I hope you’re all well and keeping safe and okay! I recently have been doing Sunday Pub quiz lives over on my instagram and I thought why not share the questions with you every week so you can play games with family and friends over zoom, facetime or whoever your with at home!
I’ve left my questions and answers I created below! and there are 5 rounds in total! I’ve really enjoyed playing this with friends and family so hopefully you can too! But little warning don’t tell anyone until the quiz is over where you got the questions from etc, as they’ll be able to find the answers!
Hope it is fun for some of you!
Have a lovely week, stay safe!
Love, India Moon x
PUB QUIZ BELOW:
1.Q1. MARTIN LAWRENCE PLAYS IN “BAD BOYS FOR LIFE” WITH WHICH OTHER STAR ACTOR?
Answer Will Smith
Q2. WHAT IS THE NEXT REMAKE DISNEY FILM TO COME OUT ?
Q3. Who was the First Disney Princess?
Answer: Snow White
Q4. What is the best rated Horror Film in 2019- Rated on rRotten tomatoes
Answer: The Golem
Q5. What Is the name of the movie with Zac Efron and Matthew Perry in?
Answer: 17 Again.
Q6. Which three female actors played in Charlies Angels Full Throttle in 2003?
Answer: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu.
Q7. What film was Cara Delevingne in , where she plays an operative for a space station?
answer: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
Q8. What three films have Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore featured in together?
Answer: The wedding singer (1998), 50 First Dates (2004), Blended (2014).
Q9. In the Twilight Movies, is it true or false that Stephanie Meyer featured in each of the movies? Answer: True.
Q10. In which language was Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Filmed?
Answer: Mandarin Chinese.
2.TV AND SERIES GENRE
Q1. What is the name of the family who own and live in Downton Abbey?
Q2. In Stranger Things what is the name of the Parallel Universe Experienced in Series 1.
Answer: The Upside Down
Q3. Joe, featured in the new Documentary Tiger King did a Documentary with which male in 2011?
Answer: Louis Theroux
Q4. What year was “Coronation street” first broadcast?
Q5. What was the name of the Pub in “Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps”
Answer: The Archer
Q6. In Gavin and Stacey, how old is Gavin in the very start?
Q7. In Gavin and Stacey what is Smithy’s real name?
Answer: Neil Smith.
Q8. In Friends, Rachel has a hairless cat for a few episodes, what was this cats name?
Answer: Mrs. Whiskerson
Q9. Who narrates Big Brother?
Answer: Marcus Bentley
Q10. In Stranger Things, Who is Suzie’s Best friend in the first season?
3. MUSIC GENRE
Q1. Which singer recently went viral for bumping her head in a live stream on instagram?
Answer: Rita Ora
Q2.. What famous Music Show is Will Young known for?
Answer: Pop Idol
Q3. What Drake song features the lyrics “and You’ve seen all my mistakes, so look me in the eyes. Cause If you let me, heres what I’ll do” in?
Answer: Take Care
Q4. Which single letter represented the title of Ed Sheeran’s Second album?
Q5. Who is the artist of the famous song “Cotton Eye Joe”
Q6. Which Girls Aloud song includes the lyrics “Come Make my dreams, Honey hard as it seems, Loving me is as easy as Pie”
Answer: Love Machine
Q7. The Famous song by Doja Cat, featured a lot on Tik Tok is called?
Answer “Say So”
Q8. Back in Time is a 2012 single by whom?
Q9. What year was Rhianna’s hit song “Umbrella” Released? Answer: 2007.
Q10. Which rapper topped the UK charts in 2010 with Pass Out?
Answer: Tinie Tempah
4. Celebrity Genre
Q1. Is it true or False that Meryl Streep changed her first name?
Answer: True – her real first name is Mary Louise.
Q2. In what year did Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Get together?
Q3. Who was the first person to have a No1 Album and No1 Film in the same week, A. Will Smith, B Jennifer Hudson, C, Jennifer Lopez
Answer: Jennifer Lopez (film the wedding planner)
Q4. How old was Billie Eilish when Ocean Eyes was released?
Answer: 14 years old.
Q5. Who is Katy Perry currently expecting her baby with?
Answer: Orlando Bloom
Q6. How old is Jennifer Lopez?
Q7. Which American Singers real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta?
Answer: Lady Gaga
Q8. Which famous Pop Singer married British movie director Guy Ritchie, is it A. Madonna, B.Christina Aguilera C.Gwen Stefani
Answer: a. Madonna
Q9. Which actor plays Regina George in Mean girls?
Answer: Rachel McAdams
Q10. What is the name of Drakes New song?
Answer: Toosie Slide
5. Books genre:
Q1. In which book in the Harry Potter series do we not see Lord Voldemort?
Answer: Prisoner of Azkaban.
Q2. What month is Harry Potters Birthday?
Q3. In little women there are four sisters, Jo, Meg, Amy.. who is the forth sister?
Q4. The Golden Compass is a book series, how many books are in the series?
Q5. How many books are there in the Twilight Series?
Q6. Is it true or false that there is a Dr. Seuss book called “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
Q7. This Quote is from one of Shakespeares play “The Course of True love never did run smooth” Name that play:
Answer: A Midsummer Nights Dream
Q8. In the Book Life of Pi By Yann Martel, what is the name given to the Bengal Tiger. Is it A. Richard Jones B. Richard Parker C. Mr.Stripe
B. Richard Parker
Q9. In the Lion the witch and the wardrobe their are four siblings, Peter, Edmund, Lucy…Name the forth sibling.
Hope you’re all well and having a lovely July so far. I feel like I need to apologise for the late upload of this post, I just was soaking in Bali life after Australia and needed to make sure I included absolutely everything you need to know about van life and travelling beautiful Australia in a van!
During mine and Kirstys trip we spent majority of our time in three different styles of vans, living our best van life. It’s was quite a daunting thing travelling to the other side of the world , especially with the thought of living the whole 7 weeks in a van! But I can confirm it was the best 7 weeks of my life, and there’s no other way I would have spent it. Having a home on wheels was the best decision we made. Each van we had on our adventures we instantly became attached too and we miss it already. Im going to include everything from where to start, costs, what’s it like and tips and tricks below to living van life and experiencing it all in amazing Australia. Of course this is my experience, but hopefully it gives an insight into van life and whether it might be for you…
How to get started- Where to Hire and what to prepare for:
Where to begin!! Myself and Kirsty lived in three different styled vans throughout the 6 weeks of our adventures and had the amazing help of Ratpack Travel and their incredible services. If you want a hassle free start to planning your van life adventures then they are your go to!! They are owned and operated by Sammy who is also a backpacker, the RatPack team can help you book tours, experiences and transport and offer so much advice when it comes to seeing Australia and New Zealand. Once they find the most affordable and best rated option they then apply a discount making it at least 10% cheaper than actually booking direct! I honestly couldn’t recommend them enough!
Ratpack helped us organise all our vans in all our different locations, and as they have a good relationship with all the camper van and car rental companies, a 10% discount off the price is always guaranteed when booking with them; which is ideal when it comes to saving too as Australia can be pricey! They compare all the different vans available and their prices for you and let you know the best options, it basically makes booking a van super easy, cheap and stress free!!! If you’ve already booked your flights to Oz / NZ and have dates hit up the link below and they can make a price comparison for you:
Not only that but they offered us so much advice when it came to exploring Australia and booking our experiences, such as The Whitsundays tour, Fraser Island and our Sky diving Experience in Airlie Beach. Sammy from RatPack was the biggest help and has experience so much of Australia so hearing all his tips and tricks was so ideal. They also have a WhatsApp Support chat, which is so handy when your on the road and in need of any advice. There page also offers so much inspiration for planning and general advice, so if you do fancy checking them out: CLICK HERE!. If you have any further questions about Ratpack Travel then please feel free to comment or send me a message over on instagram or message them on WhatsApp +61450381801 to get your planning started!! (CLICK HERE TO WHATSAPP THEM)
Van life costs…so this does depend on what style of Van you go for, where you drop off the van and lots of different factors which you can tailor when you plan with RatPack Travel! However, I will leave all our costs below so you can get an idea of what we had and experience.
There are a few things that will impact the cost of your van, such as pick up and drop off points– if you drop off your van somewhere else this is an extra cost. How many of you there are/how many beds you have or whether you have a hi-top van or two seater. Milage- dependant on your trip plan, of course the cost of petrol will be more.
1st van Hire: We picked up our first van, a Camperman Van hi-top 4 bed van, in the Gold Coast for 18 days and drop her off in Airlie Beach ($250 more for dropping off in another location). For Insurance we had everything covered expect roof, windscreen or tyre this was $400.00 in total. Then the total cost of van one came to $1296, plus $500 refundable deposit. (To be noted: This was through Ratpack travel and was a Camperman Van.)
2nd Van Hire: Our second van, a Apollo Hippie Drifter (small two seater) we had for 9 days and picked up and dropped off in Melbourne. For Insurance we had full cover including windscreen and tyres, and a total of $330. Then the total cost van to $535.18, plus $100 refundable deposit. (To be noted: This was through Ratpack travel and was a Apollo Hippie Drifted Van.)
3rd Van Hire: Our last, and most boujii van of them all was for 11 days, in a hi-top four bed with Autobarn Van Company. We picked her up and dropped her off in Perth. For insurance we got full cover for $360, and this was a total cost of $900. (To be noted: This was through Ratpack travel and was a Autobarn Van)
Fuel Prices: On average around $70 dollars lasted us around a four hour drive.
Camping Prices: There are different options for camping, and there is always the option to free camp. however, every few days the van does need to be plugged into electricity but using the WikiCamps app, camping sites are super easy to find! Myself and Kirsty only did powered campsites, as we needed power to charge most evenings for work. For campsites for two people on a powered site we paid between $33-$45 a night. This includes your power, water, shower and toilets and a camp kitchen. We opted to using the camp kitchen due to limited space in the Van.
Things you need to know: Tips and Tricks
Choos the style of your van to suit you: In mine and Kirsty experience, as we both had hi-top vans (4 person max) and smaller seated van (2 person max). We would personally never go back to a low top van, after experiencing both I think having a hi-top is just a lot more hassle free! Especially when your living with another person/people, the space is needed! Also if you decide on free camping, a hi-top is again more hassle free when it comes to cooking in the van and being able to move around. We also personally wouldn’t have more than four people in a van, there was three of us in a hi-top big Apollo Van and it was still such a tight squeeze! Although it was manageable, I think four would have been quite intense!
WIKICAMPS: This app is now your go-to!! It’s a fiver on the App Store, but so worth it! The app shows you campsites (powered/paid or free) across the whole of Australia. On our travels, we used this daily to help find the campsites, see their facilities, read reviews and see photographs. It allowed us to be very flexible
Fuel: Always check how far your next drive is and make sure your tank is full!!! During our adventures in Western Australia, we had an experience driving towards Point Anns through the national park where we really thought we weren’t going to make it back due to petrol…it was a Sunday, in the middle of nowhere and we just made it back to the only petrol station around for miles!!
Bring an Extension lead: Ideal for travelling anywhere around the world, but vans usually have only one or two plugs so this just allows you to charge multiple things at once which is ideal!
Kangaroos and animals: In Australia, it’s important to really watch out for wildlife and animals, especially at dusk or in the early morning. Kangaroos can jump out without looking, and there can sometimes be road kill in the middle of the roads which can get in the way!
Travel in summer: Travelling Australia in winter was still amazing, but do it in summer if you can!!! It was hard to stay warm.
Buy Tupperware and meal prep: Top tip when your on the go and trying to save in Australia! Meal prep! We found making meals in advance meant we had more freedom in the day to eat on the go, whilst exploring and saved us money!
Have a day bag: whether you have a rucksack or suitcase, it’s hard to have space when there’s two or more of you in a van. Myself and Kirsty found having day bags with our essentials in such as toiletries/ underwear and outfits in meant everything was hassle free and easier to move around and get ready in the mornings. Also saving the time from having to open up and try rummage through your big bags!
Plan your route before the day: To help save time and allow you to know where the nearest petrol stations are and campsite, I recommend planning a night before or day before if your doing any long drives. Petrol stations can be far from one another, so its good to know where you can stop along the way!
What the Van comes with: All our vans came with bedding, tea towels and pots and bans and cutlery also. Some of them sometimes came with washing up liquid but some of them didn’t! So once you get the van all you really need is food, washing up liquid and tea!
EMBRACE AND ENJOY it: Van life is amazing! Of course, it takes some getting used to but you adjust to taking things in turns with the people your living with, moving around and getting things in and out. And you get in a rhythm of the lifestyle pretty quick! I personally think Van life is the best and only way to experience Australia! Being in control of your adventures, how long you stay in places and where you stay and explore is amazing- there’s no time limit and you are in full control of how you spend your time. It’s also like your own little home on wheels. I found it so nice being settled in each van and felt sad saying goodbye to each one. So embrace it and enjoy every second!
I hope this may answer some of your questions or helps with any interests you may have towards van life and exploring Australia. It was some of the best few weeks of my life, and I’d do it all again if I could! I’ll be posting my Australia round up post shortly, so keep your eyes peeled for that as that will talk more about my overall experiences and if you fancy watching my Van life videos too: CLICK HERE!
If there’s any more questions you have then please feel free to message me or comment below, happy to answer the best I can!
Thought I’d share my go to makeup products with you all! And all the products I use to create a dreamy summer makeup look!
I’ve added a list of my favourite products below, as I’ve tired so many different products over the years and these are my go to’s right now. They are also with me whilst I’ve been travelling and I can’t recommend them enough! Also If you fancy watching my summer makeup look video instead the link is here: https://youtu.be/SAV5JcDJyZ8
Starting below, with sharing the suncream I use on my face and my go to highlighter products for the skin! I always use a few different highlighter creams on my whole face after my cream routine to add a natural glowy look to the skin and when I’m on holiday I only ever wear these on my skin, instead of foundation and they work wonders!
Bobbi Brown Corrector : https://rstyle.me/+p3BCYxeCxrFmKUu_8IHrVw (most incredible corrector!!!)
When I’m away I love creating more of a glow/bronzed look to my face and find the Bobbi Brown Concealer Stick in a warmer shade than my normal skin tone, is great for contouring the face and adding that slight bronzed look.
My go to bronzer products, have tired so many over the years and these are so incredible. Perfect for that warm bronzed glow and Beached “Rays For Days” & the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick are amazing for adding that summer glowy look to any makeup creation!
I always stick to my go to blushers, that I love to also use as eyeshadow from time to time if I’ve forgotten my eyeshadow palettes! All such gorgeous colours, and if you prefer a non shimmer or shimmer blusher NARS has you covered!
Eyebrows have also been a challenge of mine, I have a lot of gaps in my brows so have always struggled creating my dream brow, so after a lot of trail and error and watching a lot of youtube tutorials, I came across the below! In my opinion they are the best four brow products I have come across so far!! I use Nude By Nature Dip Brow and Hour Glass Dip Brow when I’m looking for a more relaxed bushy brow with colour and definition. And then use Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow, when I’m looking to create a more precise brow, and always finish with the clear brow gel to hold them in place!
The only eyeshadow Palettes I own right now and I can’t get enough of them all!! I love creating a pink eyeshadow look and Revolution Reloaded Palette is my go to for everyday looks as I wear this most days! The others I tend to wear to create more dramatic looks or evening looks. All so pigmented and such vibrant beautiful colours. Pictures below of some of the looks I’ve created with these palettes.
If you have any questions about any of the products feel free to let me know, these are some of my favourites right now and I swear by them. The perfect products to create those holiday glowy looks, everyday looks or evening looks and all super affordable products!
Hello lovelies ! Hope you’re all well and have been enjoying some sunshine!!
My lovely two and a half week Bali trip has come to an end, so I thought I would share a little guide of the last two and a half weeks and some places I’d reccomend visiting if you ever decide to come to beautiful Bali!!
I travelled to Bali four years ago and spent a month here and Kirsty has also been around a year ago so we decided to choose some of our favourite places for this trip to visit over the space of two weeks.
We started by landing in Denpasar Bali and booked a little Air BnB in Canggu for two nights; Linked here! Through this Air Bnb we pre booked our taxi because sometimes you can be over charged from taxi services at the airport, so I’d recommend trying to pre book a taxi if you have a stay pre booked or just asking a Bluebird taxi to keep it on the metre whilst driving to your location.
We drove straight to Canggu, because from experience both Kirsty and myself, really disliked Kuta so just wanted to avoid going there. This is just personal preference, but it’s super busy, a lot of rubbish everywhere and the scene reminds me of a Magaluf strip, if I’m being honest.
Also Bluebird taxis were super easy to stop whilst they drove past here. But I would recommend if you find a taxi driver that has a WhatsApp number, I’d recommend getting that as it makes it easy when your booking them to locations to just send a WhatsApp!
Whilst in Canggu there’s so many gorgeous places, little cafes and fab beach clubs you can visit! We didn’t have time to visit them all, but I’ve written the list below because they are all musts if you ever come to Canggu or Seminyak Area!
We then travelled from Canggu to Ubud, to stay at the gorgeous Om Ham Retreat and Resort (linked here) for the first few nights. This Resort was on a deal on booking.com which was why we chose to stay here, and turned out to be such a gorgeous place, amazing staff, lovely yoga in the mornings and incredible Oreo milkshakes and breakfast. (Link go booking.com here) . This retreat was a 15- 20 minute outside of the centre of Ubud, but the resort offered taxis or a shuttle x3 times a day and it wasn’t far at all!
After our first day exploring the Ubud Markets and visiting the monkey forest, we decided to hire some bikes and drive the hour from Om Ham Retreat to Nung Nung Waterfall. The drive was beautiful via bikes, minus the numb bums from sitting on the bikes for too long. Was so worth it! The waterfall is incredible, and although it’s a massive trek down and up it’s worth the amazing views at the bottom. (Pictures below)
After staying at Om Ham Retreat & Resort for two days and exploring some of Ubud’s Markets, the Monkey Forest and cute cafes we moved onto our next stay at the beautiful Nang Ade Villa through Parama (linked here) this was a super affordable Villa, with four big rooms, a nice living space area, kitchen and beautiful pool space, only 10-15mins from the centre. The staff here were so lovely and it was such a nice place to have to ourselves for a few days. We ended up hanging out by the pool a lot, visiting more cute cafes and exploring the area. On our last day in Ubud, we rode our bikes about 12 minutes from Nang Ade Villa to the Rice Terraces. Probably my highlight of Ubud, they were so incredibly beautiful and I loved walking around them for a few hours and there are so many cute cafes you can go to that overlook the gorgeous Terraces. I highly recommend visiting them if you go!
Ubud has so much to offer and is so beautiful! There is also a lot of amazing luxury resorts and spas that you can pay day entry into, and hang out by the pool also! I have left a list below of some reccomended places to stay,eat and explore whilst in ubud!
Ubud: Hotels and pools you can visit for the day with entry fees.
Ubud amazing places luxury places to stay:
Black Penny Villas
Bisma Eight Ubud
Goya Boutique Resort
Komaneka at Bisma
Chapung Se Bali Resort and Spa
Como Uma Ubud
SenS Hotel and Spa, Ubud.
Viceroy Bali Luxury Villas
Kamandalu Ubud Resort
Best Boutique Hotels:
Stone House Ubud
Blue Karma Ubud
Wapa Di Ume Ubud
Places to stay affordable Villas/ Spas. Also look on Air Bnb and booking.com as the options are endless and there are some amazing deals on there.
We then got a shuttle bus from Ubud down to Padang Bai Ferry port, to catch our fast boat ferry (2hours) to Lombok (Bangsai Ferry Port). There are two types of ferry’s you can get over to the Gili islands or Lombok, the fast ferry (2 hours) or the slow one (4-5hours) or you can fly for super cheap to Lombok (1-2hours: if you have under 30KG luggage unlike us) but it’s super straight forward and easy to do!
We chose the fast boat as Kirsty and myself get super boat sick so this was the best option for us. The ferry’s also stop off at the Gili islands so if you haven’t visited them, I highly recommend stopping off for a few days and experiencing them. I’ve left a bit of information about the Gilis below, in terms of stays and cafes. Although it’s been four years since I visited (old blog post here) , Kirsty went recently so we’ve piled some tips together below. (Gili air was our favourite)!
If you go to the Gili islands: Must go to cafes below! and a few stays I’d recommend. I didn’t stay on Gili Meno and also only visited for Lunch so haven’t included much on Gili Meno below.
Kayu Cafe (GILI T)
Gili Bliss (GILI AIR)
Nalu bowls (GILI AIR)
Gili Air stay:
Andin Bungalow (low budget)
7 Sea Cottages (low budget)
Salili Bungalow (mid budget)
Bambu Cottages (mid budget)
Captain Coconuts Gili Air (high budget)
Grand Sunset Gili Air (high budget)
Sunrise Resort (high budget)
Gili T budget places to stay:
Gili La Boheme (low budget)
My Mate’s Place (low budget)
Gili Klapa (low budget)
Madison Gili (mid budget)
Resota Twins (mid budget)
Villa Ombak (high Budget)
Pearl of Trawangan (high budget)
Once in Lombok, we headed from the port to the South of Lombok and headed to our first stay at Blue Monkey Villas (linked here) a gorgeous stay with a beautiful view overlooking Mawun Beach. Although Blue Monkey Villas is slightly out of the way from Kuta, Lombok (the centre) it’s defiantly worth a stay and Jeff the owner is super lovely and can do pick ups and drop offs if requested! Pictures below of Blue Monkey Villas:
We then moved onto our next stay in the centre of Kuta Lombok to Bamba/So It Goes (linked here). Which is the most beautiful “poshtel” ever! There is the option to stay in private double bed rooms or dorm rooms made up of six beds. The private rooms sell out super fast, however because there was six of us we had a full dorm of just us and this worked perfectly. The dorms are massive double beds, with locker storage units and a curtain so you have full privacy when in the dorms. The bathrooms have drying racks, showers and toilets and all the facilities are absolutely stunning! Also the comfiest bed I’ve ever stayed in. Also not to mention the beautiful pool, pillow comfy area, Bamba Restaurant Food and incredible cocktails. This place was mine and Jamie’s favourite relaxing spot, we loved the music and had some lovely evenings having cocktails here.
If you are in Lombok there is also some fun places to go out, such as Bus Bar which is a 5 minute walk from Bamba and super fun! They do pizzas and play music till around 1am, we had such a laugh here. And if you fancy continuing your night, Rasta Bar is where everyone usually heads out from Bus Bar afterwards about a 15 min walk or 5 minute bike ride around the corner situated on the beach and it’s super fun for dancing!
After some days exploring and having fun (all recommendations for this below). We moved onto the beautiful Villa Strata, this 5 bedroom villa is around 15 minutes from the centre and about a 8 minute drive from Tanjunn Ann Beach. It was the most incredible place I’ve ever stayed. The staff were incredible, and you have the option to have breakfast, lunch or dinner made for you if requested. The 360 views here were out of this world, always catching the beautiful sunrises in the bathrooms and sunset from the front of the house. The amazing open interior means you constantly get the insane views and light throughout the Villa. We had an amazing stay here, and if you get the chance I couldn’t recommend grabbing a group of you and all chipping in together to stay here!
I’ve also listed some of our favourite Lombok food places for amazing breakfast, lunches and dinners, as well as our favourite places to stay and the beaches to explore below.
After Lombok we return via fast boat ferry, back to Canggu for our last few days. There are so many stunning places to explore and stay in Bali and Indonesia that I’d recommend exploring that I saw on my previous trip so I’ve left a few of those places and tips below also, because my lists go on for days. Bali is just such a beautiful place.
On the last few days in Canggu, we stayed briefly in Seminyak at Alam Boutique Resort (linked here) pictures below. This is a newly launched resort with lots of different sized villas for groups or couples, offering spa treatments in the rooms, all day food and lovely flowered baths!! The attention to detail here was incredible, it was super clean and it was so lovely being able to experience the opening of this beautiful place. Alam boutique is situated super close to Potato Head Beach Club so whilst we stayed here we had an evening at Potato Head before heading to our last stay at Mojo Resort. Mojo resort was a super simple but lovely stay just outside of Canggu (around 10 min drive from the centre) with a nice pool and rooms. And as i mentioned above, there are some super lovely cafes to visit and beach clubs to go to in a Canggu.
Anyway, that sums up our amazing two week trip in Bali. I’ll be sharing soon my top ten tips when visiting Bali, so keep your eyes peeled and lots of Australia and the Philippines posts coming soon. I hope this is in some way, was helpful if any of you decide to visit this incredible country and if you have any further questions, then please feel free to DM me on Instagram (@indiaamoon) with any questions or comment below! And if you do visit, have the most incredible time!!!!!!
So I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, it’s been sitting in my draft folder for 5 months and I finally decided I feel okay to start sharing my thoughts about how I deal with anxiety and to share some insights that I’ve personally found useful. I’ve also received some amazing support, advice and strategies from my parents;(who are both experienced psychotherapists) along with hearing many other peoples stories and experiences too.
I want to start with a disclaimer and say of course I am no expert as I will be mainly sharing a few tips on what I’ve found have been helpful to me.
Although there are some similarities about how anxiety manifests, as it shows up in many ways and each of us will have preferred ways of managing it too.
Growing up I didn’t want to talk about these things and would hide them from others, yet over time I realised it’s something that a lot of us share and through my conversations with my friends I’ve realised how common it is, yet also realised how sad that there is limited and straight forward education about it. So over the last few years I’ve found the more we talk about these issues, the more we may help each other or allow each other to all feel less alone whilst dealing with these things.
I’m hoping sharing some of this with you may either create more open dialogue about it, where we can all talk and support one another (my messages are always open for any of you) or perhaps the tips may offer something that you could try that may help, like they helped me.
Anxiety is an experience with many symptons and the word anxiety is just one limited way we use to describe something which happens to us on lots of levels. So using one word to try and describe an abundance of thoughts, feelings, sensations and behaviours is inevitably going to leave us confused.
Breaking all this down into bite size chunks was the first real step for me in understanding.
The following is in no particular order, as where anxiety usually starts is deeply personal for each one of us. But for me, firstly changing the way I thought about anxiety was most useful.
Thinking – I think/imagine/worrying/ fearful thoughts
This is obviously something we all do, whether we think in terms of stories or images. The gift of creative thinking and imagining is incredibly useful, however this creative thinking can be a curse when we imagine the worst.
Once we are creating worse case scenarios, images and stories in our mind, we are actively telling our body and brain that there is actually something bad that is, or might be going to happen. And if we do this often enough the brain and body believes that the stories and imaginings are real and then the body starts to respond as if it were actually real. Yes, the brain doesn’t always know the difference between fact and fiction.
So asking myself is what I am thinking ‘Factual’ actually happening and something that I have evidence of? Or “Fiction’ something that I am imagining that I cannot be certain of? and ‘what is the story I am telling myself right now?’
Of course factual scenarios can be appropriately scary, however adding more story telling can often intensify the feelings I am having.
Previously I used to call my experience of anxiety an ‘anxiety attack’. Yet I no longer call them that or associate anxiety with an ‘attack’ as I would tend to create more worry or fearful thinking, which would only escalate the feelings I was having. So when I feel the physical symptoms of anxiety I no longer think about an ‘attack’ or ‘panic’. My body may be reacting in a powerful way but my fearful thinking was only telling my body and brain that I was under threat.
Along with scary thoughts there would be a good mix of scary feelings too, such as feeling nervous/scared/fearful. So next up was not just understanding what I was feeling but what were all these weird sensations that were going on in my body.
When we are in an anxious state our bodies are generally moving into a ‘fight or flight’ response. We know this because our heart rate goes up, we get hot or cold, we may shake, want to be sick, feel faint, breathe very fast etc. Again this is because our brain/body has either perceived actual (factual) threat or perceived (imagined/fictional) threat and adrenaline kicks in. This adrenaline is the chemical in our bodies that gets the heart moving faster and it activates blood flow toward the muscles. The reason for this is that if we are under threat (fact or fiction) we need to get out of the situation, hence ‘fight or flight’ we either need our body to fight the situation or run away from (flight) the situation. This is why the adrenaline is released.
(There is also a freeze response that can also happen under extreme stress/trauma, but I may explore that in another blog).
Now of course this fight/flight response is great if we are in a life threatening situation but if it’s a result of stress for whatever reason or being late for a date, then its not so helpful. The other problem is that when a lot of adrenaline is released into the body the blood flow goes to the muscles and not to the brain. This is why we feel spaced out and cannot think straight when in this adrenalised state.
Also feeling sick is because the body wants to be lighter to run or fight so the body wants to get rid of whats in the stomach. Breathing very fast is because our bodies are preparing to move fast.
One of the worse things to do is to sit and be still in a highly adrenalised state, the best thing to do is to move around, dance, jump, run for a few mins. This will then move the adrenaline as the brain then knows that the body has done its job. If you are unable to move, imagine running and sometimes this can also help.
Here’s a few more tips that I find useful for me.
1. Eating a substantial breakfast is really vital, whilst avoiding stimulants like caffeine and high sugars. Breakfasts with healthy fats and proteins with vedge based carbohydrates are ideal. Keeping our blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day prevents the body producing unnecessary adrenaline as a false fuel, as skipping meals will produce more adrenaline especially when we are running low on energy because of the lack of food and lack of essential nutrients. Quick fix sugars only exaggerate feeling more stimulated/anxious.
2. Visualising: This is dependant on the situation but closing your eyes and visualising another place or paying attention to the things around you and focussing on the ‘facts’ of whats happening and your external environment. I play the colour game usually, as I find my moments happen when I’m travelling, so I usually look for colours,focusing on 4 red things, 4 blue and so on. However, for some people I know that reading things can also help in these moments. On the train for example, I spend a lot of time reading the small print of the signs to help focus my mind on things around me.
3. Create your safe place senses: My mum introduced this strategy to me to create a safe place senses ‘box’, ‘notebook’ or even place on your phone with notes of a list of things that help you feel relaxed or to help us in these moments. For example, I have podcasts I love listening to on my phone and meditations, I have drawing apps to take my focus off of them, I have a book I’ll take with me when going into situations that may make me feel anxious. I bought myself a mindfulness colour book that I draw in before going out if I’m feeling like I may be going into a situation that I may find anxious. Of course, it’s down to finding things that work for you in these situations, but try creating a list of strategies that allow you to feel relaxed and work on them as a resource .
4. Chewing gum: Now I have to say I’m not saying to chew gum or chew something whilst you are highly adrenalised as this could cause you to choke and I’m only suggesting this as it’s something that’s helped me. But if I feel as though I’m going into a situation that may be stressful, I carry a pack of gum or mints on me and chew them before going into the situation. It’s known that chewing reduces levels of stress hormone cortisol found in saliva and fast chewing has been shown to have more of an anxiety busting effect than slow chewing. Some people I know also say that the chewing has helped them feel less anxious as it allows them to focus on the chewing and stops teeth grinding in stressful situations.
5. Question/ visual Game, with others or alone: If you are alone and experiencing any of the symptoms of anxiety, try the question game. Work your way down from 5 and in your head or if you are able to out loud say 4 colours that you notice around you, 4 smells around you, 4 things you can see, and 4 things you hear. Then work your way down from 4, stating 3 colours, things you see, smells and things you hear. This allows your mind to focus on the physical things around you, to focus your mind and attention onto something else. If you are with someone who may be having anxiety symptoms or you are experiencing them and need support, it’s okay to ask someone to help you with these questions. If you are the one supporting another, ask questions about things they’ve done (such as “what did you have for breakfast”) encouraging them to move their attention away from the internal experience of anxiety and start to notice the external world around them.
6.PIES: Going through these points/exercises help me acknowledge where my anxiety is originating from. This can be helpful when the symptoms are moderate. P/Physical – How is my body experiencing the adrenaline? I/Intellect – Are my thoughts fact or fiction? E/Emotionally – How do I feel? S/Socially – What do I need to regulate?
7. Do what eases anxiety symptoms. It is different for everyone, but find something that allows you to feel at ease and involve these moments into your days or the upcoming days you may feel stressed about. Relaxation methods, such as yoga and meditation are good ways that allow your body to relax and to stop your adrenals from overworking.
8. Plan short term activities throughout your days, that are enjoyable or focussed in a way that brings your attention away from what might be causing you worry. For example, If you are spending more time in your thinking, do some movement and body based exercises.
9. Challenge your expectations and social media norms: For me a lot of my anxiety stems from situations I cannot control and I feel distressed when I don’t think I can control an outcome. Over the last few months I have been working daily on consciously doing one thing that is out of my routine by doing things that aren’t planned or in my control. Some small examples of mine are planning to see someone on the day, rather than in advance. Accepting that I don’t have control of others and letting my expectations go. Not checking my phone for an hour and taking time off my phone when feeling anxious or stressed is also something that helped me massively. Our bodies are stimulated when scrolling and looking at a blue light on a screen which again overstimulates our nervous systems and stops us from resting. So I found taking time off scrolling and not being constantly plugged means we give our bodies the down time they need.
10 Be kind to yourself: Anxiety is not always just about the psychological and is very often an adrenal response that is caused by many stressors that are outside of our control and part of the pace of daily modern life. Just because I don’t feel ok doesn’t actually mean it’s me that is actually not ok. Our bodies are good at giving us feedback and if we listen we may make life choices that enable us to live in more balanced ways that will support our bodies/ brains and nervous systems, which will naturally reduce anxiety and adrenaline symptoms.
Thanks for reading this post, I really hope in some way this was helpful and know if you ever want to chat my messages are always open. Have a lovely day!