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”

Freelance writing tips: 5 lessons I’ve learnt

I have a lot of opinions on being a freelance writer in Ireland in 2017. Although it’s offered me opportunities to work at companies I used to dream about while growing up in a small town, I still feel like the whole house of cards could collapse at any time, that every publication I write for could go the way of the dodo and we’ll all be replaced by ‘influencers’. Welcome to the Freelance Fear.

It’s an interesting but challenging time to be a journalist. Each week I hear that a journalist I thought was killin’ it has become a press officer or joined a tech company and there’s a strong sensation of ‘don’t wanna be the last one on this sinking ship’ when I meet other journalists, even editors. While it’s admittedly tough out there, at the same time it seems like everyone is a freelancer and there are few staff jobs anymore. In the US alone, more than a fourth of the workforce is now part of the freelance ‘gig economy’ so this way of working isn’t going away any time soon. Continue reading “Freelance writing tips: 5 lessons I’ve learnt”

Podcast recommendations #2: This week I’ve been listening to…

You want podcast recommendations? I’ll give you podcast recommendations! Last week I was out sick for a few days so I didn’t listen to anything, bar ‘Brass Monkey’ by the Beastie Boys on a loop, but this week my podcast-a-day habit is back with a bang.

I hate podcasts with long preambles so without further ado, here’s the podcasts I’ve listened to and loved this week:

Continue reading “Podcast recommendations #2: This week I’ve been listening to…”

Using coconut oil for psoriasis

Kim Kardashian and I have one thing in common. No, not a love of Kanye that others find inexplicable, not an oversized derriere or a knack for self-promotion (I wish). We’ve both got psoriasis, that chronic, systemic inflammatory skin disease. Kim Kardashian, me and 73,000 other sufferers in Ireland.

(Side note: finding out that a famous person who seemingly Has It All battles with things too always makes them more likable and relatable, doesn’t it?)

Anyway, I’ve been using extra virgin raw coconut oil on my psoriasis for a few months now and just wanted to share my experience.

Continue reading “Using coconut oil for psoriasis”