Stop the stress when moving address!

Stop the stress when moving address!

Have you ever moved… a big move from your mum’s or a little cross-country move to take a new direction with your career? Are you making that huge leap to living abroad?

Right now, I am in the middle of a move. It’s a little move for me, but has been coming for many many months. As you might imagine, there is more than a little stress.

Change is stressful.

Change, regardless of why you are doing it, is stressful. There is always a feeling of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. You feel as though your entire life is being turned upside down. There are a thousand little details that have to be planned, organized, and executed. There is a huge overwhelming feeling. This sense of fear and being overwhelmed comes from our natural desire for comfort and stability. Any time the things around us change and move us out of our comfort zone, it messes with our heads and our emotions.

Moving is a double-dose of stress; you are in the middle of stress and you are leaving your comfort zone behind. Yikes! Doesn’t it make you long for the days that you had a blanket and could take your comfort zone with you? Maybe we can’t do that, but we can make it through with some sense of sanity.

While there is no way to remove all the stress, you can make things so much better by getting a plan together and staying organized. Set up your iPad/iPhone or a simple daily planner to keep you on track. Take the time you need to plan, whether this is 30 minutes or 2 hours. You will benefit tenfold by eliminating all the worry.   You can easily set aside half of your stress by not worrying about what you have forgotten.

Here are some quick tips that will help you stay organized.

Step 1: Write everything down. Get in the habit of writing down all of your thoughts, tasks, and plans. This will help you get out of your head and into action. Many times, we are so worried about getting stuff done that we actually can’t move.

Step 2: Declutter, declutter, declutter.  You know those boxes that are still in the attic, unopened, from the last move? Just take them right out of your house now!  You can choose to drop them at your local charity shop or throw them out; either way, get rid of the stuff. You do not need to move clutter. Do you really even need all the stuff that you have? Have you thought about living with 100 items or less? Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but think about how much less stuff to move you would have.

Step 3: Keep a notebook: a central location for all of your lists, appointments, and phone numbers that you will need. There are often a lot of little details. Making sure they are all in one place will make a huge difference. Dare I say, break out the spreadsheet and use it to plan each step of your prep, move, and post-move to-do lists.

Step 4: Designate. Whenever you can assign tasks to other family helpers, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A lot of the time, the resource that you are the shortest on is time. Let the teenager next door entertain the kids, or have the kids go to a friend’s or grandma’s house. It is surprising how much you can get done without the distraction.

Step 5: Always take care of yourself. It is very easy to say you have no time for the gym or to eat correctly, but you need these things to keep your energy high and to relieve stress. Connect with a support person: your best friend, your minister, or a life coach.

Whether moving is something you want to do or need to do, it is going to be stressful. You are going to have some good days and some bad, so take each day one at a time. Really focus on staying organized, taking things in bite size pieces, and taking care of yourself. With a little planning and organization, you will make it through with your sanity.

Good luck with your move!

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Signs Your Friends Are Toxic To You…

Signs Your Friends Are Toxic To You…

1. They don’t support you

We all make terrible decisions sometimes, but that doesn’t mean your friends should stop supporting you through them – especially if you know it was wrong. Whether that means cheating on a partner, making a bad move at work or slagging off one of your mutual friends, a real friend will support you and help you through it, not turn their back on you.

2. They don’t make an effort with your new partner

Difference in personalities happen and it’s not uncommon for your friends not to get on with your S/O for whatever reason – but if they actually valued your friendship, they should at least try.

3. They tease you about your insecurities

We all have insecurities (or if you don’t? YOU GO GIRL) and tend to take the piss out of them as a defence mechanism, but that does NOT give your friends the right to tease you about things you’re not comfortable with. A joke is a joke, playing on your sensitive side is not.

4. Your parents don’t like them

Real talk: if you mum doesn’t like them, you probably shouldn’t either. What was it that Justin Bieber sang? Because he might not be a boy of much sense (most of the time, anyway), but he’s got it spot on there.

5. They’re not good at admitting when they’re wrong

We can all be stubborn and sometimes struggle to admit we’re wrong, but that doesn’t mean you should allow someone to put you down all the time – especially if they are obviously and morally in the wrong. Always be suspicious of someone who can’t apologise for their mistakes.

6. They make your other friends feel inadequate 

If you’ve got friends in one group that make your friends in another group (whether school, uni, work etc etc) feel bad because they ‘don’t know you as well’ or ‘don’t see you as much’, this isn’t OK. They’re all your friends, so the chances are they’d get on well if they gave your other mates a chance.

7. They don’t respect your house

Mates that treat your house like their own is fine, providing they contribute to the endless pieces of toast they eat and actually tidy up the mess they inevitably create. If not? Get rid, yo.

8. They’re rude about things you like

It’s normal to have different tastes from your friends and to like different things, but that doesn’t mean to say they can openly and actively slag off the things you care about – especially considering they should be the ones with your best interests at heart.

9. They’re aggressively competitive

And in turn make you feel weirdly embarrassed about sharing your achievements, namely because they always try to get one up on you and make you feel like you achieved little in comparison to them. This is probably not the case.

10. They tell people things about you that they shouldn’t

If you tell them something in confidence or share your secrets with them, only for them to tell their boyfriend because “they tell each other everything”, that is not OK. A friendship has just as intricate

11. They make plans without you

They see other mutual friends behind your back and try to keep it a secret – only to accidentally let it slip and pretend to feel guilty about not inviting you. It’s a no from us.

12. They bring drama into your life

They’re the one that always cause beef at a birthday party, get too drunk on the night out or accidentally-on-purpose end up matching with someone’s boyfriend on Tinder. If there’s something causing agg in your friendship group, you can rest assured they’re at the middle of it all.

13. They cancel plans with you last minute

With no real rhyme or reason, they flake out on you at the last minute to make you feel inadequate or like they’re more important than you. Sometimes this might be great but most of the time? It’s not.

14. They don’t make you happy anymore

Friends should be for fun times, having a laugh and emotionally support – so if they’re not offering any of those things – even if they once did – then it’s probably time to get rid and make some new friends. A happy past doesn’t necessarily equal a great future, so don’t be afraid to wave goodbye if the negatives start to outweigh the positives.

Things All Girls Will Understand If They’ve Dated A Solicitor

Things All Girls Will Understand If They’ve Dated A Solicitor

If you’ve dated/slept with/husband-ed (is that a verb yet?) a lawyer/solicitor/barrister, the chances are you’ll relate to these 17 points on an emotional level.

1. He’s surprisingly not great at watching legal dramas with. Because he’ll pick holes in absolutely everything and be all like “that’s not how it actually happens”. DON’T RAIN ON MY SUITS PARADE, OK?

2. He will think he’s right about everything. Whether that involves Marge Simpson’s middle name or who last did the washing up, he’s very good at believing he’s right.

3. He’ll have very strong beliefs – and of course, thinks they’re all absolutely spot on and that there is no alternative. “Yes brie is the best cheese and I’ll argue until the early hours about why I’m right.” (ok ok so not quite but you get the idea.)

4. He’ll work looong hours and whatever’s going on in the office won’t be far from his brain. But in some ways this is good because it means you really appreciate the time you have together.

5. A lot of the time, you probably won’t really know what he’s talking about because there’s loads of detail to everything and it’s all very fact specific. Or maybe that’s just me. Do other people understand these things? DO THEY?

6. He’s incredibly confident and/or arrogant. You’ll have moments when you think ‘I still can’t tell if my boyfriend’s insanely cocky or just has mega confidence and we’ve been together for three years.’

7. He’s argumentative. He argues for a living for Christ’s sake, so anything that involves a bit of conflict or disagreement at the dinner table? He’s down for it.

8. He appreciates a good suit. Well, doesn’t everyone?

9. They get invited to lots of fancy events which may or may not involve having a plus one. Dinners, drinks, mixing with potential clients – you probably know the drill.

10. They’re not great at losing at anything, so your cute date over the Scrabble board or playing tennis is probably off the cards unless you fancy nursing his ego afterwards.

11. He’s got a very good memory. All that law training, university lectures and memorising text books off by heart wasn’t for nothing – as now not only is he a trained lawyer now, but he’s also got a fab memory. Agh.

12. He’s quite good at turning on the charm at any given moment, because he’s used to having to do it with work colleagues or potential clients. He’s a HUGE hit with your family.

Things That Can Be More Harmful To Your Relationship Than Cheating

Things That Can Be More Harmful To Your Relationship Than Cheating

Cheating is definitely one quick, big way to absolutely annihilate a relationship, but there are plenty of other things that are much more potent when it comes to ruining even the strongest of bonds. Some of the worst things that lead to a breakup (that aren’t cheating) start out small and indiscernible, and that’s what makes them so dangerous.

1. Lying to and hiding things from your partner. Even if you’re doing it out of love to protect their feelings, keeping little things from someone you’re dating can grow into a big problem and cause trust issues that wreck a relationship. You should be able to tell your partner pretty much anything. If you’re hiding something because it would hurt them, then you probably shouldn’t do that thing in the first place.

2. Withholding any kind of affection. Whether affection means being really touchy-feely, asking each other intense questions about meaningful things, or helping each other through obstacles, being absent and unaffectionate can cause the kind of doubts in a relationship that end up being irreparable.

3. Harbouring quiet resentment. By the time resentment is expressed, the damage is already done to the relationship. It starts out quietly but becomes something big over time, which is what makes it so damaging.

4. Lack of communication. This doesn’t mean not texting all day every day, but failing to talk to each other about things that bother you when they come up, or conveniently leaving out details that you think might cause problems. All that shit just gets bottled up or revealed eventually, and by the time that happens, it’s usually unmanageable. 

5. Being stubborn about things or getting entrenched in certain positions. This is just another way of saying “refusing to compromise.” If you like somebody, you should be willing to compromise. Partners who can only handle things if they go a certain way (their way) are basically just in relationships with themselves. 

6. Bickering about mundane, daily issues and chores. Sure, the argument you always have about whose turn it is to empty the bins seems like no big deal now, but that’s the sort of thing that just becomes a great issue over time, and even worse, becomes ammo for bigger, more serious arguments down the road. 

7. Condescension. Talking down to a partner is just another way of making yourself bigger or more powerful than them, and a power imbalance is the last thing you want in a lasting, healthy relationship. Condescension is worse than cheating because it makes your self esteem shit, so even after the relationship ends, you still feel the damage. 

8. Staying in a relationship out of convenience. Whether it’s because you don’t want to disappoint your families with a breakup, or because you have concert tickets in six months or whatever, staying together just because you feel you should only leads to bitter resentment and an inordinate amount of fighting and heartbreak, when there was a chance you might’ve been able to remain friendly. 

9. Manipulation. This is tricky because it’s often so subtle, and you don’t realize you’re being manipulated by your partner (or doing the manipulating) until it’s way too late. The relationships that have left me ‘broken’ (both of which I left, by the way, so this isn’t a case of heartbreak…) have been through gradual loss of self esteem during the relationship through a process of manipulation by the other partner.

10. Jealousy. Even without actual cheating, just the suspicion that it’s always happening can be much, much worse.

11. Presenting a false version of yourself at the beginning. This can be as simple and small as pretending to like horror movies when you actually hate them, or as big as saying you’re not looking for anything serious when, in fact, you are. It’s best to be upfront from the get to, because those little things can become huge reasons to breakup over time. 

12. Staying together because you’ve become codependent. You’re together because you’re codependent and neither of you wants to be single. Or in other words, you don’t have chemistry anymore, and the only reason you’re together is so you don’t have to be alone. 

10 signs he doesn’t know how to go down on you

10 signs he doesn’t know how to go down on you

Just to clarify, I’m speaking about a previous relationship, not a current one!!

1. He switches up his tactics just when you’re getting into it. Juuuust as you feel like you’re on the edge, he starts moving his tongue side-to-side instead of in circles. You practically scream at him to not stop, but it’s too late and you’ve lost that loving feeling. Meanwhile he’s looking at you like, “What did I do?”

2. He tells you he “doesn’t do that.” This is a stupid reason unless he has some kind of oral sex PTSD.

3. He keeps popping his head up to ask, “Do you like that?” This is not the time to be taking a survey.

4. He asks, “Is this the vagina?” when he gets to your belly button. All right, maybe he isn’t that bad, but for some reason, when he’s going down on you, you can’t stop thinking about the time you took a family trip to Cornwall, and your mum was driving and got lost and refused to ask for directions. As in, he has no idea where his is and you just want him to get to the Clitoris Monument.

5. He keeps trying to move things along to the sex part. Understandably, this is lots of people’s favourite part. But he seems to really rush through things, like a kid downing carrots to get to dessert.

6. He’s not very enthusiastic. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Enthusiasm is the mother of effort,” and he probably said it with a mouthful of vagina. If he’s not into it, it could be because he’s too focused on splitting his time between figuring how things work down there and panicking.

7. He’s poking you in the vagina with his fingers. Poking never feels good, regardless of the part of the body you’re doing it to.

8. He can’t get comfortable. He’s flopping around on the mattress like a fish because he can’t lie down right and it’s really taking you out of the moment because fish are not sexy.

9. He’s pretty much asked, “What do you want me to do?”

10. He’s asked if you want to mutually masturbate. Hey, mutual masturbation can be sexy, but not when it’s offered up with a resigned sigh. He’s basically giving up and asking you to do it yourself.

What To Look Out For In A Good Boyfriend

What To Look Out For In A Good Boyfriend

1. He asks about how your friend Becky is doing after her breakup. Him caring about your friends and asking about them later not only shows that he’s a caring person, but he’s invested in your life and the people in it.

2. After he met Becky for the first time, he was like, “Do you think that went well?” You don’t want to end up with a guy who’s like I don’t care if your friends hate me, they suck anyway. That’s just a logistical nightmare and is surely going to end in some severed ties with people you really care about.

3. When you bring up that your boss is being rude to you at work, he doesn’t sigh and roll his eyes because you’re “complaining again.” If he can’t sit through a five minute tirade about a lame work situation, he won’t be able to sit down with you when something seriously big goes wrong.

4. He’s polite to waiters and cashiers and doesn’t do that awful thing where you yell “BILL, PLEASE” across the restaurant. It might have been cool to date the guy who was sweet to you but an asshole to everyone else when you were 13 and bullies were kind of sexy, but that sort of relationship doesn’t hold up in adulthood. Don’t date a man-bully who could very well turnaround and bully you if you piss him off.

5. He doesn’t desert you at his friends’ parties.  It’s ok for him to encourage you to be friendly with his friends, but it’s not ok for him to have an exclusive conversation with Steve while you sit alone awkwardly on the couch.

6. He always offers to share the last slice of pizza with you and then doesn’t say anything when you “accidentally” eat way more than half of it. If the last slice is sacred enough for Drake to rap about it in a love song, then it must be a real sign of a potentially great romance.

7. He doesn’t manspread across your entire schedule and take over your whole world. It might be flattering if the guy you just met wants to spend all his time with you, but if he’s really invested in who you are as a person, he’ll encourage you to be your own person and hang out with him when you both have time.

8. He’s genuinely interested in (or at least good at faking it) your long, rambly stories about family vacations you took as a kid. Instead of getting frustrated and impatient when you talk for 10 minutes about that one weird trip you went on in 2007, he’s excited to hear about what happened after that fight you had with your cousin in the backseat of the car.

9. He doesn’t get upset when you say you need some alone time. You would understand if he needed some, and he doesn’t want to take over your life anyway.

10. He never says things like, “You’re being crazy,” or, “You’re being ridiculous.” Because he’s compassionate and empathetic, and realizes saying things like that make you feel little and stupid, and a good boyfriend would never do those things.

11. He makes you feel like a hot babe all the time. You don’t want to spend a significant amount of time with a guy who makes you feel insecure or question whether or not he’s attracted to you.

12. He has female friends who aren’t aren’t just a collection of women who’ve seen his penis before. If other girls (who aren’t exes or former flings) like him enough to be his friend, he’s probably a good guy that you’ll also enjoy spending time with.

13. He gets really excited when you hit it off with his best friend Tom, just like he knew you would. He wants his friends to like you.

14. You don’t find a million texts and missed calls on your phone from him after spending a night out with your girlfriends. This is a red flag of a potentially obsessive or manipulative guy. NOPE.

15. He doesn’t try to act hard and pretend he doesn’t have feelings when he’s around you. Mature adults shouldn’t be afraid to say things like, “I like you,” or, “I think you’re really cool.”

16. He texts after work to see how that meeting with your boss went. It would be annoying AF for him to be texting you every 10 minutes when he knows you’re busy all day, but checking in later shows he cares the right amount.

17. He doesn’t rush you out the door when you’re trying to make sure your lip liner is perfectly applied and not smudged. He might do a little bit of gentle ribbing about how slow you are, but he shouldn’t shame you for taking your time and trying to look good. That’s rude.

18. When he screws up, he’s quick to apologize instead of letting you stew in your anger for a week and a half. Stubbornness is actually an incredibly unattractive quality, and it only makes little fights turn into enormous ones. And a good boyfriend typically tries to avoid enormous fights.

19. And when you screw up, he doesn’t hold a grudge forever like a sullen teen. If he isn’t perfect, he can’t expect you to be perfect, either. He forgives.

20. He has interests and hobbies aside from dating you. You want to date a person, not a pre-packaged boyfriend. That gets so boring so fast.

21. When you’re hanging out, he talks about things he wants to do with you in the future, even if it’s just the near future.  

22. He doesn’t immediately start acting like your boyfriend after hanging out one time in a friend’s back yard. Going from 0-100 real quick is a good way to end up crashing and burning before the relationship ever gets started. This guy gets to know you. You know, like an adult person.

23. He sends a “hey I had a lot of fun” text after hanging out with you. He isn’t trying to follow any bullshit dating rules about waiting three days before texting or calling. He just likes you is all.

24. He’s clear about his intentions early on, instead of leaving you in is he a hookup or a boyfriend? limbo for forever. If he doesn’t know what he wants, and doesn’t figure it out in a reasonable amount of time, he probably never will.

25. He gets excited about showing you things he likes. Not because he wants you to be his weird female twin, but because this is the best part of having a good girlfriend.

How To Be A Better Friend

How To Be A Better Friend

It can be easy in today’s technology world to allow our friendships to fall by the wayside of texting and tweeting and emailing instead of investing ourselves and our energy into actually spending quality time with people. And in an age where the phrase “I’m crazy busy” has become synonymous with “here’s my excuse why I’ve been a crappy friend to you”…I say it’s time to stop letting our friendships suffer in favor of work or Netflix or even romance. When all else fails…when the guy walks away or the dream job goes up in smoke or the seven-season series we’re binging on Netflix comes to an end (and what is life when that happens? I have to always spend a day gathering myself when a binge-watch is over)…our friends are the ones who will still be there. Rooting for us, supporting us, reminding us of who we really are when the rest of the world has forgotten. Having just come through a bit of a friendship storm with one of my dearest, I feel compelled to share what I learned through the experience. So here are a few ways you can (pretty easily) be a better friend.

  1. COMMUNICATION. Communication. Communication. If your friend does something to hurt your feelings, tell them. Be honest with them. And then give them a chance to change. So many times we get upset that someone isn’t meeting our needs when we haven’t bothered to communicate them. You have to give someone the CHANCE to change before you decide that they’re not capable of change. Communicate your grievance to your friend in an upfront and respectful way, let them know that what they did or didn’t do hurt you, and then give them the opportunity to make things right. 99% of the time, if it’s a true friend, they will be open to whatever you have to say and eager to modify their behavior the next time around so they don’t cause you unnecessary pain.
  2. Lower your expectations. Your friends don’t have to be Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha to still be really amazing friends. And also don’t expect something from a friend that you wouldn’t be willing to do for them. You have to first BE a friend to HAVE a friend. I have found that I tend to walk around expecting people and myself and LIFE to be a certain way so often, I never really allow myself to just enjoy what they are, what I am, and what it is. A wise man once said: “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” Learn to drop the preconceived notion of who you think your friends should be and just embrace who they are, in all their imperfect, flawed, broken glory. No friend is ever going to be perfect. And that’s good news. Because guess what? You aren’t, either. Don’t expect a standard from others that you aren’t even meeting yourself.
  3. Understand that it’s not always about you. Maybe your friend hasn’t called you in a while because she’s going through something so unimaginable, she can’t put it into words. Maybe it has nothing whatsoever to do with you. Maybe instead of sending her angry texts asking her why she doesn’t seem to want to be your friend anymore, you should send her concerned texts asking her if everything is okay. Or stop with the texts all together and pick up the phone and call. The truth is, sometimes people just simply aren’t capable of being there for you at the very moment you need them, in the very way you need them to be. Life happens and things come up and sometimes we just need to extend a little grace. Give people the benefit of the doubt. And quit making everything all about us. A self-focused life is a very lonely life. When we can only see what is hurting or offending or bothering US…we miss out on opportunities to be there for other people. And there’s nothing that makes life happier and friendships stronger than stepping outside ourselves and putting ourselves in another person’s shoes.

What would you add to this list? Have you had an experience in which one of the suggestion helped strengthen or even save a friendship? Sound off in the comments below!