Make mistakes

Good morning beautiful world, I’m currently at Centre Parcs enjoying a Starbucks whilst everyone else goes swimming. If you’re a girl who fake tans you’ll know that chlorine literally makes you look like a lizard so it’s truly not worth swimming especially since I’ve just re-done my whole body. Anyway…

We all know I went to South Africa recently, nothing new to say about that which I haven’t already said, except that it really did act as a second awakening for me. Sometimes we have to experience things in order to discover if it’s your cup of tea, but not everyone likes tea, some people like coffee. Although I adored South Africa and really appreciated the whole experience it made me realise that I wasn’t overly fussed about studying it in the long-term. 

Arriving back home I had a bit of a breakdown because it felt like I had just taken another 10 steps backwards with how far I had come since February when I stopped my counselling as I felt I had a sense of direction again. Now I was back to square one, what do I want to do with myself? 

And who do I confide in when my mind is troubled? My mum. So we had a long chat about how I felt, because in myself I knew I was unhappy and I had the urge, that gut feeling, that studying animal conservation wasn’t right for me at this moment in time. 

My mum told me something I realised I needed to hear and that was that it’s okay to live with uncertainty and that not everything has to be planned and known for definite. I think because I’m such an organised person 90% of the time this has always been something I’ve struggled with, I’m a bit of a perfectionist I would say and this is because I like winning. I’m a very competitive person you see, which has its pro’s and cons of course. 

Living with uncertainty is kind of a crazy concept for me, but it’s something I’m trying to get better at. I think having anxiety doesn’t help with this, but I don’t think that’s the only reason, as I said I think it’s just my personality to be organised and planned. 

But we don’t always need a freaking plan! Now is the time to make mistakes, to change our minds over and over again until one day we know what we want to do when we’re asked! Who knows what I’m destined to do, I know I’ll be successful at whatever I do but I don’t know what it is yet and that’s okay! Too much pressure is put on the younger generation to know what we want so that we get forced into job roles that don’t suit us or we outgrow. 

It’s never too late to change your mind or change career path. Always trust your gut, follow your soul and find your happiness. One day you’ll know what you want to do, because you’ve made all the mistakes you can, and that’s part of life.

All my love,

HG

(The Broken Pearl)

Over-coming anxiety- part 4

Hello beautiful people, how have you all been? Being out of my routines for so long has left me feeling rather de-motivated and lazy to be honest, and that resulted in me not feeling so good in myself. Today I’ve started a project come back for myself, I went over all the goals I have made for this year and revised how I was going to make them happen, the short-term and the long-term. Since we’re over halfway through the year I would highly encourage this of everyone, go over your resolutions or goals for this year and go over how you’re going to make that happen. It’s super important to stay focused, never lose sight of what you desire.

This all ties into the topic for my fourth post on over-coming anxiety which is staying commited to the routines and little things which help motivate and inspire you, the things that help create a positive mindset for yourself and create a forcefield for negative thoughts and emotions.

We all break routines from time to time and this is normal, it’s also important to remember not to be too hard on yourself if you’re not up for meditating or couldn’t find the time to exercise on one of the 7 days in the week. Being too strict with yourself will only result in these things becoming a chore for you, not things that actually help and relieve you from a troubled mind.

For me my routine includes waking up and not allowing myself to go on my phone for at least an hour. By waking up and immediatly looking at what other people are doing instead of prioritising what you could be doing with yourself, will only distract you from any goals or things you want to get done in the day. Writing a list of things to get done in the day and then writing down how I’m feeling and resolving any problems in my journal is what keeps me focused and positive throughout the day. In immediatly dealing with or emptying you mind of worry in the morning, you are more likely to have a more fulfilled and positive day, as you’re essentially losing the burden of carrying around stress with you.

I can’t emphasise enough in how having a positive mental attitude can change and releive you of anxiety and low mood. Lifestyle change is just as beneficial, becoming more active and eating for wellness and health will naturally help too. But in building a routine of little things such as meditating or going on a daily morning walk which helps calm your mind and ground you will gradually cause improvements with your self-esteem and a decrease in an anxious mind.

Try it out, find out what works for you, write down the routine so that it’s set in stone, try it for 2 weeks, write daily and notice the change and improvements by reflecting back in your journal.

Something I should do more of is reading jounral entries from months ago, sometimes I forget how far I have come with my anxiety. It’s humbling to have been somewhere so dark and low, it makes everything else, any improvement, a day of positivity and love 100X more exciting and I have so much more gratitude for the smaller things. Although we all think our anxiety is a burden from time to time, it makes us ensightful to the smaller things, opening our eyes and finding enjoyment and gratitude in things that would be overlooked by most.

Remember this is a jounrey, don’t expect immediate results, be kind to yourself and be patient. You’ve got this.

All my love,

The Broken Pearl

South African Wildlife!

Hello everyone! Here are some of the photos I promised on my last post from my trip to South Africa. It was a truly amazing experience, pictures simply cannot capture it’s beauty. Enjoy and let me know what you think! I will be back soon with my fourth anxiety help guide post.

To be honest I got more videos than photos which will all be combined into a YouTube video which will be posted on my channel- Hannah Grace- soon! I saw lots more animals than just these few but I wanted to enjoy the present moment when I was there and not live behind the camera or through a screen, I hope you all understand.

All my love,

HG

A more serious blog post

Hello beautiful readers, I hope you’ve all had an amazing day or are currently having an amazing day. I am currently in a siesta in South Africa, so most people are napping before we head out this evening for a night drive which should be exciting. On regular monitoring during the day, the majority of the animals here are passed out sleeping or are just very inactive, this is because it’s cooler in the evenings therefore they are more active then, so tonight should be interesting! 

Being here in South Africa has been really fascinating, it wasn’t quite what I expected but then I didn’t really have any expectations anyway! To be honest I thought I’d cope better with travelling alone because I am a confident person but as I mentioned in my previous post I did struggle for a couple of days. Overall the entire experience has been incredible and I would recommend it to anyone, it’s so refreshing to be outside every day, the scenery here has been insane and of course the wildlife is incredible. It’s actually rather surreal to see animals such as giraffes, elephants and lions in the wild rather than behind a fence at a zoo in small enclosures. Being able to help the local communities too has been wonderful, and every day I learn something new about a species of animal here. The best part is everything is a surprise, you may go out planning on tracking rhinos and come across an entire herd of elephants in the process. I’ll be sharing even more photos at the end of next week once I’m home again, since I have too many to share! 

One of the places I visited this week is called Born Free, a place where rescued big cats can find solitude and finds forever home, after being either abused or mistreated by previous owners. One of the lions, King, was particularly friendly, although this was adorable it was pretty evident that he would never be able to get released into the wild because he was too confident around humans which could lead to him being poached. They have Born Free centres worldwide, places like this really deserve recognition, and although I got to visit as a volunteer these places are not zoo’s, and there was only a small number of us visiting the sanctuary on this morning. I really appreciate the work of places like this, to be able to visit here was a really lovely experience, and although it was sad hearing these cats back stories it was also reassuring to know they are in good hands now.

Another memorable experience this week was seeing a black rhino in the wild, for those who don’t know this species of rhino is particularly endangered, rhinos in general are regularly poached for their horns. For anyone who can it would really be amazing if you could sponsor a rhino or help contribute to this species survival, part of this means spreading awareness that rhino horns don’t have any medicinal value which is believed in many cultures but is false. If we get rid of the consumers there is no need for the product therefore rhino horns wouldn’t be in demand and they wouldn’t be getting poached. 

I know this post was a bit more informative than my others, and I still have lots to talk about with South Africa, but I just felt the need to help everyone understand that this trip wasn’t just for fun I’m educating myself in conservation and helping protect species that may not be around in the next 20 years! We should all spread awareness for animal conservation, because are we really happy with our children only being able to see an elephant or rhino through a picture book? I think not. Have a beautiful week.

All my love, 
HG 
(The Broken Pearl) 

P.S: I apologise for this post being delayed, I have just been very busy here and timing has been a struggle, I hope you understand

Over-coming anxiety part 3

I just wanted to start this post by saying that although you may perceive this series as a sign that I’m 100% clear of anxiety this is not the case, and that’s normal. Your anxiety makes you who you are and sometimes it may pop up to say hello. It’s just learning to manage it and control it, it’s important not to fear your anxiety but treat it as a part of you, remember it doesn’t have to be a negative. Travelling to South Africa last week was rather hard for me I’m not going to lie to you guys, I had a bit of a panic on my second plane journey and as soon as I got here had a mini panic about making friends and did experience a wave of anxiety for a couple of days.
Obviously it’s hard and it’s frustrating because I’ve come so far you know, I’m a changed person to how I was a few months ago and all it takes is for me to be 5,000 miles from home, on my own and I start to forget everything I’ve taught myself. 

This is why having routines and understanding yourself comes into play, all you need is a few things that you can do that will help ground you to the present. I find that the reason I get anxious or low is because I look ahead too far into the future, and forget to appreciate the present moment. Living and breathing the present is so freaking important! I preach it. As cliché as it may sound I find that this is one of the biggest ways of overcoming anxiety, and you can help yourself do this in various ways, all it takes is a bit of experimenting and time and eventually you’ll be an expert at mastering gratitude for the present moment. 

This may all sound a little mad, but I find that it has helped me considerably, even if you don’t have anxiety this is something we should all work on! So often we forget to appreciate everything happening around us now, because we’re either thinking ahead or we’re sucked into our phone screens becoming caught up in other people’s lives rather than our own!

So these are the tricks I have learnt to help become present: MEDITATION- I will always swear by meditation, even though I may not do it every day I know that by quietening your mind you will cut that thought process of worry and far-thinking and this will help ground you to the present. 
BEING OUTSIDE- I know this may sound silly but in being outside you get to appreciate more, and distract your mind, fresh air is also really good for clearing your head. Being in an enclosed room by yourself will only worsen your anxiety, get yourself outside, go for a walk and appreciate your surroundings.
FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH- again it may sound silly but simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breath will again help break the thought process of overthinking, you can seek gratitude for the health of your body and the air that you breathe. I’m not crazy I swear, it’s just the little things that can help you out here!
START WRITING A GRATITUDE JOURNAL- this will seriously help you, because writing a list of at least 3 things in the day that you’re grateful for will help ground your throughout the day, because you’ll be paying attention to the little things that make your day such as a smile from a stranger or appreciation for the book you’re reading. 

Of course you can come up with your own ways of becoming grounded and present, these are just my own personal ways of finding appreciation and calming my mind. I hope you’re all having an amazing morning, afternoon, evening or night wherever you are in the world! I’ll be back again with another post about South Africa towards the end of this week.

All my love,
HG 
(The Broken Pearl )

Finding a greater sense of gratitude

Hello beautiful world from the other side of the world for a change, I’m writing from South Africa this morning but still wanted to post a second blog for the week. It’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere and sometimes the temperatures here make me want to go back to England, since it’s summer there right now, and I never thought I’d be saying that! To top it off the showers are either freezing cold or boiling hot, and when you’re getting up at 6 in the morning and it’s freezing I can tell you a cold shower is not appealing…

That being said it has been such a memorable experience so far, even though it’s only been three days I have seen so much wildlife, and the culture here is unbelievably different. Yesterday for example we went to the local town near the reserve I’m staying at in order to do some volunteering for the local community. We were painting some of the playground for the children since it looked a bit worse for wear and needed a lick of paint. Arriving in this place that was considered a town was astounding, we all see the advertisements on TV of places with litter everywhere, tin cans for houses and stray dogs wandering around but until you see them it doesn’t really hit you. It makes everything sort of shift into perspective, and makes you see greater gratitude in everything, it made me appreciate what I have even more.

I have such admiration for the children in this town, who as soon as we got off the trucks were immediately giving hugs, they constantly had smiles on their faces when the only entertainment they had was each other and some plastic. It was amazing to see the entertainment they got from playing with used water bottles, and made you think how kids back home always want the latest things the newest technology, how materialistic our society has become. The sad thing is these kids didn’t know any different, they’re confined to this town in the middle of nowhere to be honest it was upsetting. Painting their playground would make their day, and it was such an amazing feeling to know you’re making someone else’s day, week, even month that bit better and more exciting. 

This is the pleasure of giving, with giving comes gratitude, visiting that local town really moved me, and made me realise how insignificant our problems are back home when some of these people may not even know how they’re going to afford their dinner. Just as we were leaving the town this one guy was literally begging for 5 rand to buy bread because he was so hungry, that will stay with me forever. 

I’ll make sure to tell you about future experiences out here, more environmental stuff! This week just happened to be more community based, but next week I’ll be doing more game drives and animal tracking.

Keep spreading love and helping others, and you’ll naturally see gratitude in everything around you.

All my love, 

HG

Over-coming anxiety- part 2

Welcome back to my over-coming anxiety help guide! If you haven’t already read the part one of this series go ahead and do that first before jumping ahead to stage 2.

So, we’ve established that the first step to over-coming anxiety is being aware that you have it, and accepting that rather than fearing it. (I would highly suggest documenting this jounrey you’re on by the way, just so you can refer back to, and motivate yourself when you’re having troubled times). In acceptance we can find an inner peace, and once you are more peaceful on the inside, you are more capable of controlling your exterior life better and more positively.

For me, part of the reason my anxiety spiralled into depression is because I found that I was no longer myself, and that I was essentially an empty body, with no burning passions and desires. The social anxieties I had lead me to believe I was no longer capable of making friends because I wasn’t interesting or cool enough for people, and that really ground me down till I convinced myself I had a personality that no one liked. Which is of course a recipe for disaster when you’re all alone at University, coming with 0 friends from your local town, can’t drive to get home, and hate the course you’re studying.

So yeah, for me at least I found that my anxiety worsened because I subconsciously was rejecting the things I really enjoyed doing, I lost myself because I didn’t accept myself for who I was. I know now that I’m a freaking amazing person, and I do the things I love daily! But at this difficult time in my life with my ever growing anxiety and low mood, I was spiralling hard.

This is where the whole concept of mirroring other people came about (check out my blog post for more- You are not a mirror), I essentially tried to reflect the other people around me at university in order to ‘fit in’ and tried so hard doing this I burnt out… and CRASH—– breakdown.

Therefore the next stage to over-coming your anxiety is emersing yourself in hobbies that you had forgotten about, or if you’re feeling confident enough try something new. Write a list of all these things, physically not mentally, get some paper and write that shit down, you could even write them in order of what sparks the most joy in you. Having this physically there will help, because whenever you’re feeling low or need to reassure yourself that you’re good, this list will give you a greater sense of purpose. If possible you can go and immediatly do one of the things on your list to break yourself free from a panic attack, you can climb out of the black hole of low mood and replinish yourself mentally by doing something you enjoy!

I know this second step may seem a little much, and perhaps you may be in a position right now where you’re thinking- I don’t love anything enough, I don’t have any hobbies, or- my life isn’t interesting I don’t do anything fun. Take your time. You don’t need to write this list in a day, be aware of when you feel most at peace, when you feel connected to your true self, when you get that tingly sensation of doing something and being proud of it or that exhilaration of wanting to run 100 miles after doing something you’re super passionate about! You’ll get there.

Even the little things such as taking a walk with the dog, or reading a good book. Re-emerse youself in things you forgot you loved, or feel that you lost apprecation for, and in time… you’ll re-ignite. The second joy is sparked within you things will really begin to shift, the days will become more bearable and you’ll find ways to fill the time you used to dread of doing nothing. Keep yourself busy, but busy in a good way, busy doing things you adore, not things to keep those negative thoughts at bay!

You’re doing amazing, I know you are, because you’re making the effort to read this, and that shows strength and courage.

All my love,

The Broken Pearl