How to quit caffeine and not lose your mind

For the fourth time in my life, I’m trying to cut out caffeine and all I can say is hold me. Somebody. Anybody. The headaches, the tiredness, feeling so irritable you are this close to giving Michael Douglas in Falling Down a run for his money. The joys of caffeine withdrawal.

So, why am I doing this to myself? As well as being a sucker for self-punishment, it’s that time of year when we are all vowing to be a bit healthier, to drink more water and turn ourselves into Gisele, all within the space of January, and I’m as guilty of this as the next person. Also, as you may recall from my golden milk recipe post, coffee has been exacerbating my anxiety in the last year or so. Even though I used to drink up to 6 cups a day – insert beating heart emoji – these days all it takes is that second cup and my heart is aflutter…and not in a good way.

Continue reading “How to quit caffeine and not lose your mind”

Wellness hacks for the January blues

January always feels to me like cracking open a new notebook and feeling the nervous possibilities of that crisp blank page. Whether you’ve got your whole year planned out ahead of you or you’re gonna fly by the seat of your pants, for many of us, January’s newness can be a blessing and a curse, with the unknown creating a palpable sense of panic. There’s also the dreary weather, dark mornings and darker evenings to contend with. After the buzz of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, January just can’t compete, can it? No wonder we’re all swamped in the January blues.

In my opinion, this makes January the perfect time to look after yourself, experiment with wellness and make self-care a real priority. And no, I’m not talking about food fads, drop a dress size diets or dangerous juice cleanses – I’m talking about wellness activities that’ll snap you out of the January blues and that you can practice throughout 2018. Continue reading “Wellness hacks for the January blues”

5 lessons I learnt in 2017

I really should’ve called this blog ‘Dear Diary’, shouldn’t I? It’s that time of year when we start to look back and make all kinds of fancy resolutions to hopefully make the next 12 months better than the last 12, and maybe even become shiny new versions of ourselves.

Taylor Swift aside, the general consensus is that 2017 was a shit show but, in an effort to be more positive, I learnt a lot this year. My wellness obsession swelled to new heights and led me to spend a lot more time delving into self-care and self-help, spaces I previously scoffed at. There’s no book, blog post or podcast which changed my mind about these things – maybe it’s just part of getting older – but this year I’ve spent more time considering my own choices, looking at why I and those around me do what we do and, as twee as this sounds, generally seeking to be a bit more understanding.

Here’s 5 of the big lessons I learnt and started to apply in my life in 2017 and a few podcast recommendations thrown in for good measure:

Continue reading “5 lessons I learnt in 2017”

September Self-Care

Wait, it’s 30th September. Why am I writing a blog post about September? Well, like they say in The September Issue, September is the best month to shake off your old skin and start afresh. For me it’s been a month of change. It’s also the month where self-care really landed on my radar as a real, doable thing and not just a vague idea I read about on Goop.

Maybe it’s yet another thing you only appreciate as you get older, like drinking wine for the taste and not just to get drunk or young Tom Cruise. I used to scoff at the idea of taking care of myself but – hello, self-help bible alert – if you don’t look after yourself, no one else will. Self-care is all about the little things, from taking your make-up off every night (even when plastered) to just avoiding situations and people who cause you stress.

Self-care is an ongoing thing that I’m sure changes throughout your life, if not day-to-day. With this in mind, I just wanted to share six new self-care strategies and steps I’ve been trying this month: Continue reading “September Self-Care”

Commuter health: how to stay healthy – and sane – on your daily commute

So, I read an article in The Irish Times about Ireland’s long haul commuters (Limerick to Dublin commuters – I salute you!) and it inspired me to write about an aspect of commuting  I think is most important but that I don’t see covered regularly – commuter health.

If you’ve never really commuted or you enjoy a leisurely 25 minute cycle into the office, you’re probably thinking ‘commuter health? But they’re just sitting still for an hour!” Yes, I once thought that about commuting too. Then I had a bad experience with a greedy landlord (you know who you are) who wanted to exploit the housing crisis and I quickly found myself with nowhere to stay and forced into a two hour commute each day. Both ways.

To say it was a shock to the system would be an understatement. Let’s just say I went from smiley Ken Cosgrove to Season 7 Pete Campbell in six weeks. Continue reading “Commuter health: how to stay healthy – and sane – on your daily commute”

5 Things To Know About Going Vegan

Vegans wear dreadlocks, tie-dye and stink of patchouli, right? Think again. In recent years, the word vegan has gone from hippie dippie to (dare I say it?) kinda cool, thanks in no small part to famous names like Jared Leto, Beyonce and even Arnold Schwarzenegger swapping pork for plants.

I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years (making me *cough* 22) and spent almost 3 years as a committed vegan. There’s been a huge shift in attitudes towards eating healthier in Ireland in the last 5 years (I could rant allll day about how many ‘rabbit food’ comments I’ve gotten over the years but I won’t bore you) so it’s thankfully much easier now to have a diet that’s not meat and potatoes but going vegan is still a big lifestyle change for most people. Continue reading “5 Things To Know About Going Vegan”

Networking tips for people who hate networking

‘It’s all who you know.’ Is there a more discouraging sentiment when you’re starting out in your career? After finding out that your arts degree is in fact worthless, I can’t think of a more sinking realisation than the one where you realise connections, not your First Class Honours degree or last slave labour internship, are what catapult you further up the ladder.

After a few years of feeling all ‘why me?’ about growing up in a small town and therefore having no ties to the all-important Dublin-centric media, I started to realise that the personal connections thing works both ways. If I could just bump into people and make a good impression…that was an opportunity to make the connections I was so lacking. Sounds easy, right?

There’s just one problem: I loathe networking. Continue reading “Networking tips for people who hate networking”

Working from home tips: How to be productive and not get cabin fever

If I got a euro for every time someone asked me ‘do you work in your pyjamas?’ when I tell them I work from home…well, I’d make more money than I do as a writer. After ‘who do you write for?’ that’s easily the most common question I get asked about my job and lifestyle.

As I mentioned here, the freelance economy is booming and in the US, 10% of employees now work from home. Whether you’re a writer or a virtual assistant, the market for freelance, remote workers is growing but for the majority, cubicle life is forever what they think of when it comes to work.

Contrary to what that oh-so-realistic cultural icon Carrie Bradshaw has led you to believe, working from home – especially as a journalist – is less ‘lusting over Louboutins’ and more ‘hey, have you met my husband? He’s called Macbook!’  Continue reading “Working from home tips: How to be productive and not get cabin fever”

Digital detox tips: How to spend less time on the internet

Cat videos, insane ‘look like a Kardashian’ contouring beauty tutorials, the fact you can google Jonathan Taylor Thomas and find out in seconds where he went – these are just a few of the best things about the internet. Oh and that whole keeping in touch with people thing.

We all love the internet but I’ve definitely noticed a shift where it’s just not as cool as it was to constantly be online. Comments about how good it feels to go out without your smartphone or go on a staycation without any devices are becoming standard office small talk and writing digital detox tips are now de rigueur for lifestyle journalists like myself. Plus, all those studies about the negative effect of social media on your mental health are hard to ignore. Continue reading “Digital detox tips: How to spend less time on the internet”