Saturday, 19 September 2015

Making time for yourself

Even with a busy life, we still can and should make time for ourselves. "Me-time" is really important to me.  Those who know me well know that I like to keep active and socialize as much as I can but I also like to chill and when I get the chance, have an afternoon nap and go to bed early at least once or twice  a week. I'm usually asleep by 9.30pm on Tuesdays and Sundays as they are the days when I am home early and try not to plan things for the evening. When I attend monthly workshops or an event on Tuesdays I move my weekday early night to another day on that particular week.

Thursdays are the days I like to separate for social activities. At the moment I'm attending fortnightly  contemporary dance classes on Thursday evenings. I am really enjoying the sessions. It's something new and challenging and I find it quite relaxing. It definitely helps me to unwind after a busy working week.

Fridays are my non working days which I like to keep free for catching up with the housework, studying, running errands and tying up loose ends.

My weekends are quite busy, especially in the morning and afternoon but I make sure to separate time for my family spending as much time as I can with them. Weekend is generally the best time for us all and Sundays afternoons are now spent at my mom's house having lunch or dinner.

When we take time out for ourselves we are actually doing good to our mental and physical health. Many women look run down, heavy, tired, complain a lot and are fed up with their routine and most of the time it's because they don't give themselves a break. They're always busy trying to take care of everyone and everything else but don't take care of themselves. Sometimes an early night, a trip to the cinema, a walk in the park, a session at the gym or exercise class can help you to relax, recharge your batteries and give you the time-out you need to re-focus.

Last night I went to the theatre with my mom. Initally I had invited my sister to come with me but as she had other plans I invited my mom. My mom works a lot and hardly makes time to do anything like this so this was a treat for her. In fact she couldn't remember the last time she went out. We had a really nice time and the play was great. It was called Hood: The Legend Continues and was centered around the story of Robin Hood in modern times. After the play we went to Nandos and then went home. Something so simple made a difference to her week and mine too!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Step back Sunday: Remebering my time at university

Ten years ago this week I moved to a new city to further my studies
at university. I was reminded of my experience today while speaking to 
two young ladies who have been like my little sisters over the years. 

I've known them since they were per-teens and it struck me just how much
time has flown by. Nadia is moving away this week to start her first 
year at university to study law and Starr is going into her final 
year. Both girls are smart and forward thinking and I believe they will do 
very well!
The transition from college to university can be overwhelming and make one feel 
apprehensive. When you move away from home to another city it makes you feel even 
more nervous because your now rolling solo and have a lot of adjusting to do but it's
 exciting all the same.You learn so much about yourself and learn who your real friends are. You meet  different people who will teach you a lot and you start to become independent. 

You have freedom, which can become your best friend or nemesis, depending on how
you use your new found freedom. You set your own rules, plan how your day goes,
 responsible for your own meals, and have the opportunity to mould the way you live
and study. A lot students choose to get caught up in the whole fresher's hype and 
party a lot and get drunk. Even after fresher's week, they spend at least 2 - 3 nights
a week going to nightclubs and drinking. I did this during my first semester at
university until I got bored of it. I did not know God during this time and even before 
I started going to church I started to lose interest in these things. They are many
ways to fun and a really good time without going to nightclubs and drinking excessively.

One thing new students need to remember, which I eventually did is to remember why you
are there - which is to get your degree, so make sure you make time to study and
find a balance between work and play. Oh and keep on top of your student budget!

Be careful with the company you keep and choose friends who you see have a the same
vision and outlook on life as you. A lot of people lose their identity just so they can
fit in with the crowd! Be yourself and don't allow what others are doing or how
they live to make you feel like you have to change to be like them.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The media's portrayal of women

I'm finally getting chance to continue sharing my experience from the women's equality event I attended on Tuesday. I am writing this as I sit in my mother's garden after a very delicious Sunday dinner. 

As I mentioned in my last video post, we women have a power to influence others and we must use it to make a positive impact in other women's lives. The event was more like a workshop because we all had to participate and share our views and ideas. There were more than 25 women of different age  groups and from different areas and backgrounds. We were encouraged to not judge each other's opinions or views and to allow each one to speak and express themselves without jumping in or trying to correct or even impose our own views on each other.

 I learned that we should not be ashamed to have our own opinions and views neither should we be afraid to voice them. Even if no one believes in what we believe in, we shouldn't compromise what we stand for or lower our standards. Women with high standards, morals and values are  greatly admired. They stand out from the crowd and although they face a lot of adversity and hostility from others because they are different, that doesn't stop them from being who they are. These women make the difference - and we need more women like this in our society. 

 Something that some of the women picked up on which I didn't realize at first was how older women are viewed as past their sell by date and viewed as not having anything to add in journalism, TV and film, music, certain job roles and positions in politics or society. They are indirectly and at times directly discriminated against and not taken seriously when in truth, mature women have accumulated a wealth of wisdom and invaluable experience over the years that they can pass on to younger women and the wider audience. Because they no longer look young and sexy, they are dismissed, again, showing how the media unfortunately favours beauty over brains and intellect. 

The opposite can be seen when it comes to males who are the same age as these older women. Have you noticed how veteran actors such as Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and George Clooney still get starring roles in blockbuster films and even have young women half their age as a love interest, but you don't see a lot of actresses their age getting big roles? 

That's why many women end up having plastic surgery and non surgical treatments to try and look young. They end up losing their identity and are allowing the media to dictate their self worth and value. The different ideas of how to positively campaign to promote women growing old gracefully and how they shouldn't be judged because of their age or because they've lost their youthful looks was interesting. I really hope some of the ideas are implemented.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Friday's Casual Look

Wearing the grey skirt again, this time with one of my favourite tops I bought in Manhattan last year and a pair of  black Nike's from my last trip to New York :)

Happy Friday!