How to stand firm in the face of adversity

Hi lovelies,

Happy new month! Can’t believe we’re half way through the year, and into the summer months, already. I hope you are all keeping well, and that life is treating you kindly.

In today’s blogpost I wanted to write a piece of encouragement for anyone who may be faced with adversities.

With every new day, comes new possibilities, strengths and thoughts. While other days, also bring the least expected obstacles and challenges. The nature, significance and extent of these obstacles and challenges vary from person to person, however, the importance of standing firm in the face of these adversities, remains the great equaliser.

It’s now been two long years since the panoramic halted all of our lives, and although we somehow learnt to just ride the endless waves of uncertainty – it is important to consciously learn to stand firm when adversities strike, rather than allow the waves to drown us out.

Based on my own experience, one can learn to stand firm by;

  1. Shifting your mindset
  2. Establishing a strong support system, and,
  3. Consciously reflecting and redirecting

1. Shifting your mindset

It’s true what they say, your perception directly impacts your reality. Quite simply put, we see the world, not as it is, but as we are!

If you don’t like something in your life, change it! And I know that can be easier said than done, but with the right focus and dedication, you can make your dreams and desires a reality.

“The problems you face are not STOP signs, they are guidelines.”

Your life is controlled by what you focus on, so focus on the good.

2. Establishing a strong support system

Having a strong support system is pertinent during trying times. Ensure that your immediate circle of family and friends are a reliable and strong source of support to you, and focus on creating boundaries and/or mending those that aren’t.

I once read a quote that said: “Whatever you are going through in life, both positive and negative, takes a village – because you are not meant to go through it alone”.

Healthy and strong support systems are sources of wisdom & guidance, strength & hope, and, understanding & compassion.

Does your current circle of friends and family currently reflect the above characteristics?

3. Consciously reflecting and redirecting

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way creating more unintended consequences…”

Margaret J. Wheatley

I am a strong believer in all things reflection in both personal and professional life. It is, and has proven to be the key to success, and personal development in my life.

This is at large due to the fact that reflection allows me to pay particular attention to past actions and thoughts, with emphasis on identifying future learning and growth opportunities in my life.

Through reflection, you have the ability to take stock of how you’re living your life and redirect it’s course, where necessary, in advance to unexpected trials and tribulations.

By engaging in ongoing self reflection, you will soon develop a strong sense of resilience and self awareness, which in turn will help you stand firm when faced, with lives endless adversities.

By following the above steps, you will soon learn to view adversities as stepping stones to greatness, rather than stumbling blocks.

Love, Nyasha x

City Break in Barcelona

Hi lovelies,

How are you all keeping? I hope you have all had a wonderful week. The long weekend is finally here, and I bet I’m not the only one who was living for it. Like many of us, work life is currently keeping me on my toes, so I often find myself dreaming about my next get-away.

One of my short term goals is to travel more, and see more of the many wonders of the world around me.

So far this year, I have been lucky enough to visit both Spain and Scotland.

In January, I took a 4 day trip to Barcelona to visit a friend of mine. This trip completely exceeded my expectations and highlighted my love for city living.

In today’s blog post I will be breaking down all the best bits of this trip.

DAY ONE

We flew from Dublin Airport at 6:15, and arrived in Barcelona just before 9am, Spanish time.

Upon arrival we went to a local cafe called, La Despensa de Eva.

Here we caught up with one another over coffees and cake! We absolutely adored this place – the customer service and overall presentation of their coffees and treats was impeccable.

Later, we decided to walk around the city, to familiarise ourselves with the area and its amenities.

I quickly fell in love with the architecture as we walked through the streets. The high rise buildings, aesthetics and balconies – I admired it all.

Even their Penneys (Primark) looks high end from the outside of the building!

Soon after our strolls through the city streets, the lack of sleep from the night before finally hit, causing our day of adventure to turn into an evening of catching up on sleep and watching cartoons in our hotel room.

DAY TWO

After a very much needed relaxing evening, we woke up far more energised – ready to take on Barcelona day 2.

First on the itinerary was brunch! We visited a restaurant called Belliny, where we ate our full. The menu here was filled with endless breakfast, brunch and lunch options such as full English, various benedicts, pancakes and even açai! After a lot of debate I ended up ordering their eggs benedict riojanos and fresh seasonal fruit.

After our brunch, we wandered around Barcelona city once again.

On our strolls we came across the Sagrada Familia. We opted not to book tickets to enter the grounds, however from the outside we were able to take in the beauty of the building.

Right outside the church you also find stands of local artists selling their work, here you can purchase beautiful paintings and drawings of the Sagrada Familia, amongst other things.

Later in the day, we visited the St Joseph La Boqueria, which is a public market in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is renowned for being one of the most picturesque markets. Inside you will find most, if not all food types, from pick n’ mix stands to fish and meat stands and everything else in between.

Next door to the marketplace, you will find a DUNKIN’ Donuts and Starbucks, where we treated ourselves to coffees and doughnuts after our wander through the market. From there, we decided to call it a day, order a take away and take endless photos in our matching pyjamas.

DAY THREE

Having had another quiet night we woke up ready for another day of exploration. We started our last full day in Barcelona, dining in La Despensa de Eva, where I got a toasted chicken sandwich and chai latte.

Later in the afternoon, we decided to visit Park Güell. Tickets were €10.00 each, and available to purchase from the entrance, using a QR code.

Upon entry into the park we were met with a lovely uphill walk way, which led us to the most scenic view of the city.

Fun fact; some scenes of Disney’s, Cheetah Girls 2 was filmed in Park Güell. My inner child was fan girling, just by being here.

I got to experience the public transport in Spain for the very first time this day, and I was pleasantly surprised by how affordable, consistent and reliable it was, in comparison to good ol’ Ireland.

Later that evening, we decided to have something a little more Spanish for dinner.We went for tapas near La Plaça de Catalunya. The garlic prawns I ordered were to die for.

For the rest of the evening we strolled around Barcelona city, taking in a few more sights we’d missed the days before.

We stopped for coffees in starbucks after this, and then later that night we decided to order a Mc Donalds. I finally got to try their patatas deluxe and white chocolate sundae that are exclusive to the Spanish menu… and might I say, we are definitely missing out here in Ireland.

I absolutely enjoyed visiting Barcelona – I would even go as far as saying that it is one of my favourite cities to date. Definitely one for the bucket list, if you haven’t yet visited it.

Love, Nyasha x

How to minimise the stress you’re feeling concerning Covid-19

Hi lovelies,

I hope you and your loved ones are all keeping well during these unprecedented times, and doing your part to minimise the spread of coronavirus by wearing your masks, washing your hands and avoiding overly crowded areas.

Today I wanted to share a few tips on how to minimise the stress you may be feeling regarding Covid-19, and the mere thought of a second wave.

The times we are currently living in, have proven to be extremely overwhelming to each and everyone of us – not only as individuals but also as a society. It’s very important that we continue to look after our health, both physically and mentally. Here is a few ways to do so;

1. Limit your consumption of news – especially if it’s not from a credible source

I’m sure I’m not the only one, whose overall news consumption skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic. We were all craving to stay informed in order to control all the uncertainy. However, like most of you, I quickly learnt that this obsession led to fatigue and/or anxiety.

Whether we are progressing or regressing, I think it’s important for us to come to terms with how much news is too much for our mental health. It’s important that we stay informed, but it’s equally important that we learn to accept what is beyond our control. We need to remain focused on the factors that we can control.

2. Do your part

Although the pandemic has restricted the extent to which we live our lives, we all still have a part to play in order to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

By making a conscious effort to follow the regulations and guidelines advised, we can all continue to take better care of ourselves both physically and mentally whilst still enjoying the things we love.

3. Do not depend on your own understanding

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”

Proverbs 3:5

During these unprecedented times, its so easy for our minds to run wild and imagine all the worst case scenarios.

One thing that significantly helped me and continues to help me during this season, is remembering that God is in control.

I know some of you reading this may not be believers, but my encouragement for each of us is taken from a quote that says,

“There is HOPE, even when your brain tells you there isn’t”

John Green

Have faith that things will work out.

Love, Nyasha x

Why prioritizing yourself, is the best decision you’ll ever make

Hi lovelies,

How are you all keeping?

Before I dive into today’s blog post, I just want to apologize for the lack of content on this blog lately. The reality is that, college has finally decided to take its preeminence in my life again. Deadlines are beginning to pile up on me, and as a result, for the time being, I have no other choice but to prioritize my education, meaning content on the blog will now be limited to when I can, instead of on a weekly basis.

I am not saying goodbye, but I am just giving each of you a heads up, not to be expecting a weekly blog post as I was previously accustomed to. Instead I will try pop on as often as I can, with as much advice, updates and positive energy, as possible!

For the time being, I just want to say thank you for the continuous support that each of you have given me since starting – I honestly feel like I can never say it enough.

For all the shares, comments, words of encouragement and for simply taking the time to read what I put out. Thank you!

Anyways… enough of the soppy stuff. Let’s get into the topic, of today’s blog post;

Why prioritizing yourself, is the best decision you’ll ever make.

Growing up, I was always that child who would drop everything and anything to be there for the people around me.

I have a very giving personality and I never really knew my limit. I would bend backwards for people who would rarely do the same for me.

As I went through my teenage years, I quickly identified this trait and how detrimental it was becoming for me. I was beginning to feel exhausted, frustrated and even angry when I would not receive the same energy I would consistently give out.

I would question my self worth, identity, friendships and life itself. All because I had convinced myself that I loved being a giver. That I am someone everyone should be able to count on, when they are in need.

From a young age we are all taught that giving is the best way to show kindness.

We are all guilty at chorusing the idea that ‘sharing is caring’ – but never explaining to what extent. No wonder why it becomes so easy for some of us to get caught up in unhealthy cycles that may begin to take a toil on our health.

When your constantly the one who gives and gives, you risk burning yourself out. Your well, begins to run dry, and as a result you begin to form resentful feelings.

If you relate to ever feeling any of the above emotions because of your tendency to give a little more than is necessary, I want to encourage you to find a balance.

Begin to identify when your giving out of love or when you’re giving out of guilt and negativity.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly how to find this balance for yourself, but what I can share, is how doing so, for myself, has benefited me.

1. I began to value myself

As I mentioned above, over giving caused me to develop negative emotions. It took a significant toil on my self-esteem and made me question my self worth and value. I almost began to feel like it was normal for people to walk all over me. However, once I identified the negative emotions, that stemmed from giving too much. I quickly began to put value on myself.

Now I have learnt to quickly take two steps back, when I feel under appreciated or taken for granted.

I’m not saying that I expect to be thanked or praised when I go out of my way for someone, but if I’m constantly questioning the other individuals intentions, my time will quickly become limited.

2. My giving became much more genuine

If you were to ask me what my favorite characteristic, that I possess is, I would undoubtedly say that it is my giving spirit.

However at one point in time, I found myself giving for all the wrong reasons. I remember feeling guilty and under pressure, to do it all! To give, because it made me look good, or because I felt morally obliged to.

To overcome this, I had to learn to prioritize my own needs, and as a result, I started giving from a cheerful place, once again!

I took care of my own needs, which in turn gave me the energy necessary, to take care of, and put energy that was light, joyful and void of pressure, into others.

3. I began to focus on my own goals

When your a naturally giving person, it is very easy to focus entirely on other individuals, besides yourself.

You begin to focus all your time and energy into them, leaving little to no time for you. You slowly become sidetracked by their life, and slowly begin to divert all attention, away from your own ambitions and plans.

By balancing how much of me, I was giving to people, I began to regain my own zeal for life. I no longer craved that thrill, I got from helping people. I stopped allowing, giving to be the only drive I had in life. I realized I had more to offer!

Prioritizing myself, was and is one of the best decisions I have ever made, because it caused me to develop as an individual. I became an even happier person, because I grew to be content in myself, as opposed to being content in the way others saw me. I started to become (well at least tried…), as invested in myself as I was in others.

To whoever this has resonated with – I beg you to find your balance. Stop feeling guilty. Let go of the pressures of society.

Protect your energy, by prioritizing yourself.

Yes it’s all well and good, to be there for everyone and anyone, but if you can’t even be there for yourself, what good are you?

Reminder; You are allowed to help yourself before you help others.

Love, Nyasha x

Stop underestimating yourself

Hi lovelies,

Before I get into this weeks blogpost, I just want to say my sincere apologies for not posting one last week. I was honestly so exhausted by the time it got to the weekend, and just kept experiencing writing blocks whenever I sat down to write. Thankfully I’m well rested now, the sun is shining and I am feeling super motivated to conquer the week!

Yesterday as I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across a quote that read “Stop underestimating yourself”.

Tomorrow, I start my final year in college – and I’d be lying to you, if I was to say that, I wasn’t feeling worried and overwhelmed. Quite simply, the thoughts of ‘THE THESIS’ scare me! When I think about gathering all the research involved in it, I start to undermine not only my abilities but also myself.

For some reason, in my head I have managed to construct the belief that I am going to walk into my Research Project module and be flung into the deep end with 0 assistance. However, in reality, I know this won’t be the case. I can be rest assured that my lecturers, friends and family will be there every step of the way – to offer guidance, support and encouragement when in need.

This year surely wont be the easiest but I will definitely pull through it.

“Sometimes when you are the closest to your breakthrough the pressure is the greatest. You have come too far to give up now!” – Joyce Meyer

Whether you are starting college, going into your final year, or embarking on a new life venture, do not underestimate yourself.

Believe in your abilities.

Each of us was born with the potential to do great things – but those great things can only come to flourish when we believe.

“You must expect great things of yourself, before you can do them”

Love, Nyasha x

Summer 2019, Recap

“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them”

Hi lovelies, 

As we are drawing near to the end of summer now, I just wanted to do a quick recap of my summer, and all it had to offer me. This summer I vowed to myself to live life to the fullest and seize any opportunity to do things I found fulfilling. Although I didn’t get the opportunity to fly out to live my best life, or jaiye at Afronation, I can confidently say that, Summer 2019, you have been too good. 

Despite having started my summer sick and brittle, I quickly recovered after plenty of much needed rest and once better, I didn’t waste any time to start making plans with those I love. 

May

After 10 days of not seeing them, the college girls and I met up for a shopping trip in Dublin City. As someone who used not to be very confident in their navigation of the town, I was pleasantly surprised on how good my navigation was. We spent the day gallivanting, and to end the day we went to TGI Friday’s, on Temple Bar.

June

June was such a busy month for me. On the 2nd of June, I decided to finally bite the bullet and start this blog – meaning any spare time I once had, was and is now spent typing. However, thankfully, it has been such a wonderful and surreal experience thanks to all of you who have been reading them on a weekly basis.

Other than working and integrating blogging to my lifestyle, I also tried to spend some quality time with my family.

This was also the month that I got engrossed in all thing Love Island despite my original dismissal of the show. Without getting into too much detail, I’m actually happy that I ended up watching the show, as I gained some valuable life lessons (suprise suprise!!).

  1. Sisters before misters ALWAYS!!
  2. Be confident in you
  3. Always expect the unexpected

July

As some of you may know this year I was resident more so in Wexford than Kildare – meaning I had little to no time with my family and friends from home throughout the academic year.

July, however offered plenty of time for me to catch up with those near and dear. Roadtrips, cinema dates and everything in between were had.


August

As I am writing this, the month of August is not yet over. However, in the next two weeks I will, most likely be spending, most of my days in work, so I will not have much left to recap with you.

So far I have spent this month attending events such as Girlz Arize and CTY 15 hours of Praise. I’ve also been catching up with friends, embarking on road-trips and engaging in family time.

Overall, like I said at the very start of this blog post, I am very content with how my summer has gone this year. I wanted to be productive in whatever I found myself doing, whilst having a nice balance of work and fun – and I can confidently say I did just that.

“Be spontaneous. Be crazy. Leave your comfort zone and live with no regrets.”

Love, Nyasha x

It’s Not Over… It’s Just The Beginning

Hi lovelies,

Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to those of you that interacted with my polls and questions on Instagram at the start of the week. It was really insightful to see all your responses on what you would like to see on the blog, over the next few weeks. I promise to try my best to deliver. One particular request I got was to write about results, and seeing as the leaving cert results come out in a little less than a month and the junior cert after that, I decided to share some encouragement for those awaiting their fate.

Exam season is often an extremely stressful period for the best of us. The manner in which they are prepared for and examined often leave students feeling anxious as results day approaches. Although exams usually mark the end of one phase of life, and influence the choices for the next, they are not to be considered the be-all and end-all. It is important to remember that a rounded education is much more valuable than good grades.

From a personal perspective, the lead up to any results day usually leaves me feeling a whirlwind of emotions, which include anxiety, excitement, stress, nervousness and eagerness. Thankfully I’m not the only one. The lead up to exam results is undoubtedly the most stressful time for students, talkless the pressure of needing specific grades for college, or simply, to sit higher level subjects in senior cycle. You may feel like the results you achieve, will determine how your life will pan out in the future, but I am here to tell you that they are just a small part of a much bigger picture, and not the be-all and end-all of success.

Whether you get the results you’re aiming for or not, when you open that envelope, remember to continue to follow your dreams. Just like when you’re on a road trip, in life, there are many routes to get to your desired destination, do not limit yourself based on everyone else’s experience. Take the road less traveled, and see where it might take you.

I’m a firm believer in speaking things into existence, so I would encourage each and everyone of you awaiting results, academic or not – to start speaking positively concerning it. “To achieve great things, you first have to believe”.

Love, Nyasha x

A Guide to Making Friends for Life

Hi lovelies,

I hope you have all had a fantastic week. On the blog, this week, I have decided to delve into the world of friendships. Friendships are an integral part of each of our lives. Being surrounded by good friends has many benefits to an individual. They make hard times easier, and the good times all the better. Unfortunately as we get older, making good friends becomes much harder, because of the shift in expectations from both parties.

Recently, as I was talking to one of my friends, I was reminded of the struggles that come with forming true friendships in adolescence. For me, this stage was filled with conflict, jealousy, mistrust and consistent questioning of people’s intentions. I used to think that I would never be truly content in my friendships. However, over the last month I’ve come to realize that I am honestly so blessed to be surrounded by true friends that go above and beyond my expectations on a daily. The type that I can actually rely on, not question and laugh with, to the point of tears.

This week I wanted to share a short guide to help anyone who might feel like they are truly not satisfied with their friendships. Numerous studies in the last decade show that many people feel like they don’t have any true companions. If this is you, don’t feel guilty, according to Jim Rohn, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”… so if you are not satisfied with your friends – you can’t be satisfied with yourself. I hope that the following steps will be of use to those of you, who are wanting to improve their friendship circle.

1. Be a true friend

The law of attraction, that states, that you attract what you are, plays a pivotal role in the formation of friendships. I quickly learnt this in my teens, when I decided to ditch the mean girl demeanor, that is heavily influenced by the media. I became a ‘girl’s girl’, who was more concerned with empowering the girls around me rather than gossiping and anticipating their downfall. With this character change I began to attract positive friends that were open and welcoming. By naturally shifting to positive thinking I began to align myself with the type of people I wanted in my life.

2. Be yourself

“You came into this world alone and you’ll leave it alone”, so why would you change yourself to suit people who are only in your life temporarily. It’s so easy these days, to find yourself in positions that compromise your identity, just to suit those around you. However, it is much more beneficial to be CONFIDENT IN YOU, without feeling the need to be validated by so called ‘friends’.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” – Romans 12:2

3. Make the effort to stay in touch

I’m sure you are all aware of the belief that true friends can go long periods without speaking and then easily reconnect, and although I have found this to be true, distance can only be built and sustained by maintaining friendships. Just like relationships, friendships require effort. Friendship’s can be maintained by keeping in contact through texts, calls and face-to-face interactions, where possible.

4. Give and take

Unfortunately each of us have dealt with a friend that seems to take more than they give, at least once in our lifetime. This friend is quick to make all things about themselves. If you find yourself tolerating their selfishness, overtime you may begin to unintentionally form mistrust in future relationships, as a result of this one experience. I would encourage any of you who may feel like they were used in a friendship, either for their time, attention, energy and/or money, to open up again. Friendships are all about balance. Individuals involved must work together to create friendships where each person feels cared about, appreciated and respected. It’s just as important to have good friends, as it is to be a good friend.

When you are surrounded by good people, you’re surrounded by life. Stress is reduced and you begin to experience happiness in all facets. If you have come to realize that you are short on meaningful friendships, I would encourage you to reflect on this guide and start making changes to your circle today.

Be open to inviting new people into your life.

Love, Nyasha x