Why I Stopped Taking The Pill

Before I start this post, I just want to make it clear that I’m not trying to suggest that every woman should quit taking the pill. It’s your body and therefore, it’s your decision. If it works for you then keep taking it. But if you’re currently on the pill and experiencing terrible side effects, keep reading…

I started my period when I was 12 and I experienced painful, heavy bleeding almost every month. Sometimes, I took the day off school because I was throwing up or the cramps were so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed.

Still, I refused to go on the pill.

I’ve always been hesitant about putting artificial hormones into my body. The way I see it, having a period is natural and trying to alter it can come with a ton of side effects. Every woman is different and what works for one might not work for another, so you can’t assume that something will agree with your body just because everyone else seems to love it.

Having said that I decided to give the combined pill a chance a few months ago. The main reason was to regulate my period and to make it lighter and less painful each month.

At the beginning, I had high hopes. I felt like I was taking control of my body and that eventually, I’d get to a point where I wouldn’t feel terrible for a couple of days every month.

But that good feeling didn’t last and I soon started getting all the side effects. I had nausea, loss of appetite, bloating (I felt 6 months pregnant), cramping, mood swings, fatigue.

After nearly 3 months, I’d had enough and I could see that this pill wasn’t agreeing with me. So I went back to the doctors and she suggested taking the mini pill instead. I instantly thought that this would be a better alternative as it contains fewer hormones and therefore, fewer side effects.

I was wrong.

If anything the side effects were worse including fatigue, bloating, nausea, stomach cramps and spasms, headaches and generally not feeling like myself at all.

About 4 days ago I decided to leave the pill alone altogether. Maybe there is a certain pill that works for me, but am I willing to go through each one experiencing all kinds of side effects? No. Absolutely not.

Instead of giving us a leaflet with possible side effects, we should be more educated about the health risks before we start taking the pill so we know whether it might work for us or not. I wrongly assumed that any side effects I did experience would be mild and gradually fade over the first few weeks.

If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have taken it.

At the moment, I’m looking into non-hormonal methods of birth control because I know that this is the best and safest option for me. Everyone is different and I think it’s just about finding what works for you and sticking to it.

There’s also fertility apps out there that might work for you if you’re looking for a non-hormonal option. I’m using Clue, which so far has been really helpful. You can use it to track your cycle or to find out when you’re most fertile.

Other than that, if you’re thinking about changing your birth control make sure that you’re aware of the side effects and don’t make a rash decision. If you’re worried about jeopardising your mental and physical health, there’s always alternative options!

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Top Websites For Freelance Writers in 2017

Finding paid writing work is tough. In fact, finding that very first paid writing gig can take months. I’ve learned that you have to be persistent when it comes to writing, even when you feel like quitting. Trust me, hard work always pays off. Something that you should remember is that what works for one writer might not work for another. So, if there’s one website that you’re not having any luck with, just know that there are lots of other opportunities out there.

Here are some of the websites that I’ve found to be the best so far.

Freelance Writing Gigs

This is a great website to find the best writing gigs. If you’re very busy and you don’t have time to look at various job boards, then this would definitely be a great place to look. There’s a list of new writing gigs Monday – Friday and with a range of content wiring and blogging jobs, there’s a good chance you’ll find something on there that suits you. I’ve found work through this website!

Pro Blogger

Even though I’ve never found a paid writing job directly through this website, I know of other writers who find regular work on there. Of course, most of the jobs posted on here will also be found on the site above but not all of them are, so it’s worth having a look on there to see if there’s any that you might have missed.

Twitter

Not everyone realises it but social media is a great way to find writing jobs that you wouldn’t normally find elsewhere. Searching through the “#writerswanted” and “#bloggerwanted” tag can help you find some new opportunities. You can play around with the wording and search for something that is more specific to the work that you’re looking for. It can be very hit and miss but I’ve found a couple of paid writing gigs through Twitter!

Fiverr

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this website. It can be a great way to earn extra income but that all depends on the job that you’re providing. Some freelancers have luck with Fiverr, others can’t even make one sale. I’ve only managed to make a couple of sales but perhaps that’s because I haven’t dedicated enough time to promoting my gigs. Either way, it’s worth checking out this site as it might be something that works for you or someone you know.

Fivesquid

Fivequid is very similar to Fiverr, except that it’s targeted at people who live in the UK. As this site is less popular, I’ve found that I get more work. In fact, I found a regular client through Fivesquid, which I really didn’t expect. If you’re having no luck with Fiverr, then I would definitely suggest switching to this site.

People Per Hour

Although I created an account a while ago, I’ve only started using it recently and I’ve found that it’s a really good website to find regular or one-off writing gigs. There’s also a lot of other work you can find on there, like social media, web development, and admin. Depending on your experience level, you can search for entry, intermediate and expert level jobs. You’re bound to find something on there.

For now, these are the main websites that I check regularly for writing work. I’ll be sure to update if I find any others that might be useful. Just remember to be persistent and don’t be disheartened when you’re not landing any writing gigs. It just takes time and a lot of hard work.

Dandelions

She picked a dandelion,

twirling it between her finger and thumb

while dreaming of yellow roses

and country lanes.

 

Life is what you make of it

so she shut her eyes tightly

imagining a place that did not exist

where she felt calm and whole.

 

When she reopened them

the sun sat high in the clouds

beaming down at her

and the dandelion flew from her grasp.

 

Support me: paypal.me/coralle

 

Why Self-love Is A Long, Difficult Journey

The truth is, learning to love yourself isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. If self-love was as simple as declaring, “Hey, I woke up this morning and decided to love myself,” then the world would be a much happier place. But it’s not that easy and unfortunately, some of us never learn to fully embrace who we are.

I was recently speaking to a friend who preaches a lot about the importance of self-love. The way she tries to spread this positive message is inspiring, so I asked her how she started to love herself. She said that for a long time she wasn’t happy with who she was. This self-hatred was formed through years of bullying and abuse. She thought that she would never reach a point where she could honestly say that she loved herself, but here she is, trying to motivate others to do the same.

So, how did she get to where she is now? It started with self-care. It’s so easy to overlook the importance of self-care, but trust me, it’s a lot more than a bubble bath and a glass of wine. It’s about taking care of your mind and body. Like I mentioned before, this isn’t something that happens over night, which is why you should celebrate every small victory.

I’ve found that rewarding yourself for completing tasks or challenges is a good way to practice self-love. It also gives you the motivation that you need. Knowing that there’s something good just around the corner makes it all seem worth it.

However, I’ve read a ton of articles on the topic of self-love and I have to disagree with the message that some of them try to communicate. One phrase that I’ve heard far too many times is, “if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else.” Let me tell you, it’s not true. Since when does not loving yourself stop you from loving others? It doesn’t. I can love and appreciate and accept other people a lot easier than I would myself. And I know that’s the same for many people. We find so many faults and flaws in ourselves but we’re willing to overlook them in someone we love. Maybe it’s because we set too high expectations of ourselves; we feel a pressure to act and look a certain way.

We are our biggest critics and that’s why self-love is a difficult journey. We compare our lives to other people who seem happier, richer, luckier, without knowing their hidden struggles. We find things to dislike about ourselves because it’s easier than accepting who we are. But we shouldn’t use this as a source of negativity – we should use this as motivation to be the best version of ourselves.

So how do you love yourself? Well, maybe you should start with liking yourself first. Make a list of goals. Start a new hobby. Get off social media. Plan a holiday. Treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for ages. Don’t question why you’re doing it – it if makes you happy, do it.

LowToxBox: A New Lifestyle Subscription Box

LowToxBox is a new monthly lifestyle subscription box packed full of natural, organic, healthy products. They’re committed to helping the environment, which is why a tree is planted for every box sold. You can choose between a one off purchase, a month-by-month, or a 3, 6, or 12-month plan depending on whatever suits you. It’s worth mentioning that you can cancel at any time!

LowToxBox kindly sent me a sample box that I was really impressed with. Note that this is just a taster of what you can expect from their full-size boxes which will be going out in the last week of August.

Here’s what it included:

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Hampstead Tea – English Breakfast Organic Black Tea, Organic Green Tea, and Chai Tea. My favourite is the Green Tea.

Creative Nature Raw Superfood Flapjack – less than 1g fat, no sweeteners, and 1 of your 5 a day. It’s also gluten, dairy, wheat and nut free!

Human+Kind Family Remedy Cream – A cream that’s effective on a range of skin conditions including acne, stretch marks, eczema and razor burn. I should mention this is one of my favourite skincare brands!

Living Naturally Activated Charcoal Soapnut Soap – 100% vegan, natural, cruelty-free ingredients. The activated coconut charcoal soap absorbs dirt and oil and draws out impurities. I’ve found that it helps to give my skin a less oily complexion.

White Rabbit Skincare Cleansing Balm – A luxury, eco-friendly brand that is known for their naturally-based skin care products. The cleansing balm removes makeup easily (especially eye makeup) while soothing the skin.

This box also included a LowToxBox Tote Bag.

If you decide to choose the month-by-month plan, each box costs £18.75 + 3.75 p&p. Or it’s £22.50 for a one-off box. Whatever plan you choose, they will be posted to you in the last week of each month. You can head over to their website to find out more about them and their products here.

You can also find LowToxBox on:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

When Life Feels Overwhelming

I can only describe it like this: You haven’t learned how to swim yet but suddenly you find yourself in the deepest part of the ocean with no life jacket and no one to call for help.

It’s overwhelming.

I think in some ways we’ve all been there. We feel like there are not enough hours in the day. We want time to slow down but we also want it to stop. But time doesn’t stop, which makes it feel like we’re racing through life with no clue what we’re doing and where we’re going.

It comes down to the concept that we’re running out of time. We trick ourselves into believing that everything should be happening RIGHT NOW. And when life doesn’t work out the way it should it makes us feel like failures – that’s when the feeling of overwhelmingness hits us.

It’s a feeling that I experience more than I should. Maybe it’s because I’m impatient, or maybe it just seems like everyone else is always two steps ahead. Either way, there’s always something occupying my mind. I worry about work and meeting deadlines, I worry about my weight, I worry about the future, I worry about making plans, and most of all I worry about things that I have no control over.

I want to hide away from everything and lie on my bed staring up at the ceiling and think about nothing at all.

I’ve found that whenever I feel overwhelmed it’s because I’ve been neglecting my own needs. And believe me, it’s so easy to forget about the little things but those little things make me the happiest. Discovering and reading new books is something that makes me so happy, and it helps to take my mind off my problems. Unfortunately, I can’t read all day every day (if that was my job, you’d never hear me complain) but if I can set aside even half an hour it makes all the difference. Another thing that always helps me is to write. It sounds counter-intuitive as sometimes writing is the reason I feel stressed, but other times writing is healing. It puts things into perspective. It’s easier to understand why you’re feeling so overwhelmed when you have the reasons staring back at you.

Sometimes, abandoning whatever you’re supposed to be doing is the best solution. It’s not giving up, it’s making some much-needed time for yourself. A few days ago I started writing a piece on managing anxiety but I couldn’t finish it. At the time I felt so overwhelmed with life that I couldn’t write anything positive and anything I did write felt forced. I know that if I’m not in the right mindset, I’m not going to be happy with anything I write. So I went for a walk and I didn’t think about work, deadlines, or anything that was making me feel stressed; I focussed on the good things. I thought about plans that I have coming up that I’m looking forward to. After about an hour, I was back working and getting things done.

Life is fast. Life is urgent. But life is meant to be enjoyed. Let go of what you have no control over and embrace what comes naturally.

What Freelance Writing Has Taught Me

When I first started writing it was a hobby that I absolutely loved. It sounds a cliche, but I didn’t think for a second that it would become my career. It was just something I did because I enjoyed doing it.

I didn’t write for other people to read my work. I wrote for myself and myself only. That’s the mentality you have to carry with you into the world of freelance writing because trust me, it’s not easy.

Taking that leap from writing part-time to writing full-time is a big risk. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but I was sure that I wanted to write for a living, so I convinced myself that that was enough. There’s a misconception that being a writer is quite simple: You write. How easy is that? I’ll be the first to admit that’s exactly what I assumed. I envied successful bloggers because I thought it must be one of the easiest careers in the world, but now I’m eating my words. It’s so much more than writing. It’s sending emails, it’s replying to emails, it’s skipping lunch because you really need to finish that article you’ve spent far too long editing (guilty), it’s promoting yourself on social media, it’s looking on writing job boards almost every day to make extra income that month. And breathe.

Before I became a full-time freelance writer I knew nothing about formatting, WordPress, or promoting myself. That’s something that I had to learn through experience. In fact, there’s still so much I don’t understand and perhaps it will take me a long time to grasp everything, but I’m still learning. The main thing I stick by is consistency. As long as I’m regularly producing content, researching, and learning new skills then I know that I’ll be able to improve as a freelance writer and hopefully increase my income.

Despite all of that, the most important thing is to write things that I enjoy writing. I’ll admit that there have been times when I’ve written a post about something I had no interest in just because the pay was great. And sure, sometimes that’s what you have to do. It’s a job. But I don’t feel myself when I write about topics that I have no experience in. The words feel forced. I read it back and the tone doesn’t seem right and I wonder if any of the readers can pick up on my false enthusiasm. I never want to lose sight of the reason why I started writing in the first place.

Honestly, I’ve never once said that I hated my job. There are some days when the words aren’t flowing or the ideas aren’t forming and I convince myself that maybe, just maybe, writing isn’t for me. But then I’ll have an amazing day or week or month when I feel like this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s something that I’ve just had to accept. The highs are high and the lows are low.

Of course, I’m going to complain sometimes. That’s what happens when you make the transition of writing as a hobby to writing for a living. It’s a business, which means that I’m responsible for how much I get paid each month. That can be scary. I’ve discovered that it’s trial and error with this type of work. I prefer working 9 – 5 because it’s the only way for me to stay focused. I prefer writing in silence because music is the worst kind of distraction. I prefer a few consistent writing jobs rather than a long stream of one-off writing gigs because it’s easier for me to keep on top of it.

To put it simply, no two freelance writers are the same. That’s what I’ve discovered so far.