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

Lessons I learnt in 2021

Hi lovelies,

Happy New Month! I guess it’s far too late for me to wish you all a Happy New Year, seeing as we’re now well into the month of February. However, I hope 2022 has been good to each of you thus far, and I wish you all nothing but happiness, success and good health throughout the year.

I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything on here, but today I wanted to share some of the life lessons I learnt over the last year. 2021 was a whirlwind of a year for me. It was filled with so many highs and just as many lows. It was definitely a year that pushed me out of my comfort zones, changed my mindset, and also caused me to consider the fact that not everything is always as it seems.

When I look back on the previous year, here are 3 major life lessons that I learnt.

1. Trust your gut

I’m sure we’ve all heard the old saying “trust your gut”. It refers to listening to your intuition. By doing so, this enables us to avoid unhealthy situations and relationships.

Over the last year, I was lucky enough to work overseas – and as wonderful as the opportunity was – in one way or another, it continously reminded me of the importance of staying true to oneself.

More often than not, I was forced to refocus on my gut feelings, and although this would sometimes feel similar to physical feelings associated with anxiety, in due time I would always feel a sense of safety, peace and even happiness, once I had followed my gut.

“Sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through ignoring our intuition”

2. Do not overly depend on any one person

Now before I delve into this point, I want to start by saying that I am a firm believer in the proverb that states that ‘no man is an island’, meaning that none of us are truly self sufficient. We desire human connections for comfort and community.

However, that doesn’t mean we should overly depend on any one person, whether that be your partner, best friend, cousin, mother, father and/or sibling.

The reality is, that we came into this world alone, and we’ll leave it alone. So, whilst we continue to rely on community in order to thrive in each of our individual lives, let’s learn to also stand alone. Become comfortable in your own company – there is honestly nothing more empowering than learning to enjoy ones solitude. By doing so you will quickly grow to learn that your happiness, self worth and state of contentment is not determined by others.

“Never search for happiness in others, it will make you feel alone. Search for it within yourself, you will feel happy even when you’re left alone”

3. Admitting you need help is okay

“One of the biggest defects in life is the inability to ask for help”

Everyone of us require help, and support every once in a while – and this is perfectly fine. As mentioned previously, ‘no man is an island’, therefore we cannot and shouldn’t expect ourselves to carry troubles all on our own.

Unfortunately, many of us still struggle to ask for help, even when we desperately need it. As a result we leave ourselves open to feelings of depression which may also result in the deterioration of our careers and relationships. Some of us have the belief that to be considered a ‘strong individual’ you must be able to face all your challenges on your own. However, this is very far from the truth.

By asking for help when we need it, we save ourselves from a lot of unnecessary emotional burden.

Remember, “a problem shared is a problem halved”

In the words of Barack Obama,

“… Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and then allows you to learn something new.”

2009

I could continue to list out many other lessons I learnt over the course of 2021, but I thought I would keep this blog short and sweet. I hope that this blog post resonated with at least one of you, and reinforced something that you needed to hear.

With that being said, I hope 2022 is filled with nothing but growth for each every single one of us.

Reflect, refresh and refocus as often, and as much as you need to.

Love, Nyasha x

Count your blessings

Hi lovelies,

Firstly, I just want to say a massive thank you for all the support shown in my previous blogpost – writing has always been one of my favourite pastimes, so I really appreciate every single interaction shown on what I put out there.

In today’s blog post, I wanted to talk a little bit about gratitude and why it’s important to count your blessings.

In life, it is so easy to fall victim to the fallacy of permanence, most of us don’t stop to recognise our good fortune and blessings until they are gone. When asked, I would usually describe myself, as having a glass half full mindset, however quiet recently I noticed that I was slipping into constant and frequent states of ingratitude. In these moments I would moan and grumble about everything and anything under the sun, and because of this, my overall mindset became rather negative. Luckily, I quickly realised this and decided to intentionally focus a little more on the good in my life.

I once read a quote that said;

” A sincere attitude of gratitude is a beatitude for secured altitudes. Appreciate what you have been given and you will be promoted higher.”

Israelmore Ayivor

Having now, readapted my attitude of gratitude, I have come to see a positive change in my life. I am making it more of a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all areas, no matter how big or small. This in turn has made me feel so much more satisfied with life, because I am no longer seeking for more. I am consciously making the decision to live in the present moment.

So if you haven’t done so in a while, I would personally encourage you to write down some of the things you’re grateful for. This could include simple things such as, food, clothing, family and friends; or even more elaborate things such as life’s challenges, love, laughter and even heartbreaks.

You will be surprised at how full your heart feels as you come to realize how much you have to be thankful for.

Love, Nyasha x

Life in Cyprus

Hi lovelies,

Hope you’re all keeping well? As I mentioned in my previous blogpost – I am currently working and living in the beautiful island of Cyprus and have been for over 4 months now.

In comparison to Ireland, life here has been undeniably brighter, hotter and also filled with endless adventure.

In today’s blog post I’ll be sharing what I’ve been getting up to since arriving in May. I will be sharing some of my favourite spots on the island for sight seeing, dining, relaxing and so much more.

Paphos Harbour and Port

The coastline in Paphos was one of the first places I ever explored when I first arrived in Cyprus. I immediately fell in love with the sunset view and sound of the waves here, and to be honest can you blame me…

Just look at some of the photos I’ve taken over the months, isn’t the place just to die for.

The harbour offers a peaceful walk right by the shoreline while also having a myriad of restaurants, shops and bars to choose from. Some of my favourite restaurants that can be found along the harbour are; Mpania, Pingouino and Alea Allday Lifestyle.

Sight Seeing

Since arriving in Cyprus, I have had plenty of opportunities to explore the island beyond the district in which I reside. Below I have listed some of the sights I’ve visited, and loved.

Edro III Shipwreck

The Edro III is a shipwreck located in Pegia, Paphos, down by the Sea Cave Avenue.

This ship has been stranded on the rocks in the sea caves area since the 8th of December 2011 when it was involved in an accident, after it struck a rock and became disabled and finally went ashore, and has been stranded ever since.

This shipwreck is definitely a must see sight in Cyprus, as it is considerded an amazing spot for photo opportunities

Tombs of the Kings

Tombs of the Kings, is one of the most important archeological sites of Cyprus. The monumental tombs that you will find here are actually of high ranking aristocracy and officials, which date back to the Roman and Hellenistic periods.

The entrance fee to visit the archaeological site is €2.50 and is definitely a must see sight for its architecture.

Troodos Mountains

Troodos Mountains is the largest mountain range in Cyprus, offering the perfect escape from the touristic areas of the island. I really enjoyed the view here as it was nothing short of picturesque.

Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark

Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark is the biggest water park in Paphos, offering non stop aqua park fun! This water park is designed for all ages and swimming abilities, with features such as water slides, swimming pools, the lazy river and so much more.

Lazying around on the lazy river

Pafos Zoo

Pafos Zoo is the biggest licensed zoo in Cyprus, and is home to a great range of wildlife, such as birds, meerkats, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, fish, cows, and so much more! They are big on the conservation of all the wildlife in their care and this is heavily reflected in their daily bird shows.

Places to Eat and Drink

If you want to know where’s best to eat and drink when in Cyprus, look no further.

Below I’ve attached a slideshow of some of my favourite food and drink places, here in Cyprus . For brunch, my go to places are Pingouino and Omikron, For late lunches, dinners and drinks, my favs are Wagamamas, Suite 48, Porto Bello and Alea Allday Lifestyle. If you need of a treat, Sweet n’ Boujee is your spot – there doughnuts are to die for!

All in all, I think visiting Cyprus should be on everyone’s bucket list. The island really does have so much to offer, and I am so grateful to be able to call it home.

Love, Nyasha x

Lockdown, yet again…

Hi lovelies,

I hope you’re all keeping well, despite some of us being back under lockdown.

Yes, you read that right, lockdown número dos, for the unlucky residents of Kildare, Laois and Offaly.

Regardless of the circumstances, let’s try not to lose hope.

We’ve all been through a lockdown before, and despite how hard it was. We got through it!

So in everything that we do, and as we go about our day to day business, let’s continue to support one another through this strange season.

It’s important we don’t lose hope of a better tomorrow, because of the current circumstances we may face. In times like this, I think it’s important to tell ourselves, to …

“Stop being afraid of what can go wrong and start being positive about what can go right”

In due time things will get better, but till then let’s all continue to make a conscious effort to do our part to minimize the risk.

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

The Pressure of Young Success

Hi lovelies,

It’s been less than a week, but it honestly feels like forever since I sat down at my laptop with the intent to blog. I actually miss having all the time in the world for blogging – but now I’m back to routines, time tables and managing college assignments, what a dream!

Whilst getting ready for work, last Sunday I decided to incorporate something new into my morning routine; listening to a podcast! Considering I had a lot of catching up to do, I decided to tune into ‘Stallion’ a podcast hosted by Agnes – Clara Dikoum (available across multiple platforms).

While scrolling through her podcasts, a particular one titled “Pressure of Young Success”, caught my attention. With college back in the works, and graduation 2020 on my mind, the thoughts of success and what to do next, are constantly lingering in my head.

It’s crazy, isn’t it. We go from being children who couldn’t care less about what’s to come, to young people, who desire control in every phase of our lives. If you are anything like me, your mind begins to time travel – and ever so vividly, at that. You begin to imagine yourself 5 years older, financially stable, with a house, car, husband, and a secure job you love. All of which don’t occur overnight but somehow you begin to desire, that this could be your reality.

In May 2018, a survey undertaken by the Mental Health Foundation, found that six out of ten young people, between the ages of 18-24, have felt so stressed by the pressures to succeed, that they began struggling to cope with life’s demands.

Although alarming, these figures don’t even surprise me in the slightest.

In a world that is populated with pressure, not only from your family and friends, but also celebrities, influencers, ‘instagram goals’ and much, much more – it is so hard, not to get sunk into the idea that success occurs over night.

On a daily basis, we are fed unrealistic expectations of what life should consist of, how we should be living, or what stage of life we should be at.

For some of us, our goals are set to be completed by the age of 25 and for others it could be 30.

This mindset however, can be so unrealistic and detrimental for our futures.

I’m not saying you can’t be successful by the age of 30 – Forbes 30 under 30, already argues otherwise. However, it is important to remember that success is not always measured by power, status, fame and/or money.

The word success is described in the Cambridge Dictionary as “the [achievemnet] of … results wanted or hoped for”. These results are not limited to time and can be achieved on the straight or narrow path, depending on the individual and their resources. By staying determined and consistent, and by accepting failures, set backs and obstacles, we each have the ability to come out on top.

Don’t let other people’s definitions of success define you.

“Love the life you have, while you create the life of your dreams”

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