Thursday, 9 April 2020

...BREATHE - 10 TIPS: HOW TO TAKE A BREAK FROM COVID-19


Outfit

Playsuit - Pretty Little Thing
Sandals - Zara
Earrings - Dalston Market



And breathe. Before you read on I want you to take two mins, be still and concentrate on breathing in and out very slowly... At the moment everything feels very surreal and we are faced with a new reality that as a society feels quite scary, uncertain and that we are not used to. Covid-19 has literally turned the world upside down and claimed the lives of so many people, bankrupted businesses, job losses, created financial worry and forced all of us to isolate until the virus slows down. Now more than ever it is imperative for us to look after our mental health, many people are faced with the reality of having to be still and face themselves like they never have before. The term 'We are in this together' has never been more accurate than it is now, in this post I want to offer you ten tips to help you get through this time or at least get you through the day if you are struggling.

1.) Turn off the News and Social Media

It may sound obvious but this one can actually be quite difficult to do because literally every where you look, every time you turn on the TV and every time you go on social media you are constantly bombarded with news, conspiracy theories and images of how bad things are getting. Although I understand it is important to be in tune with what is going on, it is not healthy to consume this information all the time - you will drive yourself insane, please do not do this. If the news or social media is giving you anxiety TURN IT OFF for the day, watch something funny or read that book that you've been wanting to get started on for a while, sometimes you need to tune out and put your mental health first.

2.) Sit in the garden (If you have access to one)

Since being in quarantine I've been spending a lot more time in the garden. Being in the house all the time can feel claustrophioic, but just changing the scenery and taking a mat out
to the garden and just laying
down and looking up at the sky
and trees can completely
transform your mood and lift your
 spirits.



3.) Prayer / Meditation

Prayer is something my family and I have always done together and more so now that we are in quarantine, however I also like to pray and meditate by myself, being spiritually grounded at a time like this and connecting to God or your higher source and tapping into your faith is so important. I love to do this outside because if I am having a day where I am feeling down, then closing my eyes, breathing in and out and focusing on just what is a around me brings me back to the present moment, I am literally only paying attention to what is infront of me and realising that right now although Covid-19 has reeked havoc and 
disrupted our lives,
I have a family that loves me, 
food in the cupboard, a roof over my head, good health, and at the moment that is all that matters.



4.) Order a painting or colouring book

Aside from the being really fun and you getting to create some amazing artwork at the end of it, colouring can lower stress levels and release feelings of relief and reduce feelings of stress. If you have some paints as home, get them out and get messy, do an abstract piece, paint until your heart is content.

5.) Rediscover Old Hobbies

You know all of those things that you've always wanted to do, but never had the time to do them, well now is a good time to revisit those hobbies or passions. For me I have started blogging, filming Youtube content more regularly, I've started reading a lot more and writing. My mom is baking, my dad has taken out his keyboard and has been practising everyday, your hobbies help you to focus on other things outside of your job.

6.) Listen to music

I believe listening to music is
 good for the soul. The other day
I was feeling very overwhelmed
and anxious and I put on a song 
called 'Old Soul' by Bruno Major, then played D'Angelo 'Found My Smile Again' went straight into listening to some gospel music by Fred Hammond, and immediately my whole body just relaxed and my mind felt settled.

7.) Keep a diary / journal

Journaling is something I used to do a lot up until the age of about 21 and then stopped for a while, but since quarantine I have found writing very therapeutic. Your thoughts can often get jumbled in your mind which can cause an over load of anxiety, writing things down can help to untangle those thoughts and seeing things out of your head and down on paper can bring clarity on how to solve some issues because you can see it clearly. Other times its just about blowing off some steam and getting it out, you can either keep your journal, or if you want too you can write things down and then rip it up, what ever makes you feel better - do that.

8.) Work out at home 


This is the one that I have been doing as much as I can. Before quarantine I was in the gym at my legs bums and tums class three times a week. At first I found the adjustment very difficult because I love going to the gym not only to keep fit, but to also keep my mental health in check and keep me energised. As a freelancer when you don't have work or you have a quiet period you have to find ways to keep yourself upbeat and going to the gym is how I do that. Now what I do is after my meditation I go straight into doing workout videos that I find on Youtube and sometimes I Zoom call my friends in on a 3 way call so that we can work out together and encourage each other. 

9.) Check in with family & friends.

In times like these we must check up on each other, isolating can feel lonely but we need to remember that we are not alone, and now more than ever we need to look out for each other, a phone call or a text can make a huge difference to some one else's day and your own day.

10.) Structure your day with a goals list

For a lot of people their daily routine has been completely disrupted and they are struggling with the lack of structure and feeling useful.  If you are a person who likes routine, then set a list of goals for the day and set times of the day that you would like to complete them by e.g: 

7:00am - Mediate / Pray
7:30am - Work out / exercise
8:30am - Eat Breakfast
9:00am - Go and sit in the garden
9:40am - Read a book
11:00am - Check in with a friend 
/ family member
11:30am - Play a game
12:30 pm - Hobbies
2:30pm - Have some lunch
3:00pm - Watch a film
5:00pm - Read a book
6:00pm Watch a film
8:00pm - Have some dinner
9:00pm - Write in your Journal

This is just an example but just having a list of mini goals can make you feel accomplished or like you have something you can aim towards or focus on.

As we stay in doors the main thing I want everyone to focus on is just taking time to rest, some times we always want something to do, but we will never get this amount of time again to just be still, rest and reflect and to do some real soul searching, be comfortable in our own company, or just to relax for a while. We don't need to be productive every single day, we don't always need too put that pressure on ourselves to show the world that we have it all together and still be making 'boss moves'. This time is about YOU, so what ever YOU need to do to make yourself feel better and get through this time then do that without fear of judgement or guilt.

I hope whoever reading this has found this useful, stay safe, stay in doors, wash your hands, and remember you are FABULOUS DARLING! :) XX
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Thursday, 27 February 2020

IM ENGAGED!!! - VALENTINES DAY 2020

Outfit

Dress: Oh Polly
Shoes: Asos
Bag: Boohoo
Photographer: LM Visuals

OMG, OMG OMGGGG!
Ok ok calming down and breathing slowly.

Everyone! I Shara Tanasha Johnson aka princess of everything fashion and fabulous has just got engaged! Well not just, my fiancé proposed in the most beautiful way on Valentines day and to be honest I'm still really overwhelmed with it all and I keep crying with happiness.


Apparently he'd been planning this for months and had gone to my parents in December to ask them for their blessing to marry me, and then had spent ages finding the perfect ring for me. I on the other hand completely oblivious to what was being planned, accidentally nearly sabotaged the whole thing by being difficult. My boyfriend had informed me that he had planned a photoshoot for us on Valentines day, and honestly I didn't have any inclination that he would propose because we were supposed to do a photoshoot a couple of years ago.


Instead of guessing it would be a proposal I went into full fashion stylist mode two weeks before and started saying to him 'babe we need to do the shoot later in the day, why is it so early? We need hair and makeup, we need a theme, we need outfit changes, we should wear matching outfits, let me choose your outfit, I don't think you've thought about the logistics of this, why aren't you listening to me I'm a fashion stylist I know what we should be doing!' (bless my boyfriend he was doing his best to just ignore me and continue with his plans).

Then in the morning my make up wouldn't go right and I had a massive nose bleed out of nowhere and I said 'AAAHH I don't feel like going out anymore' (me just being a total drama queen and having a mini meltdown).



Eventually I was dressed and he took me to the beautiful location of 'Sky Gardens' on the 35th floor to the 'Sky Pod Bar' in central London, and I said 'oooo babe this is gorgeous!' In true Shara style I was so focused on the lovely location and us getting fabulous pictures and making sure all of our angles were right and me saying 'yaaassss' every two seconds admiring what an amazing job the photographer was doing, I didn't for one second think anything was out of the ordinary, I literally thought 'this is great! we're having fab pics taken, I will have great content for my blog' and to be honest I was already so happy that he'd planned this I wasn't thinking about anything else.


We walked along the garden landscape admiring the view and then we came across two chairs and he said to me, 'babe I think we should do an impromptu gratitude talk'. A gratitude talk / walk is something that we've done throughout our relationship, it's when we go out into a neutral space and we talk about all the things we are thankful for in each other, our relationship and all the things we would like to improve on in our relationship just so that the line of communication between us is always healthy, so again I didn't think anything was out of the ordinary because we've always done this.


I was completely shocked when I stood up to put my jacket on, I turned around and he was on one knee and said 'before we go I just want to ask you will you marry me?'
At this point I was absolutely stunned because I had no idea this was coming. I had always made it clear to him that I didn't want to get married in my twenties, and that my thirties is when I would think about marriage, but when I saw him down on one knee my whole heart just felt so full and I cried with joy because he was showing me that he loves me so much  that he wants me to be his wife and build a future with me. Through tears and blurry mascara I said 'Yes'! and he puts the most beautiful ring on my hand.


Literally every emotion was running through me at once - I was happy, nervous, overwhelmed, and he looked at me and said, this is about us, there's no rush, if it takes us 1, 2, 3 years or whatever to get married its ok, I just wanted to show you how serious my intentions are'. Honestly guys I was so happy, I feel so safe with him.  I've never wanted to feel under pressure to get married because I know how much societal pressure there is for women to be married by a certain age, but him reassuring me was all I needed and I couldn't be more thankful.


After me crying my eyes out, he turned to the crowd of people who had formed to see what was going on and said  'SHE SAID YES!', everyone clapped and was congratulating us, and we got complimentary glasses of champagne.



Whilst I know that we have a lot to plan and a wedding to plan, right now I'm just enjoying this stage of being engaged. I'm a fiancĂ© WOW! and honestly this man has shown me nothing but love since the day I met him, he always go out of his way to make me feel like a princess, and although I know that marriage isn't always going to be roses and cuddles, I'm excited to share my future with him. Xx  :)



Just Us. <3



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Friday, 21 February 2020

MEXICO HOLIDAY!


Hello my lovelies!

Let me start off by saying welcome back to my blog! I feel like its been a while since I've really been consistent with my blog posts. Between my styling job and just living life I needed a bit of a hiatus to concentrate on what I was doing and some time to reflect. In September my Mr and I decided to travel to the beautiful country of Mexico where we stayed in the authentic city of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast.


The 33 degree weather and endless green landscapes of nature were absolutely breathtaking, the food was delicious and our stay was jam packed with excursions, exploring and lots of late night entertainment. Check out my vlog below too see everything my Mr and I got up to.



We went to a famous part of Peurto Vallarta called the 'Malecon' which is Spanish for the 'Boardwalk' which had all of the clubs, bars, restaurants and lots of interesting market stalls selling everything from clothing, jewellery and paintings done with coffee beans.


My absolute favourite part of our holiday was visiting a private island one hour away from our hotel by speed boat called 'Las Caletas' - it was amazing! I sat in a hammock, went in the sea, drank from a coconut, fed a sea lion, held a monkey and kissed a parrot! Be warned you will see some insects and lizards that you have never seen before, and you WILL put on weight when you go to Mexico because the food is just incredible.


We also had the pleasure of seeing a theatre performance called 'Rhythms Of The Night', think fire breathing, over sized costumes, acrobats, singers dancers and contortionists with lots of lights and colour, IT WAS AWSOME! And to end the night we had a candle lit dinner in the middle of a warm thunder storm in a thatched restaurant whilst one of the entertainers played the guitar and sang - honestly it is probably the most romantic dinner I've ever had.


Our second to last day was spent doing an active adventure tour where we abseiled down the side of water falls and zip lined across a rainforest, I scared out of my mind but I'm glad I challenged myself and did it, and I'm happy I did because it was so much fun. The journey to the adventure tour was a great eye opener to see authentic Mexico and how people live, from fishing villages to people living in the hills.


Over all I had the most amazing holiday in Mexico, words cannot describe how happy I felt when I was there, and I got to experience it with the person that makes me the happiest :)


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