Musings

Lately 07

We’re almost a quarter way through 2019, and it feels unreal how fast time is flying by. Getting closer to the end of a chapter of your life is bittersweet – you want it to come and you also never want it to come, all at the same time.

I have been busy to say the least! You may have noticed that both my blog and Instagram have been a little quieter than usual, and that is due to the huge workload and other responsibilities that have been consuming most of my time as of late. As a result, making stuff and writing for the blog hasn’t been very high on my to-do list (but I do want to get back into it a little in my one week of holidays coming around soon).

Next week, I’m off for the week on a beautiful river just outside of South Africa and I’m looking so forward to a week of sunshine, sand, paddling, no phone or signal, and spending time with my friends.

Lately, I have been:

listening to: a bunch of music on Spotify, including all the Sabrina Claudio, and Post Malone (always, always, always).

reading: Grit by Angela Duckworth. Just got into this one, and I’ve heard its a goodie, so I’m looking forward to that.

wearing: this body mist from the Body Shop that smells like a garden in a bottle.

using: this face cream from simply bee

writing: lots in my journal to try and keep calm and stay zen. I also wrote for issue 10 of Comeback magazine.

bullet journaling: to stay on top of all my schoolwork

trying my best to: live in the moment, and enjoy every second of my last year of school

all the love

Nabeela x

January in a nutshell

Real talk. It’s been a grand total of 8 school days since my summer holidays ended, but it feels like I’ve been slaving away for years. I’ve found this slightly concerning due to the fact that I still have approximately 107 days (!!!) of school to go, and that’s not counting the total of about 12 weeks throughout the year that make up exam sessions. I guess this is why people keep telling me to pace myself (i.e. don’t turn into little-miss-frantic-study-work-all-night-team-no-sleep 8 days into the game) SO, as much as I would love to write a nice, neat post on staying calm, and being zen, it’s not quite that simple. Namely because I’m still figuring it out too.

Trying to balance all the homework for classes, essays and assignments, and still having time to study and do all the other school-ish responsibilities leaves me feeling like I don’t have time for much (or anything) else. But, despite the fact that the last few days of school have been, well, hard, something I have been getting right (small victories, friends) is making a little time each evening to wind down a little and help my mind calm down. Mostly it involves a few minutes on the Calm app, and reading a few pages of a book, (and not going to lie, some nights I just skip it, using the argument that its 10 minutes extra of sleep). Anyways, let’s see how long I can keep this whole calm thing up, but I would really recommend you try it. If you are forgetful like me, set a recurring reminder on your phone for around your bed time so that it becomes a routine of sorts. Hope it helps!

And if you need me, I’ll probs be in my room, burning too many aromatherapy candles to try and stay calm, whilst going through the 1214363 tasks in my bullet journal.

Nabeela x

New year things

This is going to be quite a year. A year of many lasts and also, many firsts. For one, I’ve got about seven more months of being a minor, and yes, I intend to make the most of my last few months of not being an adult. (It even feels weird to type that word). Also, it’s my last year of high school, which is, of course, bittersweet to say the least. I’m preparing myself for a pretty manic year, but also reminding myself that it’s about 10 months of hard work, and then nearly 3-4 months of rest time. There are lots of big decisions to make this year, but I’m learning to just take each day as it comes, because dwelling on things for too long will most likely just put me in a big panic, and that’s the last thing I need.

So, this year, I want to do lots of meditating, praying and journaling just to keep control over my thoughts and emotions, and I’ll be popping on here to write, because writing is what I love and its important to make time to do things you love, no matter how crazy things feel.

I’ve decided not to set too many crazy goals and resolutions because they often just turn into yet another avenue for me to place unnecessary pressure on myself, and goodness knows that is not a good look. I’m going to try instead to set one or two ‘focuses’ every month just to have something to be mindful of, and see how that goes.

I honestly hope you have the most wonderful year, and that you learn lots about yourself. There will be ups and downs, and you will get through it.

Happy new year, friends.

Nabeela x

Simplify

I have written many posts about minimalism and living a more simple life. However, every year I realise I’ve learnt new ways to simplify my life as far as possible. I’ve found great reward in creating streamlined routines for myself that allow room for everything that has to be done.

Here are some things I’ve done this year that have helped me immensely that I’ll be carrying with me into 2019.

01. / Email

I don’t work yet so I don’t have a huge amount of emails coming into my inbox every day like some people do, but I do know that having a full inbox can be stressful and distracting. Try to stay on top of your emails and try the one-touch rule, whereby you only open emails at a time when you are available to carry out the task (or whatever is necessary) required before you respond. Also, guard your email address. Try to avoid throwing it into every online shop’s mailing list, to avoid getting spammed with hundreds of emails a day that are irrelevant to you. (Some people have recommended this site to manage your subscriptions, but I haven’t personally tried it).

02. / Papers

Papers are the easiest thing to hoard. It’s only too easy to hang onto something, “just in case”. For papers that are important, file them away in a space-saving way. For less important ones that you may need at some point, take a photo and save it into a folder on your phone or Cloud. And for those other pesky ones, TOSS THEM. We are ruthless. I clean off my desk (almost) every night before bed and make a point of throwing away papers that are no longer needed.

03. / Planning and organising

I’ve found that keeping all my planning in one book is highly beneficial because everything is in one place, so you’re less likely to forget something important. Whether you’re a paper planner and list-maker like me or if you prefer your phone calendar, try to avoid having important plans in too many places and work on streamlining your planning and organising systems so they work for you. I’ll be bullet-journalling in 2019, so watch this space…

04. / Time-blocking

I’ve found this really useful. Set aside certain “blocks” of time for certain tasks. You’ll find that you’ll be more productive if you know you’re only working for a short amount of time, plus you’re less likely to procrastinate then. It’ll leave you with more time to relax and do things you enjoy.

Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and rest well.

Nabeela x

On Prioritising

priority /prʌɪˈɒrɪti/ noun

Life in the twenty-first century is busy and demanding. It feels as if the world never stops and that no matter how hard one tries, one will always miss out on something. Often, it feels as if we are being pulled in hundreds of directions all at once. There are so many tasks that demand our attention, and demand it now. It is the age of immediate action and instant gratification.

The reality is, there is only so much you can do. You are one person, with one brain and two hands. You simply cannot do everything. This doesn’t mean you are weak or inadequate. It simply means you are human. So please, don’t be disheartened by this. In fact, the earlier you realise this, the better for you, and those you interact with. Something I’ve had to learnt the hard way is that it is better to do fewer things, and to do them really well. Quality over quantity, my friends.

So, next time you start feeling overwhelmed by the many tasks you seem to be drowning in, might I suggest you try something new. Take a step back, get out some paper and make a good old-fashioned list or “brain-dump”. Seeing the contents of your mind on paper may surprise you, particularly when you see how many tasks aren’t quite as urgent as they may feel.

Your time and energy are your most precious commodities. Don’t underestimate the value of them, and don’t give of them too freely. Also, make sure you leave enough of them for yourself. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Nabeela x

A Note on Exams

It feels like I write a post like this every exam season, but the truth is, every time the exam period comes around, I notice new things, and learn more about myself, and others, and what works to get through heavy workloads and stressful times.

I’ve always been a planner, so planning and organizing my studying  feels very natural to me. If you’re someone who struggles to maintain order and stick to a plan, a more brief outline of the content you need to cover before your exams will work just fine. I always find that having a clear plan of what work I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it helps to ease some of my anxiety around exams, because I can see that I have enough time to get through everything.

My friends and I start asking teachers for breakdowns as soon as we get back to school in term four. It really helps to know what content needs to be covered as early as possible. For subjects where these breakdowns aren’t given, I make my own, and just keep a running list as the term progresses.

Try keeping your room and desk area neat. It  can really help to unclutter your mind. So if you have a few minutes, just spend it filing away important papers, recycling the ones you don’t need, taking the dirty mugs down to the kitchen and sorting out your pens. It’ll do wonders.

Making sure that you get enough sleep is important too. As easy as it is to stay up until 3am before a big paper, it’ll catch up with you and you’ll burn out really quickly. Set a bedtime rule and try and stick to it as best you can. (Mine is 11pm – mostly).

Lastly, just remember that no matter how important and anxiety-inducing exams may feel, they’re just exams. You have a life after them. Your self-care doesn’t have to stop. Work hard, but allow yourself enough time to just pause and catch your breath.

Hope this helps a bit. I wish you all well over these exams!

Nabeela x

 

 

On Body-Positivity / Self-Acceptance

Today I’m going to sharing some thoughts about a topic that is really important to me, and affects everyone. Arguably one of the biggest issues that young and old people alike in today’s world, is low self-esteem. With a constant slew of photo-shopped, airbrushed and perfected people in the media being pushed down our throats on a daily basis, it comes at no surprise. Comparing ourselves to a photograph that a professional has spent hours editing and perfecting can be pretty awful. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the sinking feeling of dissatisfaction in ourselves at some point. Firstly, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. Your feelings are valid, and you’re not being silly. Next, I’m hear to hopefully teach you some things (with some help of wise and insightful people) that’ll hopefully set you on a path of self-acceptance.

Accepting your body with all its flaws, and appreciating everything it does for you can lead you to feel so much more confident in your own skin and ultimately bring you more happiness. Also, remember that you are not defined by the way you look.  Appearance isn’t everything. After all, its pretty hard to feel bad about your body once you start thinking about the billions of cells and micro-organisms whose only care and purpose is keeping you alive and healthy.

Now, I definitely don’t consider myself an expert, and body-positivity is definitely something I still struggle with, but I’m learning and slowly making progress, day by day. Patience, dear hearts.

I asked some of my favourite advocates of body-positivity and self-acceptance, to share some advice on becoming more body-positive…

Cari Turner, Get Well Club

“My first tip when it comes to embracing your body and becoming more body positive in general is to stop playing the comparison game. This can be extremely tough as we’re bombarded with images of other people on social media who appear to always look amazing and have everything in their lives sorted out. But this isn’t true – nobody is perfect and what you’re seeing is a carefully curated photo or caption and not the complete reality of that person’s life. So if need be, unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or that make you want to compare yourself.

Only follow people that inspire, encourage and uplift you. In real life, whenever you feel the need to compare yourself or your body to someone else, remember that you were created to be unique and that there is beauty in diversity. Also, remind yourself of all the amazing things that you can do, like a handstand or a dance or that your body keeps you alive and healthy!

Another tip that I have for embracing your body is that you need to remember that it is a journey. You can’t just decide to be body positive one day and then you’re completely happy with your body for the rest of your life. There will be days when you feel terrible about yourself and others when you’ll feel amazing about your body. It is about making daily (sometimes hourly) choices to accept your body as it is in that moment. It is about remembering all the good things your body helps you to do. It is about reminding yourself that your jiggly arms help you to hug your loved ones or that your freckles are little memories of fun times you’ve had in the sun. It is about embracing your flaws and loving yourself even more because of them.”  – @getwellclub 

Kirsten Kadé, Taste and See

“One of my favourite quotes on this topic is by the lovely Kite sisters, or Beauty Redefined (https://beautyredefined.org): “Having positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good; it is knowing that your body is good regardless of how it looks. It isn’t about thinking you are beautiful, it is knowing you are more than beautiful. It is understanding that your body is an instrument for your use, not an ornament to be admired”

This quote really sums up what learning to like your body, no matter it’s shape or size, is about. When we start to see our worth in more than our clothing size or weight on the scale, we are able to live our lives to the fullest!

 As a nutritionist-to-be, one of my interests is to help others heal their relationship with food. The framework of Intuitive Eating is incredibly useful in healing your relationship with food – so one of my biggest tips is to buy the book, start reading blogposts, following people, and listening to podcasts on this topic. And explore developing a healthy, non-restrictive approach to food.”  – @tasteandseeblog

There is so much learning to be done, and such a long way to go, but I really hope you have found some value in this. If you are truly happy within yourself, very little will get you down. Keep spreading love.

I’ve created this little print-out that you can stick on your wall, just as a tangible reminder.

Nabeela x

{A special thank you to Cari and Kirsten for sharing your wisdom with us}

Seventeen Musings

As we get older, we often overlook our personal growth. Whilst it’s easy to see it in others, it is only upon close introspection that one can notice it in oneself. We often grow up to be very different from how we visualized our future selves when we were younger.

That’s not a good thing or a bad thing. Its just how life is. Maybe you thought you were going to be a doctor, and now, once you’ve been through the education system, you’ve realized that just isn’t for you. Maybe you just wanted to be a princess. (Hey, we can’t all be Meghan Markle, but a girl can dream).

Either way, another trip around the sun means another year of memories, dreams, goals, achievements, failures (in whatever light you choose to view that word), and ultimately, growth. Here are 17 things I’ve learned up until now.

  1. As cliche as it sounds, being comfortable in your own skin and accepting yourself, no matter what stage of life you’re going through, is one of the (if not the) biggest contributing factors to your happiness.
  2. Trust your gut. That thing knows what’s up.
  3. You don’t have to be best friends with every single person you’ll ever meet. And that’s okay. 
  4. Things are not always going to go the way you planned. That is also okay. And a totally normal part of life.
  5. With time, you’ll learn who your true friends are. It’ll be hard, but also worth it.
  6. Don’t underestimate your own strength and the ability of time to heal.
  7.  Sometimes, when you think you’re really going to miss someone, you realize that life goes on and if they’re meant to be in your life, they will be.
  8. If it’s meant for you, it’ll come for you. (Really been living by this this year. It can be hard. But its the truth!)
  9. Just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean they’re right.
  10. It’s okay to have close friends with different opinions. Every debate and discussion doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t really) end with the other person having completely changed their opinion.
  11. If you’re unhappy about something, speak up. Sometimes (but not all the time) that’s all that’s needed to make some change.
  12. Not everyone is going to like you. That’s okay. You weren’t made to be loved by everyone.
  13. Social media is not, I repeat NOT, real life.
  14. The more comfortable you become with yourself, the less power other people’s opinions will have over you.
  15. Happiness doesn’t just come naturally to everyone. And its virtually impossible to explain to someone who’s never experienced it. Be kind. Be patient. Be supportive.
  16. Sometimes, being kind is more important than being right, contrary to what your ego might tell you.
  17. It’s okay to say no to things that just aren’t your thing. It doesn’t make you less cool/teenager-ish/attractive/whatever other rubbish people like to tell us. Just do you. Be yourself. It’s the best thing you can be.

I want to leave you with these wise words that really resonate with me and the kind of life I’m working to build.

“i have what i have and i am happy. i’ve lost what i’ve lost and i am still happy.” – outlook / Rupi Kaur 

Nabeela x

A Fashion Revolution

This week marks 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. Over 1000 people were killed, making it one of the biggest garment factory disasters in history. Most of the victims were young girls – a fact that breaks my heart, still. Truth is, no one should die for fashion.

Much has been done since the accident. But if we want brands to become more transparent, we need to press for progress and keep actively asking brands the difficult questions. As consumers, we deserve to know where our clothes come from and who makes them.

This week, I’ll be posting on Instagram to do my part, and ask brands I frequent #whomademyclothes?

Join me?

Nabeela x

Mountain Musings

There’s nothing that changes one’s perspective quite like spending a few days in the mountains sans cellphone signal and civilization. It’s a breathe of fresh air – literally. Drinking river water and falling asleep to the under the watchful eyes of shooting stars can be more beneficial than one might think going into it.

I learned a few things on my trip to the mountains. The first thing being, after a day of hiking, anything tastes good. And white flip flops and dust? Not a good idea.

But more than that, I learnt that once we lose connection with our phones (which seem to be an appendage nowadays), we gain connection with people. With nature. With ourselves. Without the constant distraction of push notifications and Instagram feeds, I found myself lost in long, deep, meaningful conversation with people, something that’s hard to come by in the busy city.

I learned that simply just spending time in nature is meditation in itself. It’s so healing and relaxing to live in harmony with the natural world for once, and not try to fight against it.

Lastly, I learned to appreciate the comforts of home. I certainly take basic things like toilets and my bed for granted far too often.

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It’s true what they say. Sometimes, the best way to find yourself is to get lost. Preferably in nature.

Nabeela x

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