Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Distance Can Be Okay

Today I thought I'd write a post on something I've been learning over the last few years through my own experiences, with speaking to other people, and more recently through reading about. This being how to manage and cope with my feelings of anxiety when in a difficult situation; and better yet, how to stay clear of such unmanageable situations.

The main thing I've learnt, and something that has stuck with me is that it is okay to take some distance; to keep clear and to save yourself from feeling a mixture of bad emotions such as anxiety, negativity and even feeling a wave of depression.

I understand however, that it is possible to take too much distance, which can lead to isolation, and for some isn't helpful when feeling down and can worsen negative feelings. But, there are situations where distance is okay, such as from someone saying something unhelpful; you may need to take a step aside to acknowledge the bigger picture.

Is this always realistic? In some cases, maybe not. In reality distancing yourself from every bad situation you may come across in life just isn't realistic. Everyday we face both good and bad experiences, and it's pinpointing the ones that will cause a detrimental negative impact on us. However, if you're like me and you find yourself getting anxious very easily, which can really make you feel incredible low; when possible, taking a step back is okay...just make sure to not take a step back too far.

To pinpoint such situations can be very difficult and not always achievable. In some cases, say if you found something someone said unhelpful, instead of instantly distancing yourself, it may be best to speak to the person or to someone else to get a second opinion, which can often be helpful.

So yes, it is okay to sometimes distance yourself, especially in situations that may effect you in a negative way; in turn this will be positive for your mental, emotional and physical health. Then the rest follows - when you're most content, happy and healthy within yourself, you'll feel stronger inside and out. Therefore more able to be there for those who are important to you in your life, such as family and friends.

You may also find you enjoy your interests more; you may find yourself feeling more confident and are up to trying new things. Furthermore, this can also help to make you feel better ready to conquer the things you find more challenging.

Space, distance, taking time out is so important. When you get a moment to take a distance; to take some time out; to take some 'you' time. Do, because it could help you so much more than you'd ever imagine.

So why have I written this post? Because it's something I've struggled with for a very very long time and I feel I'm finally moving forward and learning how to manage and cope with some of the difficulties I come across in my everyday life. I know that I'm not alone with this and there are so many other people who also struggle with anxiety, with feeling in a very low mood, with feeling panicked and so on. I wanted to share what I have learnt, and if I am able to help one person by sharing this, to me that would be amazing.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post - it really means a lot.

All my love x

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Amongst The Hustle And Bustle Of Downtown L.A

Today's post is about my recent trip to Downtown Los Angeles.

I hadn't been right to the centre of L.A yet as it was another very daunting concept for me. However, I feel so different now compared to when I first arrived here back in June. With feeling a little more confident in myself I've decided that before I head back to the UK, l I'd like to make sure I do a few of the things I've wanted to do, but haven't yet done due to feeling too anxious and nervous.

Of course there's only so much I can fit in and manage; the last thing I want is to overwhelm myself with a tonne of trips out and for them to cause a negative affect on my confidence. So, my plan is to just do a couple of final trips out, by doing so I am facing up to challenges I never thought I'd manage to conquer, which will hopefully help me grow stronger within. 

So, with Downtown L.A being the next place I wanted to explore, I made sure to do lots of research and planning, to help me feel more comfortable with where I'd be going. As well as to know which buses to take, where the best sites were, where to grab lunch and a cup of tea and so on. By doing so I felt a lot more confident and happy with the idea...I felt organised and ready!

Having my plan in place I felt this week was the right time to take my trip; the bus was simple to catch and took me straight from Santa Monica to the area I wanted to be in Downtown L.A.

Once I arrived I headed straight towards MOCA (Museum Of Contemporary Art) and the Walt Disney Concert Hall which were both fantastic, the Concert Hall is a very impressive building - the architecture and design are just incredible - so unique and vey modern! MOCA was also lovely, I didn't spend too long there but I did manage to see some of the wonderful contemporary art, from sculptures to paintings. 

After that, I made my way to the Jewellery, Flower and Fashion District...here was...urrrr...crazy! I won't lie, I felt very anxious whilst there. It was very crowded, with loud music and noise...filled with stall after stall...some of the sellers even tried to shove items in my face. I also felt a bit disorientated as the streets and alley ways were all very compact...here reminded me a lot like the souks in Marrakesh; very busy and crazy!!

Even so, I don't at all regret going; it was very eye opening and an experience, that's for sure! I only stayed in that particular area for a very short time, which was definitely the right thing to do as I feel if I was to stay any longer it would've been too much!

After that craziness I headed back towards where I'd be catching the bus back, passing some gorgeous little parks and extraordinary buildings on my way. I think this wander was probably my favourite part of my day; the parks are each like a little oasis in the middle of the hustle and bustle of L.A. 

Those working, studying and living in Downtown L.A are able to use these parks as a place to find peace, calm and tranquility...three words; three feelings that are so special to us all. We live in such a fast paced society which makes it sometimes feel impossible to find our place of calm; of peace; of tranquility.

I felt so much better after my blissful stroll, and was ready to head back to Santa Monica. So I found my bus stop and headed straight back home.

I feel I have now conquered another challenge and am so happy I bit the bullet and just went for it!

With that said, it wasn't all plain sailing and was a challenging day. But now looking back I feel the outcome of it is very positive and I feel chuffed with what I was able to achieve! I can now tick it off my list with a big grin on my face! 

To end this post I'd like to share with you something I remind myself when I feel a little down, or am going through a tough day. 

Getting through the bad times, will inevitably help you grow stronger, so long as you don't dwell on such times. So don't dwell and stay positive. Just remember non of us are perfect, we're only human and with that we will have ups and downs. The main this is to accept the downs and instead of dwelling, look past and beyond them; once conquered, down times, difficult experiences and so on will help build on your inner strength. So keep faith and believe you can!

I will now share a few photos I managed to take whilst out - I hope you like them!


Walt Disney Concert Hall

The Fashion District

The Santee Alley - Fashion District

On my stroll - many tall buildings!

And again!

A surprisingly quiet road for L.A!!

Glimpses of sunlight - wonderful!

And a couple more interesting buildings :)

Thank you for reading :) all my love!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Griffith Observatory - An Incredible Experience

Today I'll be writing a post about a trip I took out to the Griffith Observatory.

Wow - what an incredible experience! 

The observatory is well known for having spectacular views of Los Angeles and beyond, the Hollywood sign, as well as the mountains all around. Inside the observatory is an exhibition space full of information about the sky, stars and planets, as well as two main planetariums. The architecture of the building is beautiful and the grounds are absolutely stunning too. 

This was one of the places my sister had been to when she travelled around California last year, and said if I got the chance I should go as she found it to be a lovely experience (another big thank you to Anna for the fab recommendation!)

I honestly never thought I'd be able to manage it as I felt it would take a lot of planning, being quite far out from Santa Monica. Just thinking about the idea caused me to feel a wave of nerves and anxiety...with many thoughts spiralling my mind...what if I can't find the right bus stop? What if there's crowds of people? What if I get lost? What if I freak out and panic? 

But with the other trips I'd planned for myself I felt a little more confident about the idea and it was something I desperately wanted to do. So I thought to myself, right...stop thinking of all the what ifs! I really want to do this; I can do this; I am determined to do this!

So I started to plan, researching which buses I needed to catch and which day would be to go. I also thoroughly read through the information about the observatory on the website, and by doing so I felt a lot more confident about the idea.

With my planning and research I knew the best day to go would be a Saturday, and this week felt like the right time to go. I felt very anxious but determined. The journey there was very difficult and I almost couldn't go through with it. But I stuck with my determination.

Yay! I did it! 

Now looking back on having achieved something that felt very out of my comfort zone I can delightfully say I feel I've made a big step forward. I was able to enjoy myself for the time I was there, and I even managed to take a few photos! Plus I now have this incredible memory to look back on and to share.

I hope me sharing this with you may help inspire you in some way to try something out of your comfort zone; with belief and determination you're all capable of anything you set yourself up to do! 

I will now share some of the photos I took - enjoy! 

Thank you for reading,

Lots of love x

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Photo Update - Hollywood

For this next post I thought I'd write a little about two trips I've taken over the last couple of weeks to Hollywood.

With having just over a month left here in America I want to make sure I've been to most of the places I'd like to go to in and around Los Angeles. I'm feeling so much more confident with planning myself day trips than I did when I first arrived here, so I've research about some of the 'must do's' around L.A - one of them being Hollywood! So, I organised myself two separate trips to see some of the main 'touristy' sites and to soak in a bit of the Hollywood atmosphere.

The first of the two trips I planned was to go to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, my sister had previously mentioned it, and said that I should go. I didn't get too excited with the initial idea, partly because I felt too nervous and anxious with going to Hollywood by myself, and partly because I wasn't quite sure about the idea of going to a cemetery.

However, I'm so glad I changed my mind as my time here was just fantastic (a big thank you to Anna)! The grounds were beautiful - with many different colours of flowers, perfectly cut hedges and trees filled the landscape. Very large tombstones were seen in every direction; as well as statues, fountains and even a large pond! Bouquets of flowers were delicately placed alongside the gravestones adding unity and peace; this cemetery is by far the most beautiful, well kept cemetery I've ever seen.

Not only was the cemetery perfectly kept, but as I went during the time of the preparations for Halloween, of course there was bound to be an abundance of Halloween decorations placed around the grounds, which definitely made it feel very American! I'm not a huge fan of Halloween myself, so I found the decorations to be quite weird and scary...but non the less, my time here was lovely!

I will now share some photos of my time here at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Can you spot the Hollywood sign?

One of the large tombstones!

And now for some of the crazy Halloween decorations...

With my trip to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery being a success I then felt I was ready to organise another trip to Hollywood, this being to go to central Hollywood. I'd been here with my Mum a few years ago, but only for a short time on a bus tour and I couldn't really remember much of it, so I was feeling a little apprehensive as to what it'd be like.

I must say, Hollywood is definitely very over the top, and bad a very different feel compared to the chilled Californian vibes in Santa Monica. I mainly kept to the main street - Hollywood Boulevard; here are some of the well known sights such as Madame Tussauds, TCL Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Wax Museum, El Capitan Theatre and the Capitol Records Building. 

Being completely honest, I did find it quite overwhelming as there were crowds of people in every direction, as well as people dressed up, loud music, and a lot of other crazy things going on. But, I did managed to stick around for a while to take some photographs and I'm so glad I did! 

Although being very busy, noisy and a bit OTT I did in fact find it weirdly nice being in the hustle and bustle for a short while. I wouldn't have liked to stay for any longer than I did, but for the time I went I was able to enjoy myself which is the main thing - yay!

I also managed to get a few photos which I'll now share with you. Enjoy!

Walking along the Walk Of Fame...

Madame Tussauds...

TCL Chinese Theatre...

The Disney Store...

In Hollywood and Highland Shopping Mall...

Wax Museum...

And finally the Capitol Records Building!

I hope you liked having this little insight into my two trips to Hollywood :) 

As always, thank you for reading! Lots of love x