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21 February 2018

Guest Post - How to Avoid Stress While Travelling


A lovely little guest post by Shelby (The Shelby Chronicles)

Have you ever taken a vacation to get away from the stresses of life, and ended up on one anything but stress free? With flight delays, hidden fees, and annoying family members, vacations can, and usually do, go wrong in so many ways. That being said, I’ve listed the top ways to deal with vacation stress, so you can have that relaxing, stress-free trip you deserve (and probably need...).


Book everything in advance
Now a days it's pretty common to go through sites like Kayak and Expedia to book  package flight, rental car, and hotel deals. Personally, I think this is a fantastic idea! It not only reduces the risk of in county cost surprises, but also allows you to relax knowing everything i pre-planned/booked. Alongside  this, you can stay happy knowing that any annoying delays/problems will be covered by the booking company and will, more often than not, be sorted out by them too. Same thing goes for booking activities. You can often get caught up in the travel side of things that you end up lost on what to do once you get to your destination. My advice would be to do your reasearch! See what activities are available in the area you’re travelling to, and more importantly, how much they cost. Nothing is worse than going on your chill-out vacay and realizing you don’t have enough money for anything fun. Make an itinerary for each day, and schedule everything ahead of time. This way you don’t end up stuck stewing inside a boring hotel room.

Vacations are what you make of them
People go on vacation to get away from stress, so they tend to presume that it will be perfect, and this can often lead to disappointments. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying expect it to be awful, just don't expect instant perfection. Learn to go with the flow and be open to things going wrong, and random plan changes. This way you're more likely to feel satisfied even if something does go wrong.  No matter where you go on earth, whether a beautiful island or a rumbling city, there is always room for error, so explore with an open mind. 

Choose who you travel with wisely
The people you travel with will heavily impact your trip, no matter where you're going. Don't feel obliged to travel with family just because they are... well... family. If you know they're the type of people who increase your travel stress then keep then maybe keep the family time at home. You don't want to get to the end of the trip (or even a few hours in) not being able to look at the person you're with! Choose fun, flexible people to travel with, because they will be better at adapting to new surroundings and experiences. However, if you do end up travelling with your not-so-favorite friends, it's important to have a conversation with them before you leave. Explain your expectations of them while travelling and separate yourself from them whenever you need a mini mental break. Vacations are meant for making happy memories and, if you are spending time and money to take a trip, then you deserve to have a great time.

Make use of meditation apps
Meditation apps are honestly amazing for any kind of setting. If travelling becomes stressful, you can simply whip out your phone and headphones, and listen to soothing music on the go. It helps calm the mind, and turns hectic atmospheres and stressful situations into relaxing ones. My favorite meditation apps are called Calm and Breathe. They have meditation playlists for beginners, and mindful reminders that will get you through your day. I highly suggest listening to them if you're prone to stress, whether at the airport or on the beach, they can definitely be beneficial.  

Exploring is fun when done in small doses
I'm one of those people who loves to go go go when exploring new places. That girl who will jam-pack 50 activities into one day, and still feel she has time to cram in dinner at a restaurant and,  maybe, just one more little hike around the city. However, I've recently realised that maybe this isn't exactly the best way to spend time off, because I tend to wear down quick. I mean, I was literally coming back from a vacation, in need of another one straight away! So, i've learned to schedule my travel activities in small doses. Mix an ample amount of relaxing time with two short activities a day. I find this is a great way to go home feeling stress-free, while also feeling like you've experienced all that you can.

About the Author
Hi, my name is Shelby! I am a 22 year old Interior Design student and part time blogger! When I get time away from school and work I sit down to write blog posts on chic lifestyle choices, professionalism, and how to obtain healthy body and mind! So if any of those topics interest you or if you're simply curious to learn more then come check out my blog!

Check her out! 
Instagram: @Theshelbychronicles

If you enjoyed the post don't forget to check out 'TheShelbyChronicles.' If you would like to be featured just message me on twitter about your ideas.

6 February 2018

Top Tips for using Airbnb & My experience


Bondi Beach

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I recently took a few months travelling around south east Asia and Oceania. It’s fair to say that I stayed in a variety of different places, some good and some… not so good (Cold, showers grimy floors and yes, some sort of religious cult living upstairs). Although I can’t say I’m particularly glad I stayed at a few places, mentally scarred might be the better word, I can say that it has taught me how to   choose the right accommodation and, more importantly, the safe options. In this post I’m going to mainly focus on the use of Airbnb, the benefits, disadvantages and, how to stay safe.

28 January 2018

A sketch for you...


I've decided to start something new on my blog! As I'm currently working on my drawing/designing skills I thought it would be a fun idea to get you guys involved too. So instead of just drawing random outfits, I decided to do a new 'series' of posts. This new 'series' is basically outfit sketches based on your style. So if you would like to get involved, all you have to do is be following me on bloglovin' (or by email) & twitter, and DM me that you're interested! As much as I love sketching, I also thought it would be the perfect way to get to know you guys a bit better. I hope you enjoy this first post, and be sure to let me know what you think of this idea in the comment section! 

23 January 2018

Brain stuff - Why do we feel sad?


I've always been intrigued by the way the brain works, why do we feel happy? What makes us feel sad? Why is it, that a simple smell can bring back a wave of emotions? And, while simple curiosity is my main reason for this post, I also find the notion of emotions being nothing more than mechanical/chemical changes of the brain somewhat comforting. I know, I’m a little odd. But seriously, take a minute to think about it, really think about it. It’s strange right. The idea that your mood essentially starts from a tiny electrical impulse. But sometimes after a really bad day, or when I start to get that nagging sad feeling, I can take comfort in this idea. I just take a moment to focus on why I’m feeling that way, completely remove myself from the external processes (although that can help too) and imagine the internal ones.

I find it funny that even at this moment, as you read this, chemicals in your body are transmitting from one neuron to the next to stimulate or inhibit certain areas of the brain. (1) Perhaps you’re feeling happy, so the ‘pleasure centres’ of your brain are being activated and releasing dopamine, an excitatory neurotransmitter. (2) Or maybe you’re just feeling painfully bored by this and the hormone melatonin is increasing (3), causing you to feel sleepy. See what I did there… technically it’s the hormone making you sleepy, not me! It all comes down to chemicals, which brings me to question, what are the chemical/s behind sadness?

While I found tons of information concerning happiness and the brain, I found a great deal less on sadness. Depression, yes, but the simple emotion of sad, no. Compared to depression, which is long term and known to be linked physical brain differences, simple sadness is brief and much harder to pinpoint. Although I never really found my answer I did find an interesting study explained on Newsweek about the emotion sad. It stated that Drs Peter J. Freed and J. John Mann conducted 22 studies with non-depressed sad volunteers and found that, “sadness appeared to cause altered activity in more than 70 different brain regions.” (4) These regions were also known to process things like, conflict, pain, social isolation, memory, reward and body sensation (& many more). They also noticed that sadness was triggered by different stimuli depending on the person. I found this fascinating, 70 different places... that's crazy! 

After looking into the actual areas that showed altered activity, I was particularily drawn to the ones that linked to memory (the hippocampus & amygdala) and taste (the insula). (4) I mean how does sadness link to taste!? The science museum website notes that "when you recall an emotional event, you recall not only what happened, but also how you felt," (2) which explains why the memory region of the brain showed altered activity. Perhaps whatever stimuli shown to the participants triggered another emotional memory? Along with this, strong emotional memories can also bring back memories of other senses that were present at the time e.g. smell & taste. You might be thinking, well of course, that happens to me all the time! And yes it does, but I'm interested specifically in why it happens. 


So, why write this? Well in all honesty its mostly just my string of thoughts, something that I find interesting that I thought I'd share. I'd also love to hear your thoughts on this and find out if you have any interesting mind/brain related posts! 

What are you particularly interested in? 

Follow me on twitter  & bloglovin' to stay updated

References: 
1. UPMC, (2016). How brain chemicals influence mood and health[online], Available at: http://share.upmc.com/2016/09/about-brain-chemicals/ [Accessed 22/01/2018].  
2. The Science Museum, (2017). Who am I[online], Available at: http://whoami.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbrain/whatareemotions/whichareaofyourbraincontrolsemotions/areyouhappy [Accessed 22/01/2018]
3. Harper, K. (2015). So tired in the morning... The science of sleep, American Chemical Society [online]. Available at: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/archive-2014-2015/the-science-of-sleep.html [Accessed 22/01/2018] 
4. Miller, M. (2008). Sad brain, Happy brain, Newsweek [online]. Available at: http://www.newsweek.com/sad-brain-happy-brain-88455 [Accessed 22/01/2018] 

Other resources: 
  • Integrative psychiatry, (2018). Serotonin, [online], Available at: https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/serotonin.html [Accessed 21/01/2018] 

17 January 2018

My Designs - The Burberry copy


I actually made this skirt a while ago, but completely forgot to post it! It's just a simple skater style skirt, with a zip at the back. The one thing I love the most about it, would have to be the materiel. Not only is soft and easy to work with, but it also looks very much like the famous Burberry pattern. I'm not huge into brands, but I have to admit that there's something very appealing about this specific pattern. The muted colours make it easy to wear with a variety of styles, and yet the checks also give it an element of interest. 

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