve been searching for new ways to spread happiness even in the darkest times. After a couple of late nights and brainstorming, I thought of the perfect idea: Stay At Home Sunshine!

In its simplest form, this hashtag is a hub of positivity. However, just photos was too simple for me. I’ve decided, taking inspiration from the amazing Emma Blether, to create questions each week for people to answer in their captions, via photos or as blog posts. They won’t be any random questions either, always sticking to the initial idea of positivity. This week’s question is ‘What are you grateful for?’ Can’t wait to see your answers on Instagram, or even over here on WordPress! Just make sure to tag me so I can see it straight away.

Not only will this hopefully increase levels of happiness for my followers, but also growth! Hashtags are a great way to boost engagement and find new people. Plus, if all people posting to that hashtag are passionate about positivity, you’re curating your feed to be a good space! This seems like a great idea in my mind, and that’s why I need your help.

Creating a project like this one requires a lot of energy. To see all of that effort wasted, due to people not responding, is so disheartening. Please, if you have the time, participate in my positivity project! Every comment is dearly appreciated, from two word answers to paragraphs of inspiration. Don’t forget to add stayathomesunshine to the bottom of the caption either!

My Instagram feed at the moment is so inspiring. Loads of people have been spreading love and happiness, and that’s the main reason I began this whole thing. It’s you, my wonderful followers, who make it possible. I can’t thank you enough for that.

So, in response to Week One of Stay At Home Sunshine…

What are you grateful for?

YOU!

Hope you all have a great week, whether you’re participating or not. Remember to head over to my Instagram because that is where the bulk of the project will be shared. However, I’m also hoping that if we get some lengthy answers then I can compile them into a blog post (with the author’s permission of course!) You may also want to be aware that I’m going to like and comment on every post under the hashtag. EVERY SINGLE ONE! Can’t wait to see your responses.

Lots of love,

erin x

Spread the word! I’d appreciate if you could reblog, share the link with a friend or even leave a like. Anything to help get more people involved is worth it! This project isn’t about boosting engagement or followers, it’s about being happy even in the darkest of times. 

Instagram (where they party music is playing!)

Goodreads

10 Ways To Stick To A Routine During Lockdown | Collaboration With Emma Blether

Today I bring you a really exciting post: a collaboration with Emma Blether! We’ve all been struggling during lockdown, and many people have been recommending to ‘stick to normal routine’. How do we do that? Emma and I wrote 5 tips each for you to follow. You can check out my ideas on Emma’s blog after you’ve read these ones! Now on to Emma’s recommendations:

Plan Your Day In Segments

My first tip is to break the days into segments. What I mean by this is plan what you want to do during each part of the day. If I was breaking my day into segments I would have: morning, afternoon, evening. You could break it down even less if you wanted to, for example: before breakfast, breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, after lunch, mid-afternoon, late afternoon, dinner, evening, night. I would plan to do certain things in each segment for example before lunch I want to have finished writing this blog post. Or between after lunch and mid afternoon I want to have my English essay written.

Separate The Weekends From The Weekdays 

This one helps especially if you work Monday to Friday or attend school etc.
Having a routine during the week will hopefully help me to sort out what school work I need to do, helps me with deadlines and just generally be more productive! I want to try and make the weekends my time for no routine and just relaxing, being with my family and working on things I enjoy doing! (YouTube, blogging). For example I might set a target to wake up before 8 between Monday and Friday but on Saturday and Sunday either set that time later or I don’t set an alarm at all 🙂 Doing this should hopefully allow you to have time to work hard and get things done during the week but also relax during the weekend. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend time relaxing, keeping active and looking after yourself during the week. Try to keep a nice balance, but maybe stick to a routine on weekdays.

Clean Your Room

Having a tidy space can make you feel in control and ready for the day so starting with a clean room can help you stick to your routine because it simply motivates you.

Stick To A Normal Sleeping Pattern

I’m still working on this. I am trying to be strict with myself so that I actually go to sleep at the time I want and can get up relatively early so I can get my day up and going. Making sure you stick to a sleeping pattern means you will be more active, awake and will be less likely to wake up late and more likely to follow the routine you have set for yourself.

Plan Your Day The Night Before 

Plan out what you want to do each day. Sort it out before you go to sleep so that when you wake up you know exactly what you are doing and don’t waste time planning your day.

Big thank you to Emma for creating this collaboration with me! It was such fun to write, so I hope you all love it too. Don’t forget to check out the other five tips over on Emma’s blog! If you enjoyed this post, and want to see more from the author, check out her amazing YouTube channel and stunning Instagram! I’ve also linked her beautiful blog here. 

What time have you been waking up during lockdown? Later, earlier or the same time as usual?

I would be intrigued to hear your response in the comments below. Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

erin x

Instagram 

Goodreads