Comparison kills, but you can prevent it.

Lifestyle

Whether it’s consciously or sub-consciously, we compare ourselves to other people. Whether it be on bodily appearance, facial appearance, their intelligence, humour, lives, relationships or wealth, we all do it.  

Summer, statistically, heightens the rate of comparison especially of body image, it seems that Instagram becomes an atmosphere that celebrates ‘bikini bodies’ and who has the best figure, often forgetting that our bodies do incredible things and are healthy even if you do get rolls when you sit down or bend over. See, this is the danger of comparison, it makes you believe that you aren’t normal, or attractive or healthy because you don’t look like the people on the TV. Take ‘Love Island’ for example, gorgeous, toned, young men and women all locked up in one villa for the whole nation to watch and not one of them look bad, no one actually has any bit of flesh that isn’t joined to muscle, no one has legs that wobble a bit when they walk, none of their thighs touch when they walk, they all look gorgeous all the time, they all have great clothes, lovely hair and never ever get a sunburn. However, we are tricking ourselves if we compare ourselves to these people, because I bet you weren’t aware that when you sat and stared at Megan’s (Love Island) frankly flawless face you didn’t know that actually there is unlimited and free Rimell make up in the Villa. There is also a range of Missguided clothes that they can choose from, there is an indoor hair-stylist for them and let’s not forget, these people have trained solidly in the gym knowing full well the whole nation is going to see them in basically underwear. So, next time you feel yourself comparing your hair to their hair, remember that they don’t always do their own hair, a professional does.  

I think we often forget that not everyone’s lives are as they seem, and still, we compare ourselves to them and actually put ourselves down because of it. When in actual fact 9 times out of 10, you are healthy, you are successful, you are funny, you have a great relationship and you spend your life with those you love. It’s unfair on yourself to be comparing yourself to people like Kim Kardashian, I think we are all guilty of logging onto Instagram and scrolling down your feed to see Kim K posing in next to nothing or just nothing and staring, wondering why you don’t look like that and then punishing your healthy and wonderful body. But this is unfair, there is no point comparing yourself to Kim K because most of us, if not all of us, live a very different life to her. We don’t have the money for the best personal trainer, nor a gym in our home, or the skincare treatment she gets, or the clothes she buys and gets altered to suit her even more. It would be like comparing a fish and a monkey on how well they can climb up trees. It makes no sense.  

So why don’t we stop? Why don’t we, instead of looking at those hideous rolls of flesh on our stomachs, look at our cute rolls of fat on our stomachs which are there to protect our insides in a season of illness or cold temperatures, that are fun to play with and poke. Why don’t we, instead of staring at our big round arms in the mirror, look at our arms that allow us to dance, to walk, to run, to get dressed and even shower. Instead of wishing our boobs were bigger, can’t we just appreciate the perkiness? Instead of comparing your body to someone else’s, why don’t we appreciate our bodies, our hair, our intelligence, our humour, our lives, our families and our health before looking at anyone else’s. I think that sounds a plan.  

-L

5 Ways to Beat Revision Blues

Lifestyle

We at Rooted know that most of you are well into exam prep by now, but study leave can seem pretty intimidating. You might be like I was, daunted by the idea of trying to spend whole days revising but that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are a few ways I’ve managed to stay calm during exams…

1. Study in Different Places

One thing I find is that studying in your room can be the worst revision block you can give yourself. Disagree with me all you want but learning biological processes is pretty difficult when you’re in a room that meant for relaxing. A comfy bed, your pile of unfinished books and your Netflix set up are all here.

Once in a while, head out to a small café set up your laptop and notes and get to studying. Or better yet, get to a library and you might find some books to help you out on difficult topics. I find that if I have to make an effort to get to where I’m going, I’m much more intentional about how much work I’m doing.

2. Take a Productive Break

Did you know that the average amount of time that humans can concentrate for is 45 minutes? It’s good to take breaks every hour or so to refresh your brain. Cramming it with information may mean that you’re not actually taking in your notes.

If you want to take a productive break; take a quick walk around your house/school, make a cup of tea, do a 7-minute exercise challenge, nap for 20-30 minutes, bake a cake! All of these things are activities that are completely unrelated to school but have a distinct cut-off time.

Breaks like watching Youtubers, films or social media scrolling are for disciplined people because they may start as an innocent 10 minutes but can quickly spiral into an hour or two of time wasted. Try and save these activities for your longer breaks or a treat for once you’ve finished (See number 4)!

3. Set Manageable Targets

Let’s face it we all have that one topic/subject that we can’t struggle to get through, mine was GCSE Geography. The trick to success in these is to set mini goals that you want to achieve that session. This helps to divide the work into manageable chunks, for instance instead of writing ‘climate change’, you can write ‘causes’, ‘effects’, ‘management’. Set yourself targets and tick them off as you go.

4. Treat yourself

This is my favourite tip of all. Coursework and exam season is long, make sure to take time out to enjoy days with your friends and family. Go to the cinema, the park, museum, play some Fortnite or Fifa. Whatever your style, don’t forget to do the things you love in the midst of working so hard.

Don’t forget to do the things you love in the midst of working so hard. Maybe you can pay it forward and surprise your friends with some of their favourite things or invite them over to work together.

5. Talk to someone

If you really can’t get out of a revision slump let people know, there are so many people cheering you on to achieve your personal best but we know that it can also be really overwhelming.

It’s okay to take time out to breathe and it’s more than okay to reach out for help and tell people when you can’t cope. Especially as we approach exam season, speak to your teachers about the topic you are stuck on, let your personal tutor know how you feel and chat with your parents or youth leaders about what they can do to help you.


So in summary; take time to rest, study well, be confident and just do your best.

 

-A

 

P.S. I know there are a lot I’ve missed out but if you have any revision tips that I’ve missed, leave a comment below and good luck in all your exams!

Affirmations

Lifestyle

There’s power in the words that we speak over ourselves, 2 years ago, I read a blog in which Emma (Francis) Borquaye was talking about self-confidence, the title was “how do you see you”? That challenged me because although I’m not the grumpiest person in the morning I still didn’t wake up feeling ready to ‘attack’ my obstacles. I woke up, got a shower, did my reading and went to school. But after reading that post, I watched the video that she had linked where this little girl stood on her bathroom sink telling herself the things she liked about her life, from her hair to her room to her pyjamas (above).

Then a few months ago, ‘The Scene’ released a video of fathers telling their daughters similar things and I just thought “That’s exactly how God sees us!” The Bible is full of parables and verses of how God views us. Just like the fathers in this video, God wants to tell you that you are “loved, so unconditionally loved” (John 3:16), that you are wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), that you can achieve amazing things with his help (Philippians 4:13), and that most of all, you have a purpose.

Now, maybe you already have someone in your life who tells you these things but it’s so important that you believe in yourself too!

Challenge for this week: Start your day with 5 daily affirmations that are short, snappy and make that process of waking up early a little bit easier. The first few days might make you feel ridiculous because you’re talking to yourself. But look in the mirror, say it with confidence and watch how your mood changes.

Here are a few ideas:

  • I am kind.
  • I am smart.
  • I am loved.
  • I matter.
  • I am talented. (Sandwich making is definitely an art form)
  • I love my hair.
  • I love my friends.
  • I am funny. (Even if that’s to yourself)
  • God is with me. (Psalm 16:8)
  • I have a voice. (Esther 4: 14)
  • I am a child of God. (Galatians 4:7) **probably the most important one to remember and will get its own post later on**

Link to Dad Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkqi3D-oN8Y

Link to Emma’s Original Blog Post: http://emmalouisefrancis.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/how-do-you-see-you.html

-A

10 Reasons why Monday’s are actually great

Lifestyle
  1. They offer a new start every week.

    A fresh start with healthy eating, your new hobby that you promised yourself you’d start but didn’t, your promise that you’d be nicer to people, your new Gym routine, getting 8 hours sleep every night. It’s like having a New Years every week.

  2. Re-find your motivation

    Monday gives you an opportunity to get motivated again. Get moving, do what makes you motivated and excited, make sure you have the best week yet!

  3. Perfect time to set new goals

    Break old habits, set a mark that you want to get on your exam, a length you want to run. Monday gives you the perfect place to start these new goals and work towards them.

  4. You have a whole week to accomplish what you want to get done.

    You have a brand new 7 days to accomplish absolutely everything that you need to accomplish, which all start with Monday, your first day to get things sorted and solved to organise yourself in preparation for the following days.

  5. TV shows

    Everyone knows that all of the best TV shows start on Monday’s, there is always at least two decent shows on a Monday night.

  6. Hating it doesn’t help

    You can’t go on hating that much of life, hating 52 days of the year will not help with dealing with the day anyway. 

  7.  Clean hair!

    Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday means hair wash day, so Monday means clean and shiny hair to flick around with pride!

  8. Monday means less rain

    According to statistics, Monday is the least rainy day in the week, giving you all the more reason to get out there and do something that you would previously be putting off because of the weather.

  9. One step closer to the weekend

    Yes, only 4 more days before the weekend start, you’ve done one get up, what’s four more?

  10. All the other reasons

    There will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 childbirths and 42 million hugs. 600 people will get a promotion, 600 dogs will be adopted, 35,000 balloons sold and 800,000 skittles sold. Finally, the words ‘I love you” will be said over 9 million times. Enjoy Monday.

    -L

5 Things to do with all your Christmas chocolate 

Lifestyle

Chocolate, sweets and money are the 3 most common things my family buy me for Christmas, so by January time I’m obese but slightly rich. So, here are 5 things that I have previously done with all my chocolate that save me eating my body weight and means that other people get a little treat too.

  1. Chocolate Fondue – the best thing for a cosy night in with friends and family. It’s practically healthy too if you use fruit, I mean can you really have strawberries without chocolate? All you need is your favourite chocolate, a microwave, some fruit or marshmallows and some skewers and you’re all set.
  2. Chocolate cake – cupcakes or a big cake it doesn’t matter, this way you get to enjoy some baking and get to spread some love in this gloomy post-Christmas period. Just make sure you have some cute cupcake cases to go with it.
  3. Brownies – I don’t know why these haven’t made it to the top of the list if I’m honest but oh well. Brownies go with anything, custard, cream, ice cream, hot and even cold. Plus you can put endless amounts of chocolate in it so you can get rid of a lot of your chocolate in just one go. For the best brownies, I use BBC good food brownie recipe.
  4. Cookies – who doesn’t love a good cookie? Warm, gooey, melt in the mouth good cookies. The perfect way to light up anyone’s day, and use up even more of your chocolate. I find American recipes are the best, but any work.
  5. Smore’s – perfect for any time of the year, marshmallow’s, biscuit (chocolate digestive is THE best) and a little fire.

Hope this helps with having 10 Kilos of chocolate,

Enjoy,

-L