Digital Culture

Being “That Girl” on a Budget! 

By Amelia Erswell 

Photo credit: Jamie Jones. Getty Images

As a university student, I recognise the feeling of having all the time in the world, yet getting nothing done. Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of floundering: having writer’s block, eating extensive amounts of ice-cream and curling up in the foetal position! But, during lockdown, I wanted to find a sustainable way to improve my mental and physical well-being. Taking time to focus on being my happiest, healthiest, self. 

As a bookworm, I turned to literature – in hindsight, I was definitely procrastinating! However, when reading up on mindfulness and wellbeing, a recurring theme was self-love. Those of you who read my previous post will know, for me, being “that girl” isn’t just having a positive mindset. It’s about being kind, balancing self-love with supporting others. In the spirit of this, here are some things that helped me. Don’t worry, this is not a tick list … these are just suggestions to inspire you. Striving to be “that girl” should not be defined by time or money – it is about doing what serves you! Hopefully this will save you time, offering potential ideas about how to start your journey. Most importantly, they do not cost an awful lot… if anything at all!  

  1. Get moving:
  • Yoga, Flow and Pilates videos: start your day with gentle movement.
  • Free home-workouts plans: a great alternative to the gym (I like Pamela Reif and MadFit). 
  • Go for a walk: visit a park or wander round the local area with friends. Take a drink/snack … enjoy the fresh air!
  • Couch to 5k: Don’t worry, not everyone (myself included) are gifted athletes from birth! Using interval training, this is a fantastic way to begin running – or power walking! 
  1. Find a notebook: 
  • Don’t buy extortionately priced journals for their canvas cover and pretty typeface … a scrappy pukka-pad will suffice! 
  • Write down: 

1) Three things that you want to achieve.

2) How you want to feel. 

3) What went well? 

Alternatively, take a mental note – whatever works for you. Just reserve a couple of minutes for yourself, reflect.  

  1. Meditation: 
  • Meditation is about being present and can be done anywhere. People, mistakenly, think you must sit on grass, barefoot, with your eyes closed. This isn’t the case! Find somewhere comfortable, like a sofa. Sit and observe: How do you feel? What steps might you take to improve this?

A good place to start is 5 Minute Meditation You Can Do Anywhere

  1. Fuel your body:
  • Invest in a cookbook! Cooking isn’t just immensely sociable, if you’re on a budget, it is cheaper and more satisfying to eat something fresh – with your friends.
  • Try to sleep somewhere between 8 and 10 hours. 
  • Stay hydrated! 
  1. Try something new: 
  • Start cooking. Pick up that book. Return to writing … get creative! 
  1. Limit screen-time: 
  • Put your phone on ‘Night-Shift’ and ‘Do Not Disturb’. 
  • Use ‘Time Limits’ to cap engagement with social media. 
  • If possible, break the habit of going on your phone first/last thing. 
  1. Be proud: 
  • Starting this journey is something to be immensely proud of. Take time to recognise how far you have come! 

Remember, not all of these suggestions are essential to being “that girl” … it is about building a sustainable routine. You can adapt these ideas to suit your budget and schedule. 

Books: 

  • Brianna Wiest, 101 ESSAYS that will CHANGE the way YOU THINK.
  • Elizabeth Day, How to Fail.
  • Gelong Thubten, A Monk’s Guide to Happiness. 
  • Dan Harris, 10% Happier. 
  • Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. 

Podcasts: 

  • Ferne Cotton, Happy Place. 
  • Elizabeth Day, How to Fail with Elizabeth Day. 
  • Lewis Howes, The School of Greatness. 
    • Headspace Studios, Radio Headspace.

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