Telepho(ne)bia ?

I woke up this morning an hour earlier than I had to and couldn’t go back to sleep because I was nervous. It’s not like I wasn’t still tired because I hadn’t slept well between weird, anxious dreams and laying awake worrying about this morning. I tried to take my mind of it by browsing social media and playing games on my phone, but I was still stressing out about it while I had a shower and got ready. I was strangely aware of my heartbeat, as I watched the fingers on my clock moving closer to 8:00 am. Running the scenario through my head for like the 20th time, I just wished I was already done with it.

Why I was so anxious? One might think I had an important job interview, a presentation infront of a lot of people or anything  else people might find in any way distressing. But all I had to do was make an appointment with my doctor and another one with my gynecologist. I wasn’t nervous about the appointments itself, I never had a problem with that. The thing that made my heart rate fasten was the thought of making a phone call.

I’ve been anxious about phone calls as long as I remember. And it always went further than our generations general disregard of direct human interaction. I still grew up in the olden times when we didn’t have mobile phones as kids and you had to call your friend’s landline to arrange to hang out in the afternoon. I usually tried to make them ring me so I didn’t have to call them and have their mum pick up. I liked all my friend’s mums, but I still saw it as a hard task to say the words “hello it’s Alli, may I speak to xy.” Over time I aditionally got uncomfortable with answering the phone at home. I usually avoided it and let my mum get it hoping and praying nobody was calling to me. It went so far that my heart started racing any time I heard our phone ring. I felt better about it the closer I was to the person. I didn’t have a problem calling my parents or my best friend. With other friends I was way more uncomfortable, but talking to strangers on the phone was my nightmare.

My mum of course didn’t understand that and got pissed off frequently by me refusing to call anyone unless it was inevitable and making a fuss about it. She thought I was being a ridiculous teenager, when in fact the thought of picking up the phone made me feel sick with fear. I forgot how to form sentences just by looking at it.

I can’t even say what it is. I don’t have a problem with talking to strangers in person most of the time. I’m not even scared of public speaking. Maybe it is being judged, not being able to read the persons body language and facial reactions or the fear of not knowing what to say. I don’t know. What I know is it’s not rational.

A few years ago when I became more aware about mental illnesses, I googled it for the first time, because I started to think that maybe it wasn’t just that I’m overly shy and perhaps I wasn’t even the only one with this problem. Turns out I’m not. I found lots of articles about the phenomenon, describing the situation excactly like I experienced it. In this research I found out, that it was in fact a form of social phobia. There are no stats how many people suffer from it, but it’s more common than one would think. You can even find courses or ten step plans to deal with it on the internet. Finding out about it helped me a lot, as to be honest I had always felt like I was weird because of it.

Of course it didn’t get better immediatly, but I found out for myself that it actually got easier the more often you did it. In a journalism course I took we had to call potential interview partners, which totally freaked me out at first. But after I managed to make myself call the first few, it kept getting easier and easier especially as it was always the same conversation. A few months later I had an internship at at radio station, where my main job was to call people and answer the phone. Funnily enough I didn’t struggle with that, because I could kind of “hide” behind the corporate identity. As I read in the articles during my research, a lot of people also get anxious about the phone in the workplace. After I finishing the internship I was convinced I was over my phobia, but I’m still not. I still let my mum make my dentist and hairdresser appointments when she calls them to make ones for herself. I still shake when I have to call my gyn. And I’d still rather write 20 emails than make one quick phone call. I don’t know if that will ever change,but I guess I’ll just have to deal with it. Luckily, the problem about calling friends disppeared by itself by the wonderful invention of the internet and our generation’s preferance for text messages. (Seriously thanks guys)

So I mainly wrote this, that if you read this and if you know the feeling I described, you won’t feel alone anymore or weird about yourself like I did. And so you can show your mum that is in fact an actual phobia. Buuut, so this whole post wasn’t a complete waste of time here are also some coping mechanisms you can try next time you have to use that particular application on your smartphone.

  1. Ask yourself what excactly you are scared of. You will see there is nothing reasonable to be afraid of.
  2. Think about the worst outcome that could happen, which most of the time is nothing that’s actually bad.
  3. Think through what exactly you are going to say. If there are more things you have to adress make a list so you don’t have to be scared to not remember everything. You can also write down important information they give you.
  4. BREATHE. Take a few deep breaths to calm down before you press the call button.
  5. What always helps me as well is playing with a pen or scribbeling on something while talking to the person.
  6. Stand up. Standing up doesn’t only give your lungs more room to breathe but you will also feel taller and more confident.
  7. If being anxious about making calls, really affects your life or job, don’t hesitate to talk to a therapist about it. There is no reason at all to be ashamed!

In the end I also managed to call my doctor. As he told me to make an appointment with a specialist I will have to call in there soon as well. And there are a million of other phone calls to come. And I will have to conquer my fears again and again and again- But even though I’m struggling, in the end I know that I can do it, because I’ve also done it a thousand times before. And so can you. Good luck !

Love Alli xx

(PS: If you have similar experiences and want to share or have questions head to our twitter @castaway_minds or our instagram @castawayminds )

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University Life with Lili – Topic 1: Boys Or The Super Unfortunate Process of Forming A Crush On Someone

Hola!

It’s me, Lili with another blogpost. This could also be a Youtube intro, I am just so bad at saying a normal hello to you. Let’s try again: Hello, how are you doing today? Now that seems more normal. I am starting a new series called University Life with Lili, where I’ll be talking about everything that concerns me and my life at universities in hopes that you do not make the same mistakes I did, like getting drunk and spilling your heart out to your crush or start studying for an exam the week before or just never attending this really boring lecture that you just don’t understand. We’ve all been there and if you’re not at university well then you haven’t but I still hope you take some important life lessons with you.

The topic I want to talk about today is boys. WOOO! What did she just say? Yup, I know. pretty risqué and all but we’ll make it through. Now I am not talking about what types of boys you meet, what I’m trying to say is: University can be like a fun zoo experience full of great guys but as soon as you develop a crush all hell breaks lose. Cause a crush at university is sometimes even worse than at school, cause normally you’re out of your awkward puberty age meaning things should get serious pretty soon. Some of your friends might even be married already so you start thinking time is ticking.tumblr_o1yyf174s91qc8jh0o1_540

  1. Spot the guy

As I said University is like a Zoo full of cute guys, well they’re not always cute but they’re all so grown up and ambitious and smart and most of them are single and in a time of their life when they just walk from one girl to another but oh wait a second. You won’t be THAT girl. Nope! You’re the one that’ll make him realize he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. So go out there, find your guy!tumblr_o43q3lau071uvj8g9o1_500

2. Watch him – carefully and not obvious at all

Got your guy? Good! You’re one step ahead in the downward spiral of College crushes. Now all you gotta do is watch him, all day. I mean it. You’ll turn into a walking plant with very hidden binoculars, you’ll make more of an effort when going to a lecture and you’ll make sure to come at the exact time when the lecture hall is not too full so that there is still a seat left somewhere around him but also not too empty, cause you know he might not be there, and lets face it, you don’t want to come off as creepy…and then one day he’ll look at you and the way you see things will change forever.tumblr_oazocivujd1ubarwdo1_500

You two are now engaged in a very sophisticated, very sexy starring contest, at least in your mind you are. Enjoy it while you still can! It might not get any better than this.tumblr_ofyhdzaeud1uzomqmo1_500

3. Stalking aka Make his friends your new best friends

From now on you’ll spend every minute of your life finding out his name, memorizing his schedule and befriending his friends. Soon enough you’ll be at the level where you can walk past his group of friends and quickly waving at them, only to have him ask “Who is that girl?” and you’ll know you two are on your way to finally actually know each other. As in him actually knowing your name. You will be pretty invested in it, and you might lose yourself in it, but hey it’s for a greater good, right?tumblr_oh2en9vjaf1s6hha7o1_500

4. It’s on like donkey kong!

Now stage four usually involves you actually talking to him. Drunk. At a friends party. He’ll probably think you’re funny and you’ll think this is it. He’ll ask you on a date.tumblr_nuh0lnjes01qa1ubyo1_500

But don’t be fooled. He’ll probably lure you into bed with him and well…things will happen.

5. Blissful, wishful thinking

It’s time. You can finally start planning your future together. A small text won’t hurt.tumblr_mjjbzpaklw1qzakqso1_r1_500

But darling that text won’t ever be noticed by him and from now on you live in denial and in pain. Because you have to see him every day. And his friends are now your friends except they do not know anything happened because you guys never dated.tumblr_mjjbzpaklw1qzakqso2_500

6. Getting over him

Now you’re at the point where you’re just done with it. You guys did not even love each other, it was just a stupid College fling nothing more. You will have to avoid each other until you have your Bachelor, but you can do it.tumblr_nms0bxynda1qc5p6yo1_500

Until you are getting annoyed. He is already over you, he still doesn’t know your name but he’s still attending the same lectures as you. How dare he?! He is just so annoying.tumblr_nuq82low7b1s71gs7o1_500

And your friends don’t help either, cause they will remind you of him every step you take.

7. The “U up?” Message

Wow, congrats! You’ve made it to a booty call. He must be drunk beyond comprehension and cannot keep his manhood to himself. Don’t give in sweetie, he’s just another fuckboy and he’ll sooner or later learn his lesson but you do not have to get involved.tumblr_nmguune0id1qc9dmlo1_500

8. You’ve overcome the crush

Finally! You are not following him anymore and you could care less about his contributions to some sociologist theories, you can analyze the readings yourself, you don’t need a man.tumblr_oa0insdj9o1tl4vqeo1_500

Well that is until you suddenly see that guy from 2 rows in front of you in a very different light…and we’re back at the beginning. So good luck!

Lots of love,

Lili

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Why it is so hard to keep a blog alive

Hello there,

As you might can see: our Blog sadly doesn’t get as much love anymore as it used to. When you’re a follower from the beginning or you read some posts from when we started this Blog you might see that we used to upload quite frequently. Our goal was to post something at least 5 times a week. Since it’s the 4 of us, one could post something on their certain day. And then we also had Sunday Funday and Quote of the week.
Although I love blogging and I love to free my mind this way, it is extremely hard to keep a Blog alive. Think about it this way:
First of all, you have to come up with a topic each week. You have to write something each week on your certain day. Plus, you also have Sunday Funday where we tried to keep it entertaining and different.
But then you also have life. And let me tell you when you’re in your 20s having a life is quite important. Not only that University is extremely time consuming, it’s also that you try to socialise a lot and you try to make the best out of all this time you have in University. Adulthood is coming way too soon anyways with all the responsibilities you have with it. The other day I had to do my taxes and goodness me was this complicated. Why don’t they teach you that in school?
As much as I would like to say that I’m one of these amazing, inspiring Bloggers that can actually manage to keep a Blog alive and write a hell of a lot inspiring things each week, I’m not. And I think I will never be one. Sadly.
But thank you to everybody who is still sticking around! I might need to have a serious chat with the other 3 and talk with them about this Blog. Who knows maybe we can come up with a concept that allows us to get back into this whole blogging thing.

So, to everyone who stuck around: thank you! I will try my best to convince the other 3 girls to blog more in the future. And if the other girls are reading this: we have to get our asses up and do this more frequently again because it’s so much fun and it used to be something we very much enjoyed and got all excited about. We shouldn’t throw things away we love just because we grow up and have to adult.

 

Lots of love,

Jenny x.

Difference between larger and slimmer girls in summer

That’s probably something you have never thought about, but think about it. When summer is coming and the weather is getting hotter and hotter there is quite a difference in how larger and slimmer girls dress/can dress.

Before I start this blog post I want to stress that everybody can dress the way they want and it’s nobody’s business beside of your own. Wear whatever you feel confident and comfortable in, what I’m about to write is just something I have noticed from what I wear, my friends wear or in general people I saw on the street.

Starting off with the difference in the selection of clothes. It’s summer, so you want to get out your beautiful legs, wear as little fabric as possible. Well, if you’re a girl on the larger size that’s not that easy. Wearing shorts or short skirts without a legging or with some tights, not ideal. Every girls who has a bit of curvier thighs and doesn’t have a thigh-gap you know exactly what I’m talking about. When it was warm around where I live, my friends commented on why I don’t wear shorts, skirts or dresses without underneath it, well it’s easy said for them because they all have beautiful legs and thigh-gaps they don’t have to worry about having their legs rubbed against each other with every step they take and the rash that is coming with that. Which makes you unable to walk for days by the way, even when you have trousers on. On the other hand even if I wouldn’t have the problem with my tights rubbing against each other, there is still this voice in my head saying that my legs aren’t toned and I do have cellulite and orange skin. With this in your mind constantly you wouldn’t have a good time out, so you need to make the decision if you want to constantly worry about people look at your legs or wearing something longer but sweat more.

But this rule doesn’t also apply on the lower part of the body. Wearing short-sleeved tops, croptops dresses is also a challenge. If you wear something without sleeves you always will be wondered if people just starred at your chubby arm with, again, stretchmarks on them. Also, when you’re out and you see the toned, skinny arms of your friends doesn’t really help with this either. If you’re on the larger scale and you wear a croptop, girl I salute you. I could never bring up the confidence to wear it. I always would constantly wonder if people just look at my wobbling stomach that is everything but defined and has a sixpack (but there is hope, did you know that underneath we all have sixpacks? Or at least that’s what I read somewhere). Oh and dresses. Firstly I don’t think I’m made for dresses because secretly I’m a boy because dresses are exhausting. But, when you wear dresses, you have to find one that has the perfect fit, so it doesn’t enhance some body parts that you wouldn’t want to enhance because you feel quite self-conscious about. Maybe that’s just me but I find it extremely hard to find dresses that doesn’t make me look like I weight 100 more kilos that I’m actually do. Oh and also dresses or tops that don’t have straps, gosh wearing them if you have bigger boobs is a night mare. Like, finding a strapless bra in the first place that suits you and holds your big breasts in place, holy moly. If you found a place please let me know, because I definitely haven’t found it. So if you bought some that aren’t that great but you so badly wanted to wear this top or dress, you have to make sure that everything is in place, like literally every two seconds. It’s an absolute night mare. And people start commenting on why you always fiddling around. Like hello, grow a pair of big boobs then you will know the struggles of bras.

Another point I want to point out when being bigger and wearing shorter things is the comments, glares and looks you get from others. Like calm down everybody, it isn’t like I’m naked, so leave me alone okay. Like when I was younger my mum always made sure to tell me what to wear as a bigger girl and what you can’t wear. Growing up I realized that it is nobody’s business and I can wear whatever I want, but in some aspects, she was right. I had actually people commenting on my clothes and whether it was a good idea to wear that with the size I am. Like excuse you? Confidence boost right there. Cheers mate!

You see, wearing clothes has all to do with self-confidence and how much you accepted your body. So if you’re a bit bigger and you want to wear all these things and you’re confident in them, I can only say: You go girl! You’re amazing! But from my and some of my friends experience not a lot of people feel that way. And I don’t even mean this for bigger girls. Also, slim girls struggle with these issues. Like you constantly thinking somebody is looking at you in a weird way, or looking at the things that you’re most self-conscious about, when in reality they don’t. Most probably they don’t even recognize your stretchmarks or the not perfect toned leg.

The last point I want to talk about today is going to the beach or the pool. When I was younger I did swimming in a club and I never really thought about the fact stepping out in public in a swimming-costume, but once I got older I realized that it is a totally different game. Again, you have this picture in your head that people look at you and you get all self-conscious. I don’t even go to the swimming pool any more. To every girl (and guy) out there who walks out in a swimming-costume and is confident (or at least can fake to be) I salute you. I mean it’s basically stepping out in public with your underwear on, that’s not an easy step to do. And I know quite a few people, slimmer or bigger that simply don’t have this confidence. Or at least not in their teenage years and young adulthood. But in the end, who actually cares. Like you can’t really see anything when you’re in the water, can you? And when everybody is lying there on the beach just enjoying the sun and trying to get a nice golden bronze people usually don’t look at the other bodies either. But there is this one split second where everybody is scanning your body, I mean to be fair everybody does it and most people definitely also not with bad intentions, but this split second is enough to get self-conscious. That’s all it takes. Which is stupid, but don’t we all feel the same?

Nevertheless, I never really thought about the fact that bigger girls actually dress different to slimmer girls, but this summer made me realize that it is the sad truth and as much I would like to say I’m different, I’m not. I guess the only way to overcome all this self-judgement is to come to terms with your own body and you will be able to step out to the wold with whatever you want on. But until then, leave me your tips and tricks in the comments below and write us on all the other social media places you can find us.

 

Lots of Love,

Jenny xxx.

 

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To the guy who can fuck himself

Today is one of them days that started off good but then an event happened and all you want to do is go to your bed, have a good cry, eat a shit ton of ice cream and then eventually fall asleep whilst watching a sad film and crying.

Some people might say that it is pathetic why I’m down all of the sudden but today happened something that happens to me quite frequently and something that is about something that I’m not happy about about my body.

Let me explain what happened:

So I had a group meeting with two of my friends for Uni. Whilst walking back from it with Maren (I have mentioned her before here, she’s like my best friend at Uni), we past some traffic lights. I think at this point we weren’t talking but I was just thinking about something that I had to do or we were just talking about. When some guy shouted out something out of a car window. Because I was deep in my thoughts I didn’t catch what he was saying, I only heard that Maren answered something inappropriate/rude. So I asked what he was just saying whilst they drove away. She told me that he just shouted out of the window: You’re fat.

Since they shouted it to us, it’s clear that he meant me. Because let’s face it, I’m not really skinny or thin and have quite a few pounds too much on me. He definitely didn’t mean Maren because she has a great physique and is very toned.

After this happened we popped to the food shop very quickly to get some stuff but it was weird. Like there was a weird feeling in the air after it happened, or at least I felt so.

On the one hand I hate myself for not catching what he was saying because I would have liked to say something back like: Better fat than ugly, or something like that.

But on the other hand, who the fuck gave this guy the right to shout something like this to a girl on the street you’ve never met in your life before? Have you ever thought that this person might have feelings and you can hurt someone by saying such nasty things?

As I said before being called fat or ugly isn’t the first time for me (here’s another example when I wrote about another twat calling me out being too fat (The one time I met an absolute twat), but it never happened in such a rude way. And I also know that something like this shouldn’t get to me because let’s face it the guy who shouted it was just an absolute twat and honestly I’m usually a very polite person and only want the best for everybody, but believe me when I say I don’t care if he would just break his leg or so. In fact that would be karma and the right thing to happen to him. Although I know that, it still got to me.

Like has he ever thought about that the person he just called out because of their weight might have some serious health problems? Like no matter what it is. So many people struggle with their weight because of health reasons, so no fucking person has the right to call someone else out because of their appearance. No matter if it is because they are very thin or because they are bigger. He clearly hasn’t thought about the fact that someone might have something like hypothyroidism or other medical conditions. A person might want to look thin but simply can’t because of a condition they have.

On the other hand someone could have a serious mental problem concerning their body. There are serious mental illnesses that a lot of people have, like bulimia, anorexia, obesity or in general all kind of eating disorders. Clearly a person like him has no fucking idea what such a nasty comment like his can do to the person he just shouted it to.

And normally that’s something I don’t talk about and only one of my friends knows about it but in fact I have had eating disorders in the past. To the point where I still have to track my food, just to make sure that I eat the right amount of things. I had to track my food for 4 or 5 years now and I have so many journals I have written and hid before. Like non of my friends or my family knows about this. Only my doctor. And I guess you now…

This guy and so many other people don’t have a fucking idea what the hell is going on in this peoples life so nor he or anybody else has a right to say a fucking thing about how anybody but himself/herself looks like.

Although I know all of these things it still messes with my head. It messes up with my head that much that I’m sitting here spending too much time thinking about what happened today and writing this blog post. When in fact he should be not even worth a second of my life. And it definitely didn’t help with the way I ate the rest of the day then and the next few days.

Always think about what you say to others. Such a small sentence can have an enormous impact on someone’s life without you even knowing it.

Lots of love,

Jenny

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Going to a concert alone

On march 3rd I went do a concert, alone. Scary right? I didn’t think either that that is even possible, let alone for me. But as it turned out it is possible, and as you all can see I’m still alive! So I wanted to share my experience with you. Let me begin from the very start.

It wasn’t really planned that I go alone. I saw on Snapchat that someone I know is going to a Shawn Mendes concert in Berlin, so I wrote her that I’m super jealous of her because I wanted to go so bad as well but I don’t know anybody who’s interested in his music as well. She instantly said that I just could see if I still get a ticket and could go there as well. Luckily I still got a ticket and actually a ticket at the block right next to the block my friend had her ticket.

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When it came to the planing part in how to get there I knew that I had to be all by myself, because she came from somewhere else and also could come there just before the concert started because she had school this day and the enxt day, so she had to drive back home right after the concert finished. So I booked my bus and a hotel room which was totally fine.

I arrived on the day, went to my hotel, got ready and went to the arena. I wrote my friend a message where she is but unfortunately her signal didn’t work and she couldn’t get my message. So I was all on my own. And let me tell you it was alright.

Of course it was a bit weird to not share my excitement with someone else before and between the supporting act and the main act and of course also after, but it definitely wasn’t the end of the world.

In fact it actually was very nice to be all by myself just enjoying the show. Don’t get my wrong all people I have been to concerts with were absolutely amazing and I couldn’t have wished for better accompanies but for this particular concert it was exactly what I needed.

When people find out that I enjoy Shawn Mendes music I’m always instantly labeled as a crazy 13 year old child. Which I’m defintely not as you all know. People don’t understand thaat despite the fanbase of the artist might be younger than me, you still can enjoy someones music. And thats what I so with Shawn Mendes music. I like how he writes his music and is super involved with all the processes of his songs. And I must say vocaly this show has definitely been the best show I’ve ever been to.

I just stood there enjoying his show and enjoyed how he got lost in the music and eventually I did as well. I sang along to his songs and just let the good energy in this big arena overwhelm me. For this concert and this moment in my life I wouldn’t have wated to talk to somebody or let me distract by anything. Sometimes you might think it’s shit that your friend bailed on you and doidn’t get your message so you’re all by yourself now and everything is shit, when in fact it was the best thing that could have happen to me for this evenning.

And hoenstly, I would do it all over again. If Shawn Mendes or any other artist is coming to Germaany again and I don’t know anybody who wouuld go there with me, I would go all by myself again! Because who cares?

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If you want to have a good time at a concert or show or wwhatever, who says you need someone with you? Honestly, I wouln’t have thought that I could do that by myself and enjoy being there, but hoenstly, I did. If you enjoy someones show or music has nothing to do with whom you be there. Of course you might want to share this experience with someone and you might have an awesome time with them, but as I just discovered it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t find someobdy. And even think about if you’re out with someobdy and they’re the worst accompany you could have wished for. For example just sit in their seat whilst you dance around beside them. Or you sing along from the top of your lungs and just sit there all in silent. Or if they just conpalint about how shit this is and if you can go home now. You defintitely wouldn’ have a good time then. So better go alone where you know ypu can be 100% yourself and enjoy yourself and the niht then havng someone with you whos dragging you down and makes you not having suhc a good time than you could have.

I’m definitely a persson who always needs the supoort form others and I’m a very insecure person myself but if I learnt one thing from this expereince than it is that you can have a fucking awesome time all by yourself and enjoy yourself. And yes, there might be people around you who comment on why you came alone and if you don’t have friends, but firstly they don’t know ypu, so they have no idea whats going on in your life and how many friends you have and secondly 8and most importantly) who gives a fuck about what strangerssay about sou anyways? Let them talk! You do you! They do them! Whatever!

So go to this fucking concert all by yourself! Or go to this party all by yourself! Or go where ever you want to all by yourself! And who knows, you might meet new people who you become friends with! 🙂

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Lots of love,

Jenny xxx.

 

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Winter essentials

Hello you lovely people,

I’m sooo so sorry I haven’t written anything in such a long time but everything was quite chaotic and University stepped up 10 more levels up so it’s safe to say that I barely have any free time. Anyways, now I’m back and here’s another rant from me.

I woke up this lovely morning, thinking that this week is going to be better than last week and what to I see when I opened my curtains? It was snowing!! Whyyyyy???

As you could have guessed, I hate snow and everything that has to do with it! I hate the cold and I can’t walk for shit when there is snow.

So here are a few winter essentials from me to you to survive the cold and winter:

1. Scarves and warm hats

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When it gets only the tiniest bit colder you barely will see me leaving the house without at least a scarf. I love scarves especially the big ones that are basically blankets and you can snuggle in them. I get cold very easily and it’s the best when you sit in a lecture, you get cold, don’t want to put on your coat so you can put around you your comfy scarf. Hats, especially bubble hats are an essential for me as well. If my neck feels warm that’s good but a lot of head from your body also gets lost from your head. So put a big, snugly and cute one on, which does not only look cute but also keeps your head and your ears warm.

2. Hot beverages

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No matter if you’re a coffee, hot chocolate or tea lover, having a warm drink your hand when it’s absolute freezing is a blessing. But it doesn’t always need to be the typical three drinks. Starbucks and co make awesome winter drinks and I can only recommend to try as many as possible before they disappear again. In Germany we drink something like Glühwein or Kinderpunsch on the Christmas markets and I tell you if you can get your hand on this, or you want to make them yourself, go and do so! It’s totally worth it! For me it’s one of the best things in the winter time. Also, don’t worry, it’s super easy and I would say everybody can do it, just google a recipe and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of them.

3. Gloves

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Never, I repeat, Never leave your house without gloves!!!!! You never know when you need them. What I do, is I always have a pair in my pocket of my winter coat. So no matter which bag I’m taking with me I always have a pair of gloves with me. I’m sure everyone knows the feeling, when you have a walk and your hands feel like there are actually no hands anymore and they turn blue already. This walk could just be from the bus station to your home or just to the shop around the corner. For some reasons hands, my do anyway, decide to go absolute cold and it’s the worst when you get into a house or shop and your hands defrost again…

4. Lip balm

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I don’t know about you but as soon as it gets cold my lips decide to go totally nuts and chip like crazy. So to make sure it doesn’t get too crazy I always have some lip balm in all my bags (yes you can call me crazy) so no matter where I am and I have the feeling my lips are killing me because of the cold I can always put on some. Also there are pretty good ones out there with some Christmas flavours, so hello, isn’t this an argument in it’s own to have a lip balm always in reach? 😛

5. Moisturise

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Same as with the point before, my skin gets super dry in the winter so moisturising is an absolute must! It’s nothing worse than dry skin. Not for you to touch nor for your skin. Always protect your skin and make sure it’s hydrated!

6. Layering up

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This one is a pretty basic one but gosh it’s one of the things that get me through this cold weather. As I mentioned before I’m absolute not good with the cold so when I step outside I always need to have my biggest, comfiest and warmest clothes on. Only problem: when I get inside, then I’m absolute boiling because I obviously have too thick clothes on. So what I do, I get prepared against the cold outside when I put on quite a few layers, but once I’m inside I take off 1 or 2 layers. And in case I get cold whilst I’m inside I still can wrap myself up in my scarf or put back on another layer.

7. The Christmas spirit

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First things first: I bloody love Christmas! So there’s no wonder that the one of the only things that make me look forward in the winter time is Christmas. Call me crazy but I already put up some Christmas decoration in my flat and listened to Christmas songs. And if I would be allowed to eat sweets you could bet on that I already would have eaten Christmas themes sweets. So what this has to do with my winter essentials: Always think of the positive sides of this (or any other) season. For me it’s Christmas but maybe you like the snow (even though you must be crazy for that :P), or you like the prospect that a new year starts very soon, or you like the activities you can do in winter such as baking Christmas cookies, ice skating, snowboarding, skiing or whatnot. Every season has something good and you have the find the one thing you absolute love and remind yourself about these things. You will see once you found it it’s not as bad any more!

8. Friends

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Okay, you should have friends all year round but what I mean with that is that said activities, in the point before, you can do with your friends. No matter if you meet for some ice skating, snowboarding, skiing or you meet in your flat and you bake together or you just sit together with a nice warm drink in your hand and you snuggle up on the couch. In winter you can do some pretty cool stuff with your friends, so force them to do so with you! You can even do things like secret Santa or plan a New Years Eve party. This things are super fun!

How to procrastinate like a pro

Hello lovely people,

today is my turn again and since I’m a bit in a studying stress I though I write about the reason why I am in a stress: my best friend, procrastination!

I would consider myself as an absolute pro at procrastinate so I thought I share my knowledge with all of you and I can feel a bit less bad about myself! 🙂

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Tip number 1: YouTube

My best/worst thing I always do is spend hours on YouTube instead of actually revising. I mean watching all ThatcherJoe main channel videos and vlogs is something very important in life, right?! Finding new YouTuber which I obviously have to stalk first and then subscribe to and watch every single video of them or they appeared in. These are the essentials in life and make a great impression in my CV! Not everybody can write in their CV: Special Skills: Knowing every single YouTube video off by heart. My future boss must be impressed by that and ignore my bad grades, right?!

Tip number 2: Cleaning

When I started revising for my A-Levels back in the days, or now in University everybody always said that cleaning is becoming your best friend. I personally never was this person. I much rather laid in bed watching YouTube videos but this changed this semester. I was swept away by the hype. Somehow cleaning seemed very appealing and boy, my room was never as clean as it is at the moment.

Tip number 3: Baking

As you might know I’m a big lover of baking and this continued this semester. Learning or baking cookies for my girl night-in later in the evening? Baking a birthday cake or revising for my exam in 4 days, I guess the answer is clear… 😀 I mean I did something for my friends, right? It wasn’t wasting time at all, right? 😀

Tip number 4: Have a lay-in

I don’t know when you can study the best, but I definitely can in the morning between breakfast and lunch. So having a lay-in and only be able to study for like 2 hours before you actually make some food which is basically your lunch and then being absolutely unmotivated is a super tip. You definitely should try it, I can only recommend it!

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Tip number 5: Learning cards

Spend your time wisely for studying and make some studying cards is a good thing, right? Well, not if you waste your time writing them and then basically have no time anymore to actually learn them. Yeah sure you keep some things by just writing them but when you write your exam and have to know all the in-depth information in order to pass your exam just writing your cards isn’t helping really. But heyho, you can say you studied and it wasn’t your fault, right?

Tip number 6: Online shopping

What better then looking online for absolute unnecessary clothes, shoes, make-up, handbags, beddings and all kind of other stuff? I guess, if you actually should do other things there is something better then online shopping. I know this is shocking news but sadly also very true.

Tip number 7: Daydream

Once again one of my favs. Just sit in front of your papers, stare at them and imagine how life would be if your (celebrity) crush would actually know you or how life would be if you’re already finished University and you’re an independent, successful women in your job. Definitely is going to help you in your exams.

Tip number 8: Making lists

I’m an absolute sucker for notebooks and lists and I probably make more lists then Michael Clifford changes his hair. So starting a new list instead of studying is a brilliant idea. What about ‘What I should do during my holidays’ or sort out all your family and friend’s birthday and Christmas presents till 2030. Sounds like a magnificent plan to me.

 

Tip number 9: Make study breaks

Everyone needs study breaks, so you definitely should do them regularly. The only bad thing is if your breaks take like 2 hours but you only study for like an hour. You see the problem? Not really efficient but you can be annoyed at yourself soon enough. More specific the day before your exam when you ask yourself why on earth you’re so stupid and you do all the things mentioned above.

Tip number 10: Be annoyed

As I just mentioned there is this one time were you ask yourself why you have done all the things above and you get super annoyed at yourself. What you only realise right before bed is that once again you wasted a day by being annoyed at yourself or you tell yourself that now there’s no point in starting revising properly anyways.

These are my 10 top tips in how to become a top procrastinater. You only have to follow these steps and I’m sure you’re as good as me in no time.

But in all seriousness, don’t procrastinate! It’s stupid and only effects your marks, in which you could be so much better if you actually would stick to your studying-plan. So don’t procrastinate kids!!!

I’m off, trying to get as much information as possible in my little head last minute because somehow I need to remember 34 written pages (on computer) on Wednesday morning and so far I’m able of around 13. So wish me luck and that I don’t procrastinate as much anymore.

Lots of love,

Jenny xxx

 

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The impact of social media/new technology on our lives

Hello you wonderful people,

as you may (or may not know) I’m currently studying applied media and communication in University and in my studies I had last semester and this semester also the topics of media technology and how they impact on our lives. Don’t worry I try not to bore you with any theories and how for example cameras are built and stuff but I want to talk about what impact they have in our everyday lives.

Thinking back to when I was a child. I got up in the morning and before school the only media I used was the radio to listen to some music. Now when I wake up the first think is to grab my phone, check Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. After that I finally get up, put in my headphones and listen to some music on my iPod to get me ready for the day. During breakfast I go back to my phone reply to messages again or play games or whatever.

Being a child I always went to school half an hour early and met up with my friends at the playground to play and have some fun before school began. During school the only media I was confronted with was when a teacher used a CD-Player (and yes believe me or not but those still exist) or on very rare occasions a TV.

These days when I walk to Uni on my own I use, once again, my iPod to play some music, during my lectures basically everybody is either on their phones or Laptops. Every single professor uses Power Point or other types of Presentations to hold their lecture, projected by massive beamers.

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After school I always either went home to do some homework and then played wither with my friends outside, had a play date or forced my brothers to play a game or Barbie or whatever with me. At around 6pm I always had to be at home, then we soon had dinner and after that I was allowed to have some TV time with my parents and my brothers for like an hour or so. Also when I grew up and technology developed a bit more I was also allowed to go to our Family- Computer (!) for around 1 ½ hours. Bare in mind that it was only 1 ½ h because our computer took around half an hour to actually boot plus to dial into the internet.

Now I walk home from Uni (once again listening to music on my iPod and with my phone in my hands), go to my desk, turn on my laptop and do stuff on there for Uni, beside of that I always have my phone next to me to write with my friends and check social media every other occasion. Once I’m done with Uni things I might write a blog post or read things the others have posted or I’m on YouTube checking my Subscription-box or checking the news online. After I had dinner I normally either go back on YouTube, I turn on my TV and see if something good is on or I turn on Netflix and see if there’s a film I like or I watch some series. Beside of that I’m always on my phone writing messages or checking social media. In the night my phone is never turned off, it’s just on silent and the Wifi is turned off.

As you can see I tried and compare my live when I was a pupil in elementary school and now and it’s shocking which big difference it is. I’m basically never offline.

I realized how much I’m actually confronted with media when in one of my Seminars we developed a questionnaire and in one of the question you should tell how much time you spend actively on your phone. I guess after seeing how much I’m using media, it’s no surprise that me and my fellow students had around like 8 to 10 hours. And to be fair I think it’s even more than that.

When you think about it you use basically the whole time you’re awake some form of media or technology. Your phone, your laptop, a radio, an iPod, a TV and even when you use a land-line (yes, they also do still exist, believe it or not). Nowadays using these things are normal and part of your everyday live that you don’t even realize how much you’re trapped in any form of media.

But most shockingly to me are the kids that are in the age of being in elementary school. Around 2 years ago I was in a big supermarket with my family. I wondered around with my brother and it happen that we stood next to a young mum with her son (he was maybe around like 8 or so). They talked about the finally report and he asked his mum, if it’s still a deal between them that if he gets only 1 and 2’s (A and B’s, the German school system is differently) that he gets the new iPhone. My brother and me looked at each other in horror. Firstly because at this time I had like a crappy phone with which you basically only could phone and write messages (nop, no social media, no Whatsapp (yes I know it’s social media but very controversy if it is one) and even no mobile data or Wifi) but at this time it was totally fine. And secondly because this little boy was just like 8 or so. When we were at his age we went out, played outside with our friends and had a limited time of media-time. Surely we’re living in a more modern world than it was when I was his age and media and especially social media is very important in our everyday lives nowadays but is it that important that you even need it in such a young age? I don’t know how many times my host-children cried and fought with their parents because they weren’t allowed to use the computer or play on their phone 24/7. They always had the argument that all of their friends are allowed to do so and that it’s unfair and they take away their social live and all these arguments we all have used before for sure. I personally agreed with my host parents on this point of having a certain time in front of screens. I had a friend England and when I told her about the limited time of media my hostchildre had she laughed at my host parents and how stupid it is, but then she also complaint on a daily basis to me that all her host children is spending their time on their phone or iPad or whatever and that it is unnecessary to have an iPad, iPod and iMac at the age of 9 and she never could do anything with them because they’re always only want to play on their screens. I guess the laughing of hers was unnecessary then.

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But anyhow, if you reflect on how much you actually use your phone or you spent in front of a screen it’s damn scary. Even if you don’t spent that much time on your phone or so for a day everybody instantly is asking why you’re not replaying, if everything is okay and such things.

Sure, new technology is a great invention and super handy to keep in contact with your friends and family and share things you like with other people but if you think about it it’s also super scary how much time you spent with it and how much time it takes away from your everyday life and what you could do instead.

I know it’s very pathetic from me to write something like this on our blog, which is on the Internet and which I run with people I can only stay in contact with using social media but still, it’s scary to me.

So today I’ve got a task for you guys. Sit down and think about how much time you spent in from of screens and how much time you use actively you’re phone (tip, if you’re really interested in finding the last thing out, there are apps who are counting your time or if you have a iPhone go to battery in the settings and see how much you actively have used your phone/battery).

I think I’m off now, going to read my book and turn off my Internet for once. But we all now that in an hour or so I will be back on it and read the newest messages or look at the newest Snapchat of my friends and celebrities.

I hope you have a good day and maybe even try to spent a day where you aren’t spending that much time with media because it’s actually very liberating.

Lots of love,

Jenny

 

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How to deal with school/uni stress

We’ve all been there, exam period is right around the corner and we should actually study but instead we’re re-watching all of the Games of Thrones episodes or we’re trapped in the big dark holes of YouTube or Tumblr. And let’s face it everything is more interesting than learning about how you multiply pi to sin to tan to whatever or that Napoleon was once attracted to rabbits (this is actually a real fact, not just made up by me!!!). So there is this one time, where you realize you kinda fucked up and you should really study and you get stressed. Or unlike me you’re super organized (hands down to you!) and you actually started revising early enough but still get stressed because you trapped inside studying whilst the sun outside is shinning. So for that case, here are a few tips I like to do when, once again, I’m getting stressed.

1. Do some exercise

I know, I know this might sound stupid, but think about it. All day long you have been locked up behind a screen, a desk or in the library and there’s nothing more satisfying than do some exercise at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter if you train for your next marathon, go to your local gym, go to the pool, take any lessons in yoga, zumba, pilates or whatever floats your boat or you go on a lovely walk with a friend or just on your own with some music. Just do whatever feels best for you, the important thing is to get outside and enjoy yourself for a certain amount of time. You’ll see you’ll feel better afterwards.

Sure you exercised your brain the whole day but your body needs it as much as your brain does. Your body even needs exercise that your brain can fully work!

2. Snacks

I don’t know about you but when I study for a subject I always need some sweets so I can concentrate. I think it’s no news to you that sweets are actually quite bad for yourself. So what I like to do is to grab some fruits, cut them into bit size bits, put them into a bowl and use that as my substitute for sweets. It works just as well as any sweets does and it even is good for you. Once I watched football with my brother I even discovered that mini carrots are a great alternative as well. Next time try and snack on them or on fruit and you’ll see your brain needs to munch on anything to concentrate better, doesn’t matter if that’s fruit, vegs or sweets.

3. Drink enough liquids

Going hand in hand with the snacks, to drink enough is super important when you’re using your brain. Your brain can only totally function when it has enough liquid and you’ll see if it hasn’t you can’t concentrate as much plus not as long as when you drank enough. If you’re like me and you never drink enough just make drinking part of a game. Take a big glass, fill it up and tell yourself that you have to finish it by the end of the page or until the end of the subject. You also can take water and put in any flavour you like. So for example but in some sliced lemon or frozen berries or mint with a bit of celery and ginger, tastes super nice and makes you drink way more than just plain water.

4. Rewards

Always give yourself some rewards so you actually are studying or if you have to learn stupid, boring things you couldn’t care less about, so you actually manage to make it through. Tell yourself that once you learnt two pages you get another piece of fruit, when you finished the next chapter of reading and writing down the important fact you can go to your phone for 10 minutes (we all know this is a dangerous reward but set yourself a timer and actually stop after 10 min) or once you learnt the next 20 French vocab you can go outside and lay in the sun getting an amazing tan. You need to find something you can look forward, make you actually study so you can get though all of it but it isn’t something that you rush studying and in the end you did learn nothing at all.

5. Learn pattern

For me it’s always super helpful if I have a plan how my day is structured and I study on certain times. So for example before I actually start with studying I make myself a list with what subject I study for at which day and when my exams are. So I know that for example on Monday I have to study for Maths and English, on Tuesday I go over everything I studied on Monday (repeating everything is super important, that’s how your brain can remember things!) and than I study for History and RE, on Wednesday I go over all the things from Monday again so I make sure I really know these things now, repeat everything from Tuesday again and than I study for Maths and French. And so on. For me it’s also extremely important to know when I have to sit down and do things and when I have free time. So I get up at 8am get ready and have breakfast until 9am, then I study until lunchtime (around 1pm or 2pm, depending on how far I came) and then study for around another 2 hours and I’m off for the day. It’s important that you don’t try to learn too much on one day and you have little breaks in between or you and your brain will go mad after a while (believe me I had this occasions a few times ;)).

6. Free time

As you can see my ‘studying day’ finishes at around 3 or 4pm which is actually quite early for some people but if you think realistically it isn’t. You studied for around 6 hours and honestly your brain couldn’t handle more than that. Beside of studying you also need to make sure you have enough time to see your friends, do all you hobbies and just relax for a bit. It doesn’t help you nor your concentration level if you try to study for like 10 hours straight without giving yourself some breaks or some free time. In this time you need to do fun stuff and things you enjoy so you can really efficiently study. It really doesn’t help you if you totally forget your friends in this time or you neglect all of your interests. Surely studying is important to get good grades which are important to get a good you or be able to go to uni or whatever but going totally mad because of learning isn’t helping you either and also not your friends if they feel left out or ignored. It’s important to find a good balance for yourself.

7. Music and dance breaks

When you have your little breaks in between learning I can only advise to grab your iPod, your phone, laptop or whatever turn on some music (preferably extremely loud of course) and dance around in your room and sing along to it. This will help you to forget the stupid maths exercise you can’t solve or the stupid French vocab you just can’t remember. Give yourself a break, do a bit of physical exercise and also do something you like for 10 minutes and let’s be real here, everybody likes to turn on some music and dance around like a crazy person it’s just therapeutic.

8. Relax

Once you studied all day and your head feels like it’s going to explode, just relax. Proper pamper yourself. Get everything together, have a bath, put on a face mask, play some relaxing music, light some candles, put on a hair mask or whatever you like to do when you pamper yourself. Have some me-time. This is as important as studying and seeing your friends and family. Just fully calm down and forget the madness of your life for a few minutes.

9. Grades aren’t everything

Yes, everybody always talked about that grades are super important and you need good grades to get a good job and get into a good university and life is about learning and be the best and blahblahblah. Honestly it isn’t. Sure if you want to go to University you need good grades and everything but it never should take over your life completely because this way you do not learn efficiently and probably lose all of your friends. And those are as important as grades. Once you’re in University you soon will find out that everything is different anyway. Of course having good marks is still important and obviously you want to have good marks because you (hopefully) studying something you are interested in, but here you also realize that having connections and internships and stuff like this is as important as marks.

So relax, no mark can ever define who you are and never will. Studying is of course important but it isn’t the end of the world if you’re also having fun in the time you have to learn all these stupid things you probably will never ever use again in your life.

So I’m off now finishing binge watching all of the videos of my YouTuber fav of this Wednesday (stay tuned for who it is ;)) and think about how I will survive my exam on next Wednesday, tomorrow.

Lots of love,

Jenny xxx

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