Understanding White Privilege

‘Inherent advantages possessed by a White person on the basis of their race in a society charaterised by racial inequality and injustic’

White privilege is an institutional set of benefits granted to those of us who, by race, resemble the people who dominate the powerful positions in our society. This allows for greater access to power and resources for White people. This privilege is not a choice or something that can be given back and it is not earnt or even deserved. It is a product of both historic and enduring racism, biases and practices designed to oppress people of colour and White people benefit from this regardless of their stance on racism. The extent of this privilege varies depending on gender, sexual orientation, age, pyhsical ability and so on. It doesn’t mean that White people can’t have a hard life, it just means that the colour of their skin isn’t something that is making it harder.

The freedom to not notice our lack of knowledge about people of colour and their history is a privilege only to White people. I often see people proclaiming on social media that equality suggests that their should be a White history month to go alongside Black history month. The problem with this is that every month is White history month. All throughout school we learn the history of White people as the norm. We are taught through a white-tinted lense. We all know so little about Black history and so we now need to take it upon ourselves to learn and educate others about what we find. The movement is Black Lives Matter, not White Lives Matter, because everyone is already aware that White lives matter, it doesn’t take a huge army of protesters, campaigning or changes to law to make this known. When the Manchester bombing happened, we all stood with Manchester, we didn’t proclaim that all cities matter. When someone’s dad dies, although it’s true that all parents die at some point, this would never be the response given.

Another privilege is that the actions or words of White people are held accountable to the individuals who did/spoke them. If we are rude or angry, this is attributed to you as an individual, not to our race as a whole. Whereas for people of colour, it is often stereotyped to an entire race – ‘Latinos/as are so fiery’ or ‘Black men are so scary’. You don’t get these judgements when you are White and no one makes up their mind about you before you’ve even met or exchanged words.

There is a huge array of privileges we recieve for being White. These can be as simple as always managing to find a plaster/band aid that matches our skin colour or hair product that works for our hair. All the way to inconsistencies between races in the criminal justice system.

There is a huge array of statistics that prove the existence of White priviege;

White people in the US are 2-10x more likely to get a housing loan than people of colour. Black women in the UK are 5x more likely to die from childbirth (2014-16). Between 2018-19, black people were more that 9x more likely to be stopped and searched. They were 3x more likely to be arrested. They were 5x more likely to have force used against them. 25% of the prison population in the UK consists of BAME despite them only representing 14% of the total population. This is the result of racism being so heavily embedded in society for decades, where black people are portrayed as lazy, good for nothing and as criminals.

These crime statistics demonstrate how problematic the current system has become. I watched the documetary ’13th’ on Netflix and learnt a lot about the history of black people and the racial injustice they have faced. I was gobsmacked throughout and had no idea about the history I was watching, the history that I was never taught. The 13th amendment meant that everyone was free and this put an end to slavery. But, the loophole was that a convicted criminal was no longer considered a free person. The documentary shows how this amendment was abused to essentially have black people arrested for very insignificant crimes, be given a heavy sentence and be used as slaves…again. The documentary was devastating but so important and I would encourage everyone to watch it, if you haven’t already.

White people benefit from White privilege whether we like it or not. The important thing is what we do with this privilege. We must teach our White peers about the barriers to success that people of colour face. We must promise to listen and amplify the voices of people of colour. We must be more than ‘not racist’ and be actively ‘anti-racist’. We must confront racial injustices even when it makes us, or people around us, uncomfortable. It is inevitable that we will all make mistakes, but it is important to hold ourselves accountable, learn from the mistakes and do better. Do research, diversify accounts you follow, speak up, address your own biases, buy diverse children and adult books, support Black businesses, ask your company about hiring policies and pay structures and be anti-racist. It is not enough to be just a non-racist anymore.

Visit my last blog post (below) ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ to find things to read, watch and people to follow to learn more about White privilege, police brutality and racial injustice and also to keep up with current events and ways to help.



The following covers books, TV and accounts that you can use to better undertand and learn about white supremecy, racial injustice, police brutality and more. These are all such important topics to be clued up on and to act against. I have been both devastated and inspired by the content that is filling up social media at the moment and I believe that everyone is ready to push for change – join the movement. #BLACKLIVESMATTER.

Accounts to learn from

@ibramxkendi @rachel.cargle @colorofchange @ckyourprivilege @theconsciouskid @mspackyetti @blklivesmatter @tamikadmallory @privtoprog @munroebergdorf @ayishat_akanbi @renieddolodge @roxanegay74

Books to read

How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi – Me & White Supremecy, Layla F. Sand – Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde – Hood Feminism, Mikki Kendall – White Fragility, Robin Diangelo – Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Angela Davis – Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine – Black Feminist Thought, Patricia Hill Collins – Heavy, Kiese Laymon

Movies/Shows to watch

13th, When They See Us, Selma, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, I Am Not Your Negro, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, If Beale Street Could Talk.

Read, watch, listen, follow and support to force the change. The power that people have when they come together is unbelievable. Everyone should be encouraged to educate themselves and do the research because we don’t learn about this in school, we have to take it into our own hands and help the people around us to do the same. Don’t ignore something because it makes you uncomfortable. Be a part of the solution.


Thoughts on ‘Together’ – Vivek H. Murphy

‘Together’ by Vivek H. Murphy is one of the best, most interesting books I have read. It is about ‘loneliness, health and what happens when we find connection’. Vivek is a former Surgeon General for the United States and I heard about his new book when he was featured on the podcast ‘I Weigh with Jameela Jamil’ (which I also love and would reccommend). I was so intrigued listening to Vivek talk about the book that I had to buy it!

Loneliness is a huge epidemic all over the world and most are none the wiser. A lot of people, it seems, struggle to identify their own loneliness as it can become confused with anxiety and depression which often go hand in hand. It is also hard to identify it in someone we know because there is sometimes a shame that comes with admitting you’re lonely to others, even admitting to yourself.

This book includes a magnitude of stories about people who have struggled themselves and also those who overcame their own loneliness and founded fantastic movements to help themselves and the people around them to connect with each other. This is something that is so important for humans and is a physical need as much as a mental need that dates back to caveman times. Unfortunately, not everyone does overcome these struggles and this really brings home how much of an issue loneliness is and the importance of working hard to combat it.

One of my favourite stories was about a woman in Australia who kick-started the Men in Sheds movement that has spread worldwide. Maxine Chaseling’s father underwent heart bypass surgery which was successful but meant he had to retire early. His family knew that he was unhappy and depressed following retirement, likely feeling a lack of purpose and connection to peers, and so Maxine decided to intervene. She signed him up to help the local Meals on Wheels who were in need of drivers and also the ‘neighbourhood watch’ programme ran by the police. It gave him back his sense of identity and responsibilty as well as giving him the chance to connect with others.

Maxine was working at a community centre that offered various classes and workshops for the locals. She found that most, if not all, participants were women. It turned out that many of the husbands/partners were sat in their cars, alone, reading the newspaper, instead of joining in. Maxine attempted to go out and invite the men in but the offer was often, if not always, declined. With a desire to create a space where men could visit without ‘damaging their pride’, Maxine worked with a local carpenter to set up a men’s shed next to the club where they could work on carpentry. It was a huge success. The author of ‘The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men’, Barry Golding, described it ‘Women talk face to face while men talk shoulder to shoulder’. Men’s mental health is an increasingly talked about subject as we attempt to lift the stigma attached to men admitting to simply having feelings or struggling with mental problems and/or loneliness, despite it being so common. The men’s shed movement allows men who have always been told to ‘man up’ to connect with others and relate and share, without feeling embarrassed to ask for help or reach out for someone to talk to. It is such a wonderful movement and I loved reading about it in full.

This is just one brief example of the heartwarming stories to read about. There is a great range of people that we meet from a lonely college student who creates a club for strangers to come together and connect in a shared space to soldiers returning from war and overcoming the struggles of PTSD and loneliness as they transition from being surrounded by such strong teams that always have each others back to ‘normal’ life.

I have learnt an incredible amount from this book and it has changed the way I see loneliness and the importance of connecting with those around. So, I would absolutely recommend anyone to read this book and also to try smiling at a stranger.


The Quiz I wrote…

As requested, I have shared the quiz that I did with my family so you can use it for your own quiz night!

Round 1 – Sport

  1. In which country were the first Olympic games held? A) Greece
  2. How many times has Michael Schumacher been a Formula 1 champion? A) 7
  3. What is the national sport in Japan? A) Sumo Wrestling
  4. What four tournaments does a tennis player need to win in the same calender year to win the ‘Grand Slam’? A) Australian Open, French Open, US Open & Wimbledon
  5. What year did England win the FIFA World Cup? A) 1966
  6. Who has won more Ashes tests in cricket? A) Australia
  7. What is the lowest weight category in boxing? A) Light Flyweight
  8. Can you name 5 track & field events inclueded in a decathlon? A) 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, hurdles, discuc, pole vault, javelin & 1500m
  9. Who has won the annual boat race more times, Oxford or Cambridge? A) Cambridge
  10. The Ryder cup is a tournament in which sport? A) Golf

Round 2 – Rom Com’s

  1. Who played the lead female role in Pretty Woman? A) Julia Roberts
  2. What year was When Harry Met Sally released? A) 1989
  3. Julianne Moore & Steve Carell worked together in the movie Freehold, but what rom com did they both star in? A) Crazy Stupid Love
  4. In Friends With Benefits, Dylan, played by Justin Timberlake, worked for which well-known company? A) GQ
  5. In Legally Blonde, what is the name of Elle Woods’ dog? A) Bruiser Woods
  6. What play by Shakespeare was 10 Things I Hate About You based on? A) The Taming of the Shrew
  7. What is the highest grossing rom com to date – Crazy Rich Asians, The Proposal or My Big Fat Greek Wedding? A) My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  8. Who plays the lead female role in both Never Been Kissed and 50 First Dates? A) Drew Barrymore
  9. Which 80s music star makes a cameo appearance at the end of The Wedding Singer – Billy Idol, Adam Ant or Meatloaf? A) Billy Idol
  10. What song was Hugh Grant dancing to in the iconic scene from Love Actually? A) The Pointer Sisters – Jump

Round 3 – Science

  1. Name the layer which protects our earth from harmful rays? A) Ozone
  2. How may bones are there in a human body? A) 206
  3. Which planet of our solar system has 53 moons? A) Saturn
  4. Which pigment determines the colour of human skin? A) Melanin
  5. Who invented the bulb? A) Thomas Edison
  6. Does sound travel faster in water or air? A) Water
  7. How many horns did Triceratops have? A) 3
  8. How many elements are there on the periodic table? A) 118
  9. What do you test for with litmus paper? A) pH level/ Acid & Alkali
  10. To the nearest foot, how long is your small intestine? A) 20 foot

Round 4 – Best of British

  1. Name 4 actors who have played James Bond. A) Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Piecre Brosnon, Daniel Craig
  2. What is the best selling brand of tea in the UK? A) Twinings
  3. What year was national treasure Sir David Attenborough born? A) 1926
  4. How many years have Ant & Dec won Best Presenters at the National Television Awards? A) 19
  5. When did England last win Eurovision? A) 1997
  6. What year did the pound note cease to be legal tender? A) 1988
  7. What are the 3 red properties on a classic monopoly board? A) Strand, Fleet Street & Trafalger Square
  8. What flavour of Walkers crisps comes in a purple bag? A) Worcester Sauce
  9. Which actor played Mr Bean and Johnny English? A) Rowan Atkinson
  10. What year did Will and Kate get married? A) 2011

Round 5 – Famous Duos

  1. Which of the chuckle brothers died in 2018? A) Barry
  2. Which pair were created by Aardman Animations? A) Wallace & Gromit
  3. Which puppet pair were a seaside favourite? A) Punch & Judy
  4. Name the cat & mouse duo with a love/hate relationship? A) Tom & Jerry
  5. What are the names of the Bross twins? A) Matt & Luke Goss
  6. How many different shows have Phil & Holly presented together? A) 3 (Mr & Mrs, Dancing on Ice & This Morning)
  7. The two Ronnies share the same first name but what are their surnames? Corbett & Barker
  8. Who are the olympic gold winning British ice skating duo? A) Jane Torvill & Christopher Dean
  9. Which Gloucestershire couple hit the news when bodies were found under their patio? A) Fred & Rose West
  10. What song was featured in the iconic car scene in the film Wayne’s World? A) Bohemian Rhapsody

Round 6 – Animals

  1. Alektorophobia is the fear of what animals? A) Chickens
  2. Where would you find the heart of a shrimp? A) In its head
  3. What is the only animal that cannot jump? A) Elephants
  4. What country has a rabbit show jumping competition called Kaninhopping? A) Sweden
  5. What animal has prints so similiar to a human fingerprint that it could taint a crime scene? A) Koala Bears
  6. What do you call a group of fish? A) School
  7. What animals hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift apart? A) Otters
  8. What bird is the universal symbol of peace? A) Dove
  9. How many legs does a lobster have? A) 10
  10. What is the only venemous snake that can be found in the UK? A) An Adder

Round 7 – General Knowledge

  1. What year was concord retired? A) 2003
  2. What is the letter K is the phonetic alphabet? A) Kilo
  3. What is Kieth Lemon’s real name? A) Lee Francis
  4. What rollercoaster famously crashed in 2015? A) The Smiler @ Alton Towers
  5. In what Italian city is Romeo & Juliet based? A) Verona
  6. What alcohol is included in a mojito? A) White rum
  7. Which chess piece can be moved in an L shape? A) Knight
  8. Does the Statue of Liberty hold the torch in her left or right hand? A) Her right hand
  9. What colour is the letter E in the Google logo? A) Red
  10. Who was Henry V111’s last wife? A) Catharine Parr

Round 8 – Food & Drink Anagrams

These were sent out half an hour before the quiz started to warm everyone up!

  1. MOUTH AND JUGS (3,9) A) Jam Doughnuts
  2. USE ORAL GLASS (7,5) A) Sausage Rolls
  3. CAT TO A MOUSE (6,5) A) Tomato Sauce
  4. BAD BEE SANK (5,5)A) Baked Beans
  5. SCREW OUT CREASE (9,5) A) Worcester Sauces
  6. SET UP AND STEAL (6,7) A) Salted Peanuts
  7. LEAD ME ON (8) A) Lemonade
  8. TOOTS TO A SPARE (5,8) A) Roast Potatoes
  9. COUNT TO LOST BEACH (9,7) A) Chocolate Buttons
  10. CASH CEDED HERE (7,6) Cheddar Cheese

Feel free to use the whole quiz or just pinch out a round here and there. If you do use the quiz, please let me know how it goes – I’d love to hear about it!


A Guide to Hosting a Quiz Night!

A trend that’s sweeping the nation since the lockdown restrictions is taking part and hosting online quizzes with friends or family. If you have access to video call software then why not host your own quiz? It’s a fun way to socialise while still self isolating. I do a quiz with family every Saturday evening using the Houseparty app which is a free on the app store. This allows up to 8 people in a call so works perfectly.

My first tip is to plan out the number of rounds and questions per round. This gives you the structure of the quiz and you can start to fill in the gaps. I would recommend 8 rounds of 10 questions because this takes around an hour and a half for us and I think that’s a good length. Obviously you can change this depending on how long or short you’d like it to be.

When it comes to choosing categories, there are always your classic sport, TV, music etc. rounds which are great to include in a pub style quiz but I also think it’s fun to try and personalise some rounds and maybe insert one or two quiz categories specific to your interests. When it was my turn to do the quiz, I included a whole round on rom coms because it’s my favourite movie genre. Unfortunately, no one did especially well getting the answers but I know if I was asked these questions, I would’ve got 10/10!!

Once you have your categories, you need questions! To begin with, I try to come up with an interesting topic within a category and then do some research to find a question I can ask. For example, in my Best of British round, I was thinking teabags and so I looked up the highest selling brand of tea and there’s your question. (It’s Twinings, incase you’re wondering).

A big tip and something that helped me a lot when I was trying to fill any gaps was going through some board games that have question cards and pinching a few that fit in the categories. Other than this, the internet if flooded with quizzes on all types of subject and so these came in handy when I was trying to find questions in my lesser common categories.

Make sure that there is a range in the question difficulty. Of course you don’t want any questions to be super obvious and easy but it doesn’t make for a fun quiz if every question is difficult and the players struggle to get answers down. It is good to have a range of more commonly known topics and also some obscure that maybe only one or two people might know.

I personally wouldn’t recommend including questions that are aimed at certain people because although you want there to be questions for everyone, it can seem unfair on others if they don’t have the same advantages and that can be hard to keep track of. I think it’s better for all questions to just be completely open to anyone and cover a wide range of topics instead of just ones where you know someone will definitely have the answer.

My last tip is to have fun! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and just enjoy the time with friends or family. They will be grateful of your efforts, I’m sure. If you don’t want to do an entire quiz, you could always suggest that everyone does one or two rounds each and you take it in turns on the night.

If it is of interest, I can share the quiz that I have written for you to use with others! Let me know in the comments.

Good luck!


Let’s Get Inspired!

In this post I am going to share a few things that inspire me and hopefully could inspire you too. It is easy during these uncertain times to feel a bit defeated or down in the dumps and that’s ok, but if you were looking for something to raise your spirits, hopefully this will help.

Something that inspires me constantly is the I Weigh movement led by Jameela Jamil. I believe it started as an instagram account and encourages people to weigh themselves based on their characteristics, skills and accomplishments instead of just a pointless number on the scales. For example, ‘I Weigh being a great mum’ or ‘I Weigh being my own boss’. In my case I Weigh the values I live by, particularly thoughtfulness. These are the things that are important and should matter to you. It is an incredibly inclusive movement aiming to make everyone feel happy in the body they have regarless of identity, disability or size etc. They regularly share inspiring stories, positive thoughts and honest advice. Jameela has also recently started a podcast called I Weigh with Jameela Jamil. There have been four episodes so far and I have really enjoyed them. I especially loved the episode with Reese Witherspoon because it was such a refreshingly honest conversation about issues with mental health, body image and glass ceilings – problems that affect so many people. I feel empowered when I see a post, tweet or video coming from I Weigh and would definitely recommend checking out the page. I remember when I first found the page, it really blew my mind. I had never thought about the way that the media depict ‘skinny’ people as the ideal and that if you can’t achieve this, there is something wrong with you and you must strive for improvement. This utter nonsense can have such harmful effects on ‘larger’ or more susceptible women, possibly leading them to suffer from eating disorders. It is something that I have become so passionate about and am always happy to spread the word and encourage the people around me to feel good about themselves and appreciate everything their body does for them.

I read Becoming by Michelle Obama last year and it was fantastic. Everyone knows who Michelle Obama is and that she is an incredible woman but this book really breaks down her childhood and struggles she faced with identity. Also covered is her career and meeting the then future president, Barack Obama, before becoming a mother and the First Lady. It’s an incredible interesting story all in all, but I especially loved reading about what she set out to achieve as the First Lady, campaiging for healthier eating, exercising and eating fresh produce. She made such an immense impact in her time at the Whitehouse. If you’re not a big fan of reading, try it as an audio book on Audible read by Michelle Obama herself. I would fully reccomend this book because, as you might’ve guessed, it is so inspiring and gives a fantastic insight to her life and all that she has achieved from a young age.

If you want to watch an incredibly talented, strong and inspiring woman then I would suggest you watch the Miss Americana documentary on Netflix following Taylor Swift. It takes you through the best and worst times of her career and how she pushed through despite feeling like the world was against her. I have always been a fan of Taylor Swift but had no idea what was going on behind the scenes so it was a real eye-opener. Despite the struggle of deciding whether or not to break her silence on politics, she now pushes for equality for all and encourages young people to get involved in politics and use their vote to make a difference. I felt unbelievably empowered after watching this.

This blog is about things that have inspired me, personally. This does not neccessarily mean that it will work for you, as we are all our own people with differing opinions and beliefs. What I will say, is there is always something or someone out there for you to draw inspiration from, you just have to seek it out.


Netflix & Chill with Me – My Fave New Shows

There have been a whole load of new series added to Netflix so far this year so I thought I’d share a few of my favourites.

Locke & Key was realeased on Netflix early Feb. This is definitely one of my favourite new shows because it was exciting and unpredictable. I can usually guess where the plot is going when I watch a movie or TV show but this was not the case. The show is about a family relocating to their late fathers ancestrol home where they discover magical keys. The keys can do all kinds of things but they are not the only people who want to find them. They left the show on a huge cliffhanger and now I have to wait an entire year for season 2…classic Netflix.

The Good Place season 4 premiered on Netflix at the end of September with a new episode dropping each week. This is one of the funniest shows I’ve watched and have loved it from beginning to end. Every character is so hilarious and loveable. If you’ve never seen this show, GO WATCH IT! I’m so sad that it has finished for good but they really wrapped it up perfectly.

I Am Not Okay With This was released on Netflix in late Feb. I actually binge watched the whole series in one day which I think gives away that it was a great show. It’s about a teen in school who is coming to the realisation she has superpowers that she can’t control. The main character is a little annoying sometimes but the supporting character makes up for this a great deal. It’s a really funny show but also intense at times. With episodes being around 20 minutes each, it makes for a very easy watch which I love to find.

Cheer is a docu series based on the cheerleading squad at Nevarro college in Texas and was released in January. I was not expecting to be so emotionally attached to these college kids in just 6 episode but my god tears were shed. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking every episode. I loved to watch the beautiful and grounded relationship that Monica, the coach, has with ‘her kids’.

I would recommend any of these shows for sure and considering most of us have a lot of time on our hands at the moment, what better time to start a new show than now! Enjoy 🙂


My Thoughts on Disney +

Disney + was released in the UK on March 24th. It is a collection of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and Naional Geographic films and shows. There is a huge collection of movies and TV shows, new and old as well as a handful of original shows, some with new episodes weekly.

I have loved having Disney +! You can use it on up to 4 devices at any one time so I can share it with my family. In just over a week, I have watched 12 movies and a few episodes from different original series. Something I love is that they have many of the Disney Channel programmes that I watched growing up like Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montanna. There are countless movies that I had forgotten about that I loved when I was younger like the Disney Channel orignials like Camp Rock and Starstruck. Also, films I loved when I was a child like the Winnie the Pooh collection including Pooh’s Heffalump Movie and Piglet’s Big Movie. It has been very nostalgic.

One of my favourite Disney + originals is Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings. The show follows couples from all backgrounds, all over the US, during their wedding planning and the wedding ceremony, proposals and anniversary suprises and celebrations. I am a sucker for a wedding show and so this was top of my watch list. I have enjoyed the shows I have watched so much. They’re really heartwarming and joyful. There are already 2 seasons to watch, with new episodes added to the second season each week. I did initially assume that the weddings would generally all be in front of Cinderella’s castle at Magic Kingdom but there is actually a great range in location, originality and style.

Another show I have watched is Pick of the Litter. This show follows 6 dogs who are training to be guide dogs. We meet them when they start with their volunteer trainers before they are assessed and either start their official training or have a ‘career change’. It’s a wonderful show and I would definitely reccommend to any animal lovers because the dogs are so sweet and full of personality. It is interesting to get a glimpse into the guide dog process because it’s such a fantastic operation and the trainers and dogs are super impressive.

I would certainlty recommend subscribing to Disney + because I think there is something for everyone and it is a really fantastic, easy to use service. There are a few of my disney favourites missing at the moment, like Hercules and Enchanted for example, but I hope to see them added in the future!


March Favourites

When I wrote my February Favourites post, I certainly didn’t expect March to go the way it did! The things I looked forward to, like my weekend in London, didn’t go ahead (understandably of course). With cinemas being closed, I didn’t get to see the movies that I had hoped to like Misbehaviour or Mulan. The arrival of Disney + did fill this void, thankfully! (Review post to follow!).

So, speaking of movies, earlier this month my mum and I went to watch Onward, the new disney movie starring Chris Pratt and Tom Holland. We were the only adults there with no children but the embarrassing part was how much we sobbed throughout the movie, not even just a little bit at the end. The movie was laugh out loud funny to all ages watching, heart warming and so imaginitive. The story combined every fantasy we have as children; pixies, unicorns, mermaids, wizards – you name it. It was such an original idea which was refreshing in a time where new movies are just new versions of old movies. This is one of our favourite Disney movies of all time and lucky for us, it is being released on Disney + next week!


Niall Horan’s new album Heartbreak Weather is definitely a new favourite of mine! Some of my stand out songs are Small Talk, No Judgement, Everywhere and Bend The Rules. I think out of all the 1D boys, his music is most similiar to what they were releasing as a band, but it now has a mature sound and would appeal to a more varied audience. I have had the album on repeat since it was released.

What I’m looking forward to…

LOCKDOWN BEING OVER! Of course at the moment, lockdown is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and so if everyone takes it seriously, we can be safe and life can be back to normal sooner. This is a really hard time for so many people and it’s really important for everyone to help and support each other any way they can, while still following the rules and restrictions set out by the government (they’re in place for a reason). Wishing good health for everybody and stay safe!


Self Isolation Survival Guide

Due to recent circumstances, a lot of us are being encouraged to self isolate and practice social distancing. This may be because you have contracted COVID-19, been into contact with someone who has or simply to reduce the spread of the virus. I can imagine that being isolated at home is going to be challenging for some people, and so I have read around and collated some tips to help you stay sane during your self quarantine. If you’re looking for medical advice, please visit NHS online and keep up to date with the news.

Try and get outdoors and exercise (if possible). You could walk, run or bike, for example, and enjoy the fresh air while getting your body moving. This can help to prevent you from feeling couped up or trapped in the house. Exercise can have an immensely positive effect on the mind and body too which is crucial in times like these.

Stay in touch with friends and family. You can FaceTime or call loved ones to catch up and check in on them. It’s always good to talk, especially if you’re experiencing anxiety or high stress levels. Keeping in contact also feels like socialising and can prevent some feelings of loneliness or boredom. It’s important to support others and try to pull together as a community as best you can. With everyone keeping in contact, whether it’s friends, family or neighbours, you can all help each other out.

Try to maintain your usual hobbies. Baking, board games, reading and crafting are all hobbies that are fun and can be done at home. You could take the time to try things you have been meaning to or catch up on some DIY projects and redecorating. Occupying yourself with an activity can keep you busy and provide some normality to a very un-normal situation.  Keep doing what you enjoy and what makes you feel positive.

Humans are creatures of habit and routine generally has a good impact on us. So, trying to continue your routine while self isolating can have great benefits. Try getting up at the time you usually would for work or school. Maybe have a shower each morning and cook up a nice breakfast, whatever works for you. Try to implement a structure in your life to make up for the lack of structure everywhere else. This can help you achieve any goals you hope to tick off your to-do list.

Keep your mind active. It’s easy for boredom to take over and the mind to feel like mush when you’re completely un-busy. To counter this, keep your mind going with some brain training. Crosswords, suduko, quiz shows – you can get this up on the TV, in newspapers/magazines or those little puzzle books that you get at christmas. This is essential for people who cannot work from home and want something to focus on from time to time.

Do some yoga and/or meditating at home. If you don’t have much opportunity to get outdoors and exercise, it can be beneficial to do yoga for a full body stretch. My favourite way to do at home yoga is watching Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. There are hundreds of different videos all focusing on different body parts, problems or mental aspects. It is also a good idea to incoorporate meditation into your practice as the two go hand in hand. Meditation can help to reduce stress and axiety which is something that so many people are dealing with at the moment. It allows you to step back and take a moment to clear your mind of the chatter and just breathe. If you are new to meditation, using an app like Headspace will help you get started with guided meditation practices. They are currently offering free support for everyone.

These are just a few basic things you can try to keep yourself occupied and lively during these uncertain times. I hope everyone takes the social distancing warning seriously and stays safe and healthy! Remeber, it’s not just about you, it’s about everyone surrounding you too. Stick together by staying apart and support each other!