Teens to 20’s

Since I’m approaching the end of my teen years, I thought it’d be a good time to reflect on how my body’s handling the situation. Often people, especially women, get stressed or anxious about ageing and I’m finding that’s not the case for me. Maybe because I’ve a, somewhat, positive perspective on the process and accept it in general. Also it could be the fact that I’ve seen really stunning, elegant older women and I find it aspirational.

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Iris Apfel, for instance. My ultimate goal.

What I’ve noticed mostly is the fact that I’ve put on weight for the first time in my life. Noticeably in the past 3 months. I’ve always been super thin thanks to a high metabolism. Eating large amounts of carbs and doing no exercise wasn’t any kind of worry for me. I see a slight pooch instead of a flat stomach and a rounder face, very small changes but huge surprises for me. Another surprise about this is that I’m not as terrified of this as I thought I would be, it’s just smaller portions with better food & exercise. Doable, manageable stuff.

body

On the subject of food, I’m starting to lose my sweet tooth. Instead of 4 teaspoons of sugar in my tea – I’ll have none. Or preferably just a green tea. For the first time there’s a limit on how many sweets I can eat before a feel sick. That limit being max 4. Personally, I find this insanity. Or what’s even crazier I’d go for dinner over dessert. I know right, it’s fucking wild.

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Roasted Veggie Pita with Avocado Dip

Something that I never thought would happen, though, is my hair has gotten thicker. I’m not good at taking vitamins or anything, so I’ve just put it down to age. Naturally I have very fine hair so this is like a miracle out of nowhere for me. Hairdressers keep telling me while my hair is very fine, I have a lot of hair which makes up for it. It could be down to the fact I’ve weened myself off of dry shampoo in the past couple of years so maybe I’ve let my scalp breathe again and new follicles emerged or some kind of wizardry.

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There’s been a huge change in my skin, which is bizarre. I’ve always been a sweaty, shiny mess of excess sebum until I struck 18 where I noticed my skin becoming quite dry and thirsty. I even got eczema. Took me a while to cop that I shouldn’t go for the anti-oil products anymore, and start taking up a dry skin routine. My skin then transitioned to sensitive, and currently resides as combination. Now I’m trying to target cleaning and shrinking pores, and managing flakiness which sporadically attacks.

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This model obviously has the skin of a newborn egg

Finally, with the transition from ‘teen’ to young adult – I’m finding a lot more clarity and that I’m becoming more self-aware rather than self-conscious and self-obsessed. I think being a teenager is a huge shit storm. They’re years that I won’t miss. I’m just glad I got something out of them, and that I feel no more ties to the teenage me. In fact, I feel more connected to the 4 year old me than the 14 year old me as I approach 20. Just fatter and with better hair.

 

 

16 Small Realistic Steps to Happiness

 

1. Push yourself to get up that bit earlier. As soon as you’re out of bed splash some water on your face and get dressed in whatever you’ve laid out for yourself the night before. You’ll feel that bit more productive and motivated. Drink some cranberry green tea while your make your breakfast.

 

mornign ready

 

2. Let yourself fall asleep earlier. – Start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. You’ll wake up in the morning feeling re-energised and comfortable. It helps if you make your bed irresistibly cosy. Sipping some chamomile and honey tea before you go to bed also helps.

 

Cosiest bed ever

 

3. Cut down & get rid of processed food from your diet. Start with no candies, crisps, biscuits, then erase white pasta, white rice, cereal, then white bread. Try use the guideline if a child couldn’t identify what’s in it – don’t eat it. Or a 10 ingredient max to help the transition.

 

unprocessed meal

 

4. Get into the habit of preparing yourself a beautiful breakfast. Ready brek, almond milk and honey. Some green juice. Herbal tea. Multigrain toast, mashed avocado with too much lemon on it. Or these vegan blueberry oat pancakes look very promising (note to self : have to attempt these). Sit and eat and enjoy nothing else.

 

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5. Stretch. Start by reaching to the sky as high as you can, then try touch your toes – don’t push yourself to where it hurts. Always be gentle with yourself. Roll your head slowly. Stretch your fingers. Stretch everything. Look up and attempt some beginner yoga tutorials (and don’t be afraid to modify the shit out of them – it takes practice to touch your forehead to your knee).

 

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6. Buy a 1L water bottle. Start off pushing yourself to drink all throughout the day, then try drinking it twice when you feel your body’s used to it (it does wonders for the skin even over just a few days).

 

water flavoured naturally

apple, vanilla, cinnamon / blueberry, lime, mint / strawberry, cucumber, thyme / orange, rosemary

7. Buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful inky black pen. Write down everything you do and think of. Include dinner dates, appointments, work deadlines, what you’re feeling, your to do list. No detail is too small.

 

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8. Strip your bed of sheets and empty your underwear laundry into the washing machine near the start of the morning. Put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. Make your bed so nice and cosy for your future tired self.

 

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I can’t even handle the cosiness levels here

9. Organise your room. Fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, take a goddamn selfie, clean your laptop/ipad, vacuum the floor, escort any spiders outside with a glass and bit of paper, light your favourite scented candle or some incense.

 

   

 

10. Have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. Wash your hair, exfoliate your body, brush your teeth, lather your whole body in moisturiser (or baby oil), apply a coconut oil hair mask to the mid-lengths and ends.
  
 

11. Push yourself to go for a walk, with the dog, with a friend. Go to the beach or the woods. Sit for a moment and take in nature.

 

  

12. Arrange a friend date. Go out for dinner, do something you’s both love, stay in make cookies and talk about your life goals with face masks. Who cares about cliches it’s FUN.
  
 

13. Clear your life of toxic people; the manipulators, the selfish, the mean. Be around the people you aspire to be, who make you feel good about yourself and who help you along through life.

 

  

14. Think about what interests you. The Universe? Crime? Rock and roll in the 70’s? Political metaphors? Find a book about it and read it. There is a book about literally everything.

 

  

15. Become the person you want to fall in love with. Let cars merge in your lane when driving. Stick your tongue out at babies. Compliment people on what you like about them occasionally. Challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day, a week, a month. Walk with a straight posture. Look people in the eye and give them your full attention. Let people be themselves comfortably around you. Speak about your passions, not your dislikes. Encourage others the be themselves by example.

 

  

16. Lie in the sunshine. Daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a concept. Open yourself up to positivity. Take small steps toward your goal.

Minimal Me

Just a year ago I got my first job and I was so excited to spend my money on, essentially, keeping up with the Jones’. Every style blog and beauty article was telling me about ‘must buys’ and ‘essentials’ and how to build a makeup collection (why do women need to build a makeup collection unless they’re makeup artists?!).

 

jeanne damas vanity clear

 

Now I’m stuck here a year later with piles of unworn clothes and duplicates of products I never even used. I didn’t know it at the time but all of this physical clutter was clogging up my mind and giving me straight up anxiety. All this accumulation of stuff was stressing me out and I didn’t really know how to manage it.

 

yoga minimal

 

One day I read an article about minimalism; how to ‘have less, do more. There were articles about unfucking your closet by creating a 37 piece capsule wardrobe, decluttering your beauty products and transitioning to more natural cosmetics, even making it easier to clean your room/house because you’ve less stuff for the sake of nostalgia and clutter.

 

jeanne vanity clutter

 

I cleared out all the clothes that were not practical for my lifestyle (the weather here in Ireland is wet and cold), that weren’t my style, that I couldn’t imagine wearing in a few years time, that were ill-fitting, as well as things that didn’t suit me or I wouldn’t miss. Most of the clothes I haven’t worn are put up on Depop, and I’m going to set up an eBay account too. Some clothes I’ve donated to charity. Some I’ve given to friends and family.

 

minimal wardrobe

 

As for beauty I gave products I didn’t use away to friends and family; hair texturisers, foundation, moisturiser, fake tan, etc- I threw out anything gone stale or unhygenic; eyeliners, mascaras, old nail varnishes, etc. What makeup I was left with could fit into a makeup bag easily. Packing takes a lot less time now and is much less stressful. As well as having less, I’ve been evaluating the ingredients in the products I was using. I now stick to a less than 10 ingredient guideline, or at least know what ingredients I am soaking into my skin.

 

flowas

 

I got rid of anything in my room that didn’t serve a purpose. Like I had old lamps with no bulb, random tables that just accumulated clutter, tons of old DVDs and books I read when I was 14. Just loads of ‘stuff’! I made sure everything had a place, which makes cleaning extremely quick and easy. I had to buy extra coat hangers, under bed storage boxes and a set of wicker baskets – but not much else.

 

cosy minimalist

 

Since then I’ve just been feeling so light and motivated. I’ve started doing things again like exercising, writing, drawing, reading – simply because my mind felt clear. I couldn’t believe how much of an impact my environment had on my brain. I’m going to do more detailed guidelines on how I decluttered my life in future – wardrobe, beauty and my room.

 

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