FEAR OF MISSING OUT: SOCIAL MEDIA WOES

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (8)

 

Have you ever been on social media and saw people having the time of their lives and felt like you were missing out? The fear of missing out aka (FOMO), often derives from feeling like others are experiencing better things than you are. It has become more prevalent in the age of social media where you are constantly paraded with the highlights of other people’s lives.

Social media exacerbates this feeling of missing out. It leads people to compare their ordinary lives to others online who they perceive to be leading more abundant, fulfilling lives. Sites like Instagram and Facebook place emphasis on the reel highlights of someone’s life. People use it as a tool to brag about all the amazing things they are doing, intentionally leaving out all the very normal things that most people experience. This creates space for people to feel envious and dissatisfied with their own life’s.

You suffer from FOMO if you do or feel any of the following:

 

  • Feeling like everyone is having more fun, and experiencing more joy than you
  • Overcompensating by posting content to make you feel better about your life and to convince others that you have it all together
  • Constantly watching what other people are doing and keeping tabs to feel like we are a part of the action
  • Feeling pressured to be visible on social media
  • Feeling like no one can relate their struggles

This fear of missing out can harm people’s self-esteem. It can make us feel like we are not good enough and unfortunate in comparison. The constant wave of picturesque pictures and celebratory statuses can make us ungrateful for the life that we lead.

I think in some way many of us fear missing out. If you are a content creator, the pressure to be constantly visible and produce content can keep us in a constant hamster wheel. I know I’ve felt like I can’t take a social media break or that I must engage in certain conversations in fear of missing my window of opportunity to promote my brand. As humans, we have a desire to be valued and loved. Experiencing joy is fundamental for self-preservation and being a part of something makes us feel less lonely. However, the feeling of missing out leads us to seek validation in unhealthy ways by constantly ‘performing’ online. It brings us back to the very school-like dynamics of feeling left out and trying to fit in.

The reality is even if you were able to acquire the things you envy from others (i.e. a relationship, a great social life or material success), it doesn’t guarantee that your life will be more fulfilled. You may end up in a loving relationship but may not be enough because you lack self confidence. Also, things aren’t always what it seems online. There have been times when I posted myself going out but wasn’t feeling that great about myself. You can’t make assumptions based on what you see online.

If you are suffering from FOMO I want you to remember this: 

People are online showing their reel highlights. We all have them. Comparing ourselves to other people’s highlights is unfair and unkind. You never know what others are going through. All that matters are that your life is in alignment with what you envision for it.

Remember, you get to live life on your terms. Your life is incomparable to others and you slay in your own lane. Nothing can fill a void that’s within you other than you. Find peace and joy within your own life and make a declaration that other people’s lives will not disrupt that peace.

Now over to you! Questions for you: 

Do you suffer from FOMO?

What are your thoughts?

Much love, Ash xx

 

Copyright © 2019 AshAlves All Rights Reserved

The Gratitude Journal: August 19’

Happy August,

For this month’s gratitude topic, I want to talk about uncertainty!

When we are uncertain about a decision we need to make, it can make us feel stuck and unsettled. The fear of missing out or potentially making the wrong decision can be very daunting. We all feel uncertain at times and somehow we always figure it out. If you are currently feeling stuck, just remember that it will not last forever.

Perhaps we need to feel uncertain at times to get us to pause and really think. When we are sure about where we are heading, we are less inclined to take time out to observe all areas of our lives. Uncertainty allows us to take a birds eye view at our life and begs us to ask the questions; What area in my life do I need to pour more energy into?, Am I happy?, What needs shifting?

Uncertainty doesn’t last forever so take advantage of the need to pause in order to re-evaluate your life. Consider it as an opportunity to prioritize self care and put joy at the centre of your life. Don’t feel compelled to make an instant decision if you have the privilege of stalling it until you’re more certain. Life isn’t about getting to a destination “fast” but it’s about enjoying the ride. Maybe you’re uncertain because you need to show more gratitude for where you currently are in order to invite in something new and abundant into your life.

So whilst you’re feeling stuck, frustrated and uncertain, remind yourself that it won’t last forever and allow your intuition to guide you into making the best decision for you. Don’t be so attached to the outcome. And remember that you can always make another decision.

What are you focusing on this Month?

Have a great one!

Love Ash, xx

 

Copyright © 2019 AshAlves All Rights Reserved

Legal Action against your Abuser UK

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (10)

Hi all,

I created a document for Domestic Violence victims with information about how to get a Non-Molestation Order against your abuser. I have a couple of years experience within the Law Sector and have utilised the knowledge I have gained. This is applicable for those under UK law.

PDF document can be found here:

LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOUR ABUSER UK

 

There are a list of charities that you can contact for additional support and guidance. Here’s a few charities that you can contact:

https://www.refuge.org.uk/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/gender-violence/domestic-violence-and-abuse-organisations-which-give-information-and-advice/

https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/crime-info/types-crime/domestic-abuse

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/abuse/domestic-violence/#.Wscw-qKdCvU

http://www.reducingtherisk.org.uk/cms/content/support-services-and-agencies-victimssurvivors (additional directory) 

https://www.buttleuk.org/ (for children affected by domestic violence) 

http://www.niaendingviolence.org.uk/

www.havenrefuge.org.uk

 

LGBTQIA Charities 

http://www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse/

https://lgbt.foundation/

http://www.stonewallhousing.org/

 

Black women and Women of Colour

http://www.bawso.org.uk/our-services/women/

https://southallblacksisters.org.uk/

 

Refugees/Asylum Seekers

www.niaproject.info

www.havenrefuge.org.uk

www.refuge.org.uk

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Adobe_Post_20190715_125614-1080x780.png

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award all about?

It is about recognising the community of fellow bloggers for their creativity and positivity. I want to specially thank Buloka Orry for nominating me for this award. Her blog posts are inspirational and they have been so encouraging to me.  Kindly check out her blog here.

I remember when I first joined the blogging world and saw these awards but never thought I’d be nominated for one. I am so thankful for this platform and being able to connect with so many amazing people. I am continuously inspired by you all. This platform has truly transformed my life and helped me find the light out of my most darkest days. Thank you all for continuing to inspire me!

The rules of this award are as followed:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in you post.
  5. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

The questions I was asked:

  1. Why did you start a blog? I created my blog as an outlet to talk about my struggles with low moods and low self-esteem & my other general interests (politics, relationships, travel).
  2. What inspires you to write? Writing for me is like going to therapy. It’s healing and it connects you with others who are going through similar things. I am inspired by the fact that being authentic about my journey can help someone else in theirs.
  3. How has blogging changed your life? It has changed my life for the better! I have connected with so many amazing people and it has afforded me opportunities that I did not expect such as doing workshops on challenging low self-esteem. It literally helped me overcome my low moods and helped me love myself more. It’s something that occupies a lot of my time too so my life looks much different than before. I am so thankful for this platform.
  4. What is your favourite thing about your blog? That my posts are about having a conversation. I love that they sparks dialogue which I find necessary for collective healing.
  5. Are there bloggers that inspire you in a certain way? So many bloggers inspire me honestly, including Buloka Orry
  6. If you could leave everything and move to another country, where would you go? There’s so many places to choose from but I’d say Johannesburg. That was one of my favourite places that I visited.
  7. Who inspires you to be better? My boyfriend, my Sister and friends. I am inspired different people, including those I don’t know (Bell Hooks, Iylana Vanzant etc) and everyday people.
  8. What songs do you love listening to? I’m a Neo-Soul and Hip Hop gal! Favourite song at the moment is Cleo Sol- Sweet Blue.
  9. What’s that one thing you can’t do without? Quite time. I need it to function lol.
  10. What has made you happy recently? My little sister graduated with a degree in Law with Criminology from a top UK university 🙂
  11. What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers? BE YOURSELF and write in your own style. Also focus on enjoying the process of blogging and don’t equate numbers with how valuable you are.

Here are my nominations for the award:

  1. Let It Go Coach-  https://letitgocoach.com/
  2. K E Garland – https://kwoted.wordpress.com/
  3. K. Phoenix-  https://pamhsc.wordpress.com/
  4. Adekula Writes https://adekunleadewunmi.wordpress.com/
  5. Kelley – https://black-burgundy.com/
  6.  Black Princess Diaries https://theblackprincessdiaries.com/
  7.  Ihagh G.T https://motivation-environment.com/
  8. Kamran – https://topeducationhub.com/
  9. Dark Purple Tales- https://darkpurpletales.wordpress.com/
  10. Lance Sheridan – https://lancesheridan.com/
  11. Embracing Awkwardness- https://bocc.live/

Questions for the nominees:

  1. Why did you start a blog?
  2. What inspires you to write?
  3. How has blogging changed your life?
  4. What is your favourite thing about your blog?
  5. Are there bloggers that inspire you in a certain way? Mention them.
  6. If you could leave everything and move to another country, where would you go?
  7. Who inspires you to be better?
  8. What songs do you love listening to?
  9. What’s that one thing you can’t do without?
  10. What has made you happy recently?
  11. What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?

Let’s build a bigger tribe. Visit these bloggers and show them some love ❤

How to overcome feeling not good enough

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (7).png

Are you struggling with feeling not good enough? No matter how much you accomplish or try, you still feel this lingering feeling of not being enough. You might be in a perpetual cycle of doing things to fill a void to distract yourself from feelings of unworthiness. 

Typically the narrative we tell ourselves about not feeling good enough derives from our upbringing. If you are fed messages by your caregivers that you are enough and valuable, you are more likely to have that foundation of self-acceptance and worthiness. If you were raised in an environment where you were criticised and felt like you had to shrink parts of who you are, you’re more likely to struggle with low self-esteem. However, it isn’t always this binary. Some people come from loving backgrounds who still suffer from not feeling good enough because of other negative experiences such as social media, bullying or even academic pressures. We are not born with feeling not good enough, we are taught to think that way about ourselves as a result of negative experiences we go through in life. 

Overcoming feeling not good enough is a process that takes times. When we’ve become accustomed to that feeling for such a long time, our brain convinces us that it’s a part of our reality which is non-fixable. By letting that narrative of unworthiness win, we cheat ourselves out of opportunities that will make us feel loved, valued and that invites emotional healing.  However, just because you don’t feel good enough right now doesn’t mean that you can’t change the narrative. You can choose to take control of how you think about yourself. 

Three reminders for when you don’t feel good enough:

1.  You are enough- You were born enough and nothing can take that away from you. Sometimes circumstances arise which make us doubt who we are. When we are used to disappointment, it reinforces that narrative that we aren’t enough for good opportunities, love or abundance. We believe that if we acquire more things, or become more of something else we would become more worthy. In a society where our value is closely tied to our status, material possessions, it’s normal to feel like this. Just because you don’t feel good enough in the present moment doesn’t mean that you always will.

2.  Comparison is the thief of joy- Not everyone has it all figured out. No one is in your lane and no one is your competition. When you compare yourself, you’re unfairly putting two completely different lives and human beings in competition with the other. You do yourself a disservice when you compare yourself. They don’t know the challenges you’ve endured. Your progress does not have to look like anyone else’s. This is your life and you are in control.

3.  Give yourself love- You’re deserving of love and compassion even when you feel like you aren’t enough. Shower yourself with appreciation and love always but especially when you don’t feel good about yourself.  Nothing is inherently wrong with you just because you feel this way. Acknowledging that you are struggling is the first step to transformation. 

Five tips to help you overcome feeling not good enough:

1. Inner Child Work- Inner child work is an opportunity to resolve your childhood emotions and experiences. Go into a quite space and write down all the negative experiences you remember in your childhood. Then reflect on how they may have impacted you by asking yourself; has this experience shaped the way I think about myself now?  When you start to see a direct correlation between not feeling enough and your childhood experiences, you’ll start to see that the way you feel is a narrative that has been taught to you but can be changed. If this work is too much for you, I would suggest seeking help from a therapist who would be able to offer you professional support. 

2. Get intimate with your inner critique- In order to fully understand why you don’t feel good enough, you have to unravel your thoughts. Next time you find yourself not feeling good, interrupt your chain of thought and ask yourself the following; How you are feeling? Why do I feel like this and what triggered those feelings? Then start to think about alternative ways you can look at the problem.

3. Separate yourself from your negative thoughts- When negative thoughts about yourself arise, try to separate yourself from the thoughts you are experiencing. For example; if you feel not good enough say “my thoughts are telling that i’m not good enough”. You will begin to gain better perspective and start to realise that we can change the narrative we tell ourselves. 

4. Mantra- Write down anything that can trigger you into feeling like you’re not good enough. For example; being rejected from an opportunity. Find or create your own affirmations that you can refer to when those feelings arise. Find some comforting words that help you feel good and refer to them when you’re feeling low. 

5. Talk to someone- The hardest thing is going through it alone. Talk to a friend or family member tell them how you’re feeling. If you need extra help, look for a support group near you or call your GP and ask for to get in contact with a therapist service. 

Questions to you:

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough?

What advice would you offer a friend who feels like this?

I’d love to hear from you! 

Love, Ash xx

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

The Gratitude Journal: July 19′

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate (4).png

Happy July! ❤

Sending you gentle reminder for this month:

Trust and believe in your growth. No one can take that away from you. You know your heart and what goodness it carries. The only time you become a prisoner to the older version of you is when you decide to make that choice. Trust yourself and don’t take on other people’s negative perceptions of you. No one can bound you to that person but you!

Don’t be ashamed of who you once were because they laid the foundation to who you are now. You did your best with what you knew, and you’ve learned from those experiences. When people try to bring you into the place you once were, it is a test to see whether you are embodying the change that you talk about. Rise above the naysayers and show them who you are!

What are you focusing on this July?

Love Ash, xx

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

Body Image and Social Media

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (5).pngSocial media has distorted the way we perceive real bodies yet most people are afraid to talk about it. Having an hourglass body with a small waist and big butt has become the new norm. There has been a drastic increase in people getting BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift) surgery or going to extreme lengths to photoshop their body in order to fit this standard. Instagram has become a hub for this body sculpting obsession and influences/ celebrities have played a significant role in creating this trend. These beauty norms are making some of us feel pressured to change our bodies. It’s undeniable that a lot of people especially young people are suffering from body dysmorphia and negative body image issues as a direct result of social media.

Before I delve into this topic, I want to send out a disclaimer that I am not against people getting surgery or using other means to change their bodies. If someone decides to change their body to make them feel more confident, that is their choice. They do not owe anyone an explanation into why they made that decision. I made this post to speak up on the pressures to look a particular way due to social media.

We can’t undermine the impact this popular trend is having on people’s psyche and their self-esteem. I have personally been affected by these pressures. When I started using Instagram, I became obsessed with losing belly fat so I can look more slim and curvy. I toiled with the idea of getting surgery to alleviate the pressure of having to stay a certain weight. I became super obsessive over my eating and spiraled into the crash diets to achieve instant results. Scrolling on Instagram and seeing these perfectly sculpted bodies made me feel worse about my body. Although I have agency over the way I feel about myself, constant exposure to these images changed my perception of my own body and I believe social media is partly to blame. After having conversations with a friend about my struggles, it made me realise that I’m not alone. People are scared to speak up talk about this endemic in fear of being judged. However, being honest and open about how we feel is very important for our overall well-being and to help others realise that they’re not alone. 

My two big questions when it comes to people changing their bodies, is WHY? and most importantly, Would you have this surgery if social media didn’t exist? I want young women to know that their bodies are enough already regardless of whether it fits the standard or not. A person who is well sculpted is no better than you or no more attractive than you. Being the best version of yourself and rocky what you have is what makes you unique. Even though the pressure is super hard to escape, remind yourself that norms change constantly. Choose to live by your own standards and remember that social media is just a snippet of people’s life. Just because someone changes their body, doesn’t mean it will eradicate insecurities or exempt you from life’s problems. Don’t get caught up in the trends now that are forever changing and that can have a long term impact.

For influencers/ celebs who do decide to sculpt their bodies, just remember that people are looking up to you. You probably didn’t ask to be anyone’s role model but unfortunately what you choose to do affects others. You have a lot of power over shifting the culture. I believe we all have a social responsibility to the younger generation and we have to make decisions or at least have more conversations promoting body acceptance.  

There’s no way to turn your nose up at your own body or to put these really small boundaries on what’s socially acceptable for body types that are displayed that should be celebrated and that you’re not turning around and turning your nose up at other people – Joulzy on Body Image and Insecurities.

To truly accept all body types, it’s important that we practice loving our own bodies. Believe it or not, having a negative self-body image has an impact on your perception of other people’s body types. If you are critical about your own appearance, for example; don’t like your bum size or belly, how would you look at others and genuinely think it’s beautiful? Practising self-acceptance is tantamount to loving others holistically.

Three tips help when getting overwhelmed over body image:

  • Social media break- Delete your apps or log out for at least a day every so often. Arrange social media free days. Taking a break is good for your mental and physical well-being. Being constantly exposed to these reel highlights of other people’s lives can eat away at your confidence if it’s already quite low. It takes the focus off what you look like and more into things in your daily life that are important.

  • Unfollow unrealistic body types & follow diverse ones- In order to feel better about your body, start following people with similar body types as your own or more diverse ones. The more you see yourself reflected online, the more you are inclined to accept yourself.  Remember, you get to choose what crowd you engage with and what people on Instagram you decide to follow.

  • Learn more- learn more about your relationship with your body. Ask yourself this; how do I feel about my looks? What is my relationship with food? Where do those thoughts about my body come from? When you become clear on who you are and your own positive/ negative habits, it will help you to start developing a healthier relationship with your body.

Questions to you:

Have you felt pressured to look a certain way because of social media?

Would love to hear what you think!

 

Love, Ash ❤

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

The Gratitude Journal: June 19′

 

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate (3).png

Hello you!

The theme of this month: BEING PRESENT 

Are you really present or are you just running on autopilot?

Too often we try to effectively attend to multiple things at once. Many of us spend a lot of our day multitasking and going through the motions without being present in the moment. After a conversation with my partner around this topic, I realised that too often I was physically present but not actually living in it. Recently I started to tune into what I am focusing on throughout my day. I caught myself having a conversation with a loved one but thinking about other pending tasks I had to complete all throughout our interaction. I was present in person but I was not present in spirit. I was not enjoying the entirety of the moment that I was experiencing. Planning and staying proactive is great, however the life we want to manifest for ourselves is hidden within the little things we do every single day. Having a conversation with a friend is just as important as your work obligations. Do you know why? Because it brings us joy, love and warmth which is so important for our overall well being. In order to maintain or invite loving relationships into your life, you have to be present and appreciate the love that you are currently surrounded by. This means eliminating distractions and focusing on the presence of the moment you are sharing with them. Showing that you are present with others sends off a message that you are appreciative of their time and you cherish the relationship. The same applies to everything else in your life, whether that’s focusing on self care or walking to work in the morning. 

Take a moment right now to be aware of the time, what you are doing with your body and mind in this present moment. When we turn into the present moment, we realise how much power we have over our choices and interaction. We begin to see the joy that exists and the blessings in our lives. It allows us to become clear about the energy we put towards things that does not serve us. 

Mini challenges for us to try together:

  • Count to 10 before you start a new task; This has been proven to helps you to become mindful and present. It’s an excellent way to de-clutter your mind and help improve your attention span. 
  • Focus your whole energy into one thing; watch a programme without checking your phone, read a book in a quiet space with no distractions.

 

Question to you: 

How are you?

What are you focusing on this month?

 

Have a blessed month.

Love, Ash xx 

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved