So this is a video of the opening of my new Filofax organiser to keep me organised! (Let’s hope!). Thought I would show you what it is like etc before I personalised it just so that you could get an idea of it and what I wanted it for!
So I’ve been wondering if a video review is a good way to get my thoughts etc across better to my followers as well as give readers (and viewers I guess!) a good idea of what the product looks like.
This is a really basic amateur video but just wanted to post something along the lines of what it would involve. I might have a really annoying approach/voice (lol) so video might not be as appealing as just reading my reviews but let me know what you think!
Let me know what you think? As a follower, your opinion means a lot to me!
Okay so as I have mentioned many times before my neck is my most unpredictable spot for eczema! As you can see from my photos the eczema area is a completely different colour to my normal skin, is very red and the image isn’t clear enough for you to see the dry, raised aspect. My skin has lost its yellow glow and is a dark reddish bruise colour most of the time, in photos it makes me look so grey and dull coloured. It’s viscous and can spread along my jaw and down my neck further as well but where it is now is the most noticeable part. It’s where my main struggles come from with my eczema…my arms are quite bad right now but I can cover those, my neck is on full display.
This is what I’m working on combatting right now! I will get this under control. Just ensure of the how or when !
Anyone else suffer from neck eczema like this?
As an individual, you know what makes you feel frustrated, what can cause an itching frenzy, what makes you feel satisfied and like you’ve achieved something, what makes you feel calm, happy etc. So that in mind, it is really important that we carry out daily life thinking about what is best for us. Avoiding the negative situations by making use of more optimal methods to get things done.
Now this applies to many things. For example, here are a few of my habits. When I feel frustrated and stessed because of mounting piles of work/demands from life I itch. My nails go straight to my neck and it begins….Frustration makes me itchy so it is something best avoided. I know getting a task completed makes me feel better, like ticking things off and feeling like I’ve been productive. I know that routine is good for me, I need structure otherwise I waste time. A habit of mine is to put things of thinking I have so much time…bad move, that leads to frustration at having so much to do last minute that the itching frenzy ensues. Another habit is saying I want to do something positive (i.e. learn to meditate) but never getting around to actually making it happen.
Now with this in mind, I am now trying to organise myself around me as an individual. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another so it is really important we personalise our stress management and organisation in my case around us. Think about what it is you need.
I know me and I know I need organisation, this is key to reducing my stress levels. I also know that distractions are my downfall. I procastinate, I keep my phone on loud, Facebook open….I sit there ‘studying’ for an entire afternoon and in the aftermath I look at my progress and think wait…I’ve only written a paragraph?! That then makes work a negative as it appears to take forever, I stress about how long I will need to spend on it and it puts me off even more. But really I only got a paragraph done because my concentration wasn’t there, I played a quick game of Candy Crush (how embarassing to admit but yes I am kind of addicted!) when I was stuck, I had a quick glance at Facebook which turned into 15 minutes of profile stalking and I went and made a cup of tea for 10 mins out of boredom. I then sent a few messages, checked my email, my whatsapp and the list goes on.
So to feel less stressed, for me, I know that shorter work session spread throughout the day/week/month depending on what it is suit me better. An hour of solid work where I know I can catch up on Vampire Diaries straight after sounds better than an afternoon reading books last minute. Spreading out a big task into smaller ones makes me more productive so I need to cater to myself to make myself more effective. When its last minute, the stress of ‘oh god I’m running out of time’ means that I am so busy worrying about how much I have to do in so little time that I do even less work! If I know after an hour, I can stop and do something else or have a break I work more knowing I won’t be sat doing the same thing for hours. If I just set an evening aside to work, I feel downhearted so end up letting myself procastinate during the course of well most of the evening so it is best not to. But I also know that sometimes I need to work for hours, perhaps a project is taking longer than I thought so I need to invest more time, so what do I do? I get myself to the library, sit in the quiet zone and for some reason, the library environment makes me super productive!
So what about adding things into my schedule. What sometimes tends to happen is I get set a huge assignment and I think I won’t have time for anything else. I take out my ‘me’ time to sit unproductively ‘working’ when really I’m faffing around wasting the time completely. Not enjoying it but not really doing anything. This then reduces me doing things which will help reduce my stress like attend a yoga class, a meditation class, catch up with an old friend etc. which could easily be factored in if I worked well. I.e. I could do an hour of work, attend yoga and do another hour instead of thinking no I need to concentrate on my work. Changing my thinking/method is vital. What I’m doing doesn’t work so it needs to change hence my step 1 of getting organised. knowing myself I know organisation is important. I know I need to factor in time to work, socialise and spend some quality time by myself as well as my day to day appointments etc because I have a habit of wasting time not doing anything because I don’t organise my time around what works for me. I set unachievable expectations for myself (like getting an essay written in one afternoon) which lead to me feeling worse because I haven’t got it done, this then means I cross of positive things like socialising to get the work done. So smaller, manageable goals are what work better for me.
The key is knowing yourself and your habits. What is it you want? What is it that is stopping you getting there? Think about it and work around it. There are so many ways to do things that you have to find the method that suits you.
Okay so stress has many aspects, but the reason my stresses sometimes feel overwhelming is because of my lack of good organisation, priortisation and the willpower to get things done in good time….this leads to stress as I think about how much I then have to do as deadlines loom closer with less time to put in and I then feel like I don’t have free time as I need to concentrate more on one task when really with more productive use of my time I could seperate work and play per say more easily and worry less because I’m proactively getting things done along the way. No last minuteness would stop all this, I’d be able to split things up into smaller, more manageable tasks so it gets done without the stress.
Sounds easy right? But wrong. I know all of this so why is it still not under control? Now there is an answer we each have to this question. Only you really know you, your downfalls when it comes to being organised. And it is thinking about myself and the way I am when it comes to organisation that leads me to answer this question.
Let us start with an example: I attend a lecture. I have ideas of what I need to do over the next week like my reading, printing off lecture notes, preperation for deadlines in the immediate aftermath of the lecture but then by the time I get home, I sit down to relax and voila, out of sight, out of mind. I forget what I need to do, it doesn’t seem so urgent anymore since well I have a week after all, so days go by and I get on with other things thinking I have time for uni work later….wrong! It hits the night before my next lecture and I’m in stressed mode trying to get everything done last minute.This is typical me. It seems absolutely atrocious to me that I’m still like this when I hate that last minute feeling when it comes but here I am.
My disorganisation causes me stress. My lack of forward planning, urgency etc means that I cause myself more worry by work demands piling up. I have a simple planner with about 3 lines for each day but this isn’t helping. The lack of space means I don’t jot everything down. I have an iPhone but organising my life on there never worked either. I realised I preferred more pen and paper methods which I know aren’t for everyone. So what do I do?
Now with my example in mind, if I jotted down all my ‘to-dos’ when they came to mind I’d have them infront of me so they couldn’t be so easily forgotten. I’d know what I need to do. If I could then break these down into manageable hour by hour tasks and fit them into my schedule around other commitments it would be great.
What I find is I sometimes have a rough idea of what I need to do in my head but without visually seeing how much time I have I make the weekend seem like so much time that I waste my friday night, my saturday and sunday then looms with all this work to do….I want to chill but actually I have the week’s build up of work to get through and oops I forgot to account for that cinema trip I planned for Sunday.In addition, without having all the things I need to get done jotted down, I keep remembering more and more I need to get done as I work through a seemingly neverending to do list.
So what is it that I want…. I want something where I can:
- Plan my days out, add appointments according to time (I don’t like the blank 3 lines worth in my current diary) so I can see the free hours I have from a glance. Can I fit in an hour of studies on this day…well if I check my planner I can easily tell…I have 3 hours on Monday morning, an hour of work doesn’t seem so bad when I have 2 hours to then spare….
- Write To Do lists for different domains of my life – University, Work, Blog etc. Somewhere I can jot new things down easily as they arise. Then come back to them on a daily/weekly basis to slot them into my day to day planner.
- See my month ahead of me so I can see looming deadlines, plans etc at a quick glance. Is next month a busy one? Do I need to get more work done now so I am more free socially next month?
Now I know writing things down doesn’t help everyone, but for me, if it isn’t infront of me I forget about it (be that consciously or not!). It seems less important. But a simple planner doesn’t work for me as they don’t tend to come with hourly plans and to dos or if they do, the space to write in is tiny!). I don’t like using my phone for this as I prefer pen and paper as well…
So what do I use?
Now when I suggest this some of you will automatically think nope that isn’t for me and it might not be. But I think it may perhaps be my solution here.
Solution: Filofax: with day to day hourly planning sheets, to do lists and a monthly planner (at least)
Now is this just another diary? Well yes it is, but I like the idea of it being a ring binder so I can put things in that suit me, my life and what I want out of my diary.
I can have different tabs for what I need:
1) Day to Day planning
2) To do Lists
4) Monthly/ yearly overview.
For me this seems great! One place to write down appointments etc, I can write down things which spring to mind (i..e oh yes I need to book seats for my train journey!) which I can put into my next day when I come back to the list later that day. I think the daily hourly diary will help me to realise that I can fit in half an hour/an hour easily into my day. I can set aside time to study etc.
So what do you guys think? Is this a lost cause? Is this just another attempt to fool myself into being organised? Got a better idea for me?
So guys this was in definite need of an update! Some things remain the same but my products have definitly changed. Hope it helps
Any comments, thoughts, tips welcome.
For those on my Facebook I posted on there about this already.
Many of you share your eczema stories with me and its amazing just how many of us are going through this ordeal. I thought it would be great if I created a page dedicated to other people with eczema’s personal experiences and struggles alongside mine.
It can be anonymous and it would just require you to send me a summary of your battle with eczema via email.
Would you guys be interested in this sort of thing?
So I look to my eczema routine page and realise I created it in 2011!! Definitely in need of a revamp and update as things have changed, I’m sorry I haven’t updated it sooner. Will do this week
Visiting the city of Rome right now… a beautiful place, with beautiful sites and not to mention soaring temperatures. I’ve seen Vatican City, the colosseum, the Trevi fountain and much more and it’s truly amazing.
A mesmerising place but with eczema comes the fear of bearing all too. I’m enjoying the trip but I have to admit I’m conscious of my bare arms, legs and neck which are all scarred. My neck is dark and wrinkled compared to the surrounding skin, my elbow joints are raised with current eczema and also scarred darker than my skin due to eczema never disappearing over 7 years. My legs are covered in old scars not fully healed…feeling conscious is an understatement…yes my skin is calmer than it has been before it has seen worse but it’s still not “normal”.
Holidays can be fun but when dealing with eczema and other skin disorders, holidays also bring fear, self consciousness and constant worrying about what others are thinking. I try hard to be strong about my eczema but I can’t deny its hard. It’s tough. Can anyone say they can bare all their scars and be 100% okay with it? That they don’t feel some anger when they see so many people with perfect skin who don’t appreciate what we would give to have that…our society holds beauty and appearance so high that its hard to ignore it.
I bare my arms and legs because if I didn’t the heat would just cause intense itching and that would ruin my trip more. Why should I have to cover up? I can’t deny the feelings of insecurity as I walk down the streets, the looks through my sunglasses at passers by to see their arms glance toward my neck and my arms…the sinking feeling when they do stare again and again and again….the awkwardness I feel and urge to cover up. It’s bad that I’m seeing so many wonderful sites but half of my mind is fixated on my eczema…but it is such a huge aspect of life I can’t help it.
I try and be strong I do. But I feel so vulnerable at times. I know most people mean no harm by staring. It’s natural curiosity, we all do it but it doesn’t make each stare easier…just confirms to me my eczema is noticeable, my scars unsightly…the fears I hold inside are emphasised.
But here I am tonight thinking what matters if people stare? They don’t understand, they don’t know me. The pain I’ve gone through. The tears, the battles to get my skin calm, smooth, normal as possible…and if they cause me more pain with comments then they aren’t worth my time. We have to be strong but our eczema has given us great strength and more depth to feel beauty is skin deep. There is so much more to a person and those who judge by the surface aren’t truly seeing us for who we are. To me it’s their loss.
Those people that matter will make you feel truly beautiful with full eczema on show. Make you feel comfortable no matter what.. They are the ones to focus on. As long as you are happy, what matters of other people?
So for all those going away on holiday too, it’s hard to keep your head up high but do it!! You’ve got nothing to hide, you have the right to bare all. It’s not easy but you can do it. I have!
Put your shades on, feel comfortable in your own company and enjoy your holiday. Life really is too short for all this worry.
After posting my images I thought is about time I became a devoted blogger again.
I’m sorry for my lack of comments or acceptance of your comments and I will go through them shortly (there are a few hundred so please be patient!).
So what’s new with me?
Well firstly, I managed to secure a research post. In my hopes of becoming a psychologist (research or clinical I’m not quite sure yet), this has been such a relief as research experience is vital! I have had a lot of rejection this year. My own former workplace didn’t even give me an interview for a position, I was rejected from a few institutes for my masters and it just all felt a bit disheartening. I wondered “am I just not good enough?, “is there always going to be someone better”,” what do I need to do”. Funnily enough, when my workplace slapped me in the face, I emailed around many a place asking for anything really: voluntary work, part time work. Anything that would boost my CV and the position I have just shows that with determination (and patience don’t forget that!), it really is possible. They emailed me a few months later and hired me due to my enthusiasm. I think this has made me relax (even if only slightly) as I feel career wise its a step forward. I am also due to start my masters in September so things are hopefully panning out well. If you feel like you are in a rut, don’t lost hope! You can do it! WE just have to keep motivated! I feel that if something doesn’t work out, its just because something better is coming our way. I would never have got this position if my workplace had easily given me a job, the lack of satisfaction there pushed me to look. Always remember, everything happens for a reason (though the reason won’t be clear until the good stuff happens!).
Secondly, I have had two sets of antibiotics since December (something I hate having to have!) and my skin has flared on and off since. My neck is ALWAYS the first and worst! It just gets so hot and itchy I want to scratch it off but if I do, the regret is absolute! It travels down passed my collar bone at times and is red compared to the surrounding normal skin (if you can find it!). It also travels up to my jaw and edges of my face as any of you with face eczema know is not great….my upper lip has also been on/off, My elbow joints play up sporadically, but enough to leave my arms scarred (see images in my previous post “My current skin story in photos…”. My uppers arms tend to get small lumps which I itch and they also scar….now my legs are just a nightmare if I shave!! And even if I don’t shave my thighs have tiny, itchy bumps too….not fun! My eczema has got so bad at times that I have (Yes I feel ashamed…) used steroid. I couldn’t face going to work with facial eczema, I couldn’t face the sleepless, itchy nights where I’d itch myself into a frenzy before bed, I couldn’t face feeling so low about myself when it was so easy to “fix”….but now I’ve realised this is easy, it does “mask” the eczema, but ultimately it will come back. It will come back unless we change whatever is truly causing the eczema….
I also find that steroids darken my skin, Do any of you find this? Another thing that puts me off them as the colour difference is noticeable when people take photos….
The reason I posted my images is because this is the one place I feel brave enough to do so….in a sense you don’t know me and at the same time you truly can understand. You have lived with this too, you have experienced just what eczema does to our confidence, our self esteem, our mood….Your comments and posts have made me feel that we can’t and shouldn’t hide our eczema, It causes us more distress and we definitely don’t need that! I also wanted you to see how my eczema looks at a “calmer” (but not satisfied) appearance. At this stage, I’m still itchy…but my sleep is okay and I don’t feel depressed to the extent I want to stay hidden away….and these following things have helped me feel good about myself.
My tips for feeling good when your eczema is calm but still there….
- Make an effort. You know when you go out for a night out with the girls/boys and you make that extra effort to look good, you feel good too don’t you? Well why don’t we do it more? Make an effort daily. Choose clothes you feel good in, sexy even…if you’re a girl wear some make up (please don’t do this if you’re skin is flared as it will aggravate!) even if it is just mascara and lip balm, style your hair. Making an effort is something I try to do more so that when I do look in the mirror, eczema isn’t the only one staring back at me, instead I see me looking stylish, good, sophisticated…..you get my drift….
- Take a moment to breathe. Take a few minutes (hopefully a lot longer) to just breathe. To just sit and switch off. No mobile, no laptop, no interference…just you. Reflect on yourself, what you want out of life, if you’re working towards this, are you happy. How do you feel today? Sad, happy? What’s caused it, what could you do to prevent it. Silence and yourself….Tune in to you and what you have to say…
- Do something you keep mentioning but never get around to. No work, just play. You know those things you’ve always wanted to do but never do. Well do it! I keep mentioning on my blog I’m going to go to the gym, I’m going to go to classes…well finally (yes I’ve taken too long but better late than never?) joined a 6 week yoga class. Something I have wanted to try for so long but never really put the effort in to make happen, I have finally signed up for 6 classes to encourage me to go. Its a 15 minute walk away so some relaxing me time is in order!
- Count your blessings. When eczema takes over, I am definitely one to fall into my own pity hole…but it’s easy to do…you struggle with something and it just isn’t fair. I don’t take this back as for me personally, eczema is physically and emotionally painful and sometimes we have the right to feel bad. However, when it gets a bit calmer, you get that bit of relief…that’s when you need to take the time to really count your blessings. I count my blessings….my family, my siblings, my boyfriend who always tries to get me to see the bigger picture and tells me eczema doesn’t change the way he feels, my friends, my job, my career progression, my ability to walk, my ability to talk, run, smile, the roof over my head…I watched a documentary the other week where a girl had had acid thrown on her face and to be honest I felt stupid for pitying myself…I empathised with this girl so much…she couldn’t smile, eat properly….things we all have a right to do….
- Take charge. I relocated for this job (out of the family home) and the independence of getting my own groceries, doing all of my own cooking has favoured me well. No more excuses for why I don’t have any fruit, why I don’t have time to myself…My diet has improved.I eat at least 3 pieces of fruit (which is good for me when it has gone up from 0!) and even get my veg in. I eat fresh meat, potatoes and herbal teas. I still have my chocolates, cookies and normal teas but not excessively. I also manage my time better as it is just around my schedule. I give myself plenty of time for me.
Now this is only a starter….can you guys think of more to add?
Just wanted to post an update and to let you all know I’m back Sorry for my absence!