Travel Chic: How to stay glam on the road

Staying a style icon whilst travelling or going on holiday with limited luggage can be difficult. Maintaining a varied, kick-ass  wardrobe with just a few pieces is no mean feat when you’re on the road. When travelling, keeping comfortable is the main aim, along with making an entrance.

A few rules of thumb:

  • Want vs Need: Pack only what you need – don’t be over-stuffing and huffing and puffing at stations and getting your hair in a frizz. Unless you’re going to Mars, there will be shops if you get snagged tights or period panties.
  • Put a cape on it: Travelling is tiring so build a blanket into your outfit. Wear a cape/ wrap/ shawl or pashmina. Light enough for a megabus sauna and cosy enough for a chilly train ride.
  • Now, neutralise: Outerwear in neutral colours is great because it goes with everything. I tend to opt for my grey woolen blazer and matching beret.
  • Put on your dancing shoes: One pair is quite sufficient. Brogues are a good all-weather, walk around and smart option, although a reliable sandal is good for hotter climates.
  • Colour scheme: Take outfits that revolve around one or two colours to make accessorising easier.
  • Accessories for all occasions: You only need a couple of things – maybe one square scarf, one belt in black or tan and a hair flower in a match-all colour like white or cream.

 

Happy adventuring!

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How to ward off a panic attack (at work)

Sometimes, a panic attack will overwhelm you before you can do much about it, but sometimes, when you recognise the signs, it’s easier to get a handle on it.

Here are some simple tricks that you can do discreetly if you are at work or school:

  • Plug the hole: Try ear-plugs to distance yourself from any overwhelming distractions.

 

  • Block it out: Try thinking about or focusing on block colours. It could be looking out at a field, or zooming in on your nail varnish, or socks. Anything that is easy to look at for a prolonged period. Meditate on that colour. Design a garment using block colours.

 

  • Hot flush: Change your environment to regulate or alter your temperature. Sometimes panic causes you to become overly warm and fresh air might help you to stay on an even keel. Otherwise, keeping nice and toasty can help to relax the body so keep a wheat bag or hot water bottle handy.

 

  • Tell me about it: Share how you are feeling with a trusted friend or colleague. That way, you relieve the pressure of having to explain if the attack does come on. Consider having a red card or a symbol which signifies that you are on the edge of an attack. Words are hard. Take away the necessity of using them.

 

  • Stop!: Take a few moments to stop/refresh/restart/collect. Don’t force yourself to just keep going if you know you are not going to do something as you would like. Remove yourself from the equation for a moment. Go to the toilet and take the time to re-tie your shoelaces, stretch, pray, doodle a daisy… Deliberately take that time as a break from working and be present in your rest period.

 

If issues at work are seriously affecting your health, speak to your line manager, or, if you feel unable, approach your union to discuss these matters. Mental health matters – don’t ignore it!

 

50 MORE Things To Do on Dog Days

Round 2 of my post: 50 Things To Do on Dog Days.

  1. Ommm…: Meditate. Even if you can’t take it seriously, it might make you smile at least.
  2. Tied up: Tie knots in a piece of ribbon, or twist it round your fingers. It works as a stress toy and helps de-escalate when panic attacks loom.
  3. Pin Up: Learn how to do a suicide roll.
  4. Clean up your act: Dust, hoover, polish. Put on fresh bed-sheets. Feel clean and ready to face the mean world.
  5. Smooth operator: Get an intensive moisturiser and give yourself an all-over massage. This is the winter of our skin’s discontent, so give it a treat!
  6. Mariah, Myself and Me: Watch this guy. Then try to do better.
  7. Marathon, not a sprint: Watch a whole series of films like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean. Or go for your favourite films by a certain director or of a certain genre. Or watch every film version made of your favourite book… Pride and Prejudice. Every. Single. Time.
  8. Document this: Watch documentaries. Louis Theroux and Stacey Dooley do good ones.
  9. Give and thou shalt receive: Plan a perfect present for someone and feel awesome.
  10. Play pedicure princess: Preen your little piggies and feel sparkly.
  11. Princess Consuela Banana-hammock: Give yourself a new name which reflects the weirdo within.
  12. New-wave rock: Try something you’ve never done before, like rock-climbing, smoking shisha, trampolining…
  13. Beauty bible: Choose a style-icon and print images out to create a style book. See Lauren Bacall… ❤
  14. Hair hero: Learn to do something new with your hair, like fishtail braid.
  15. Honey, I’m clean: Make a face mask using banana, oats and honey or an avocado. Or use coconut oil, olive oil and a dash of apple cider vinegar to make a hair mask.
  16. Shed a few pounds: Go on a spending spree for strictly luxury items, like candles, chocolates, cushions…
  17. Hot, hot, hot: Make the ultimate hot chocolate. Use full fat milk, or even cream. Heat slowly on the hob. Infuse with cinnamon, nutmeg and a kick of ground ginger.
  18. Time warp: Mooch in an antiques shop and pick up a trinket.
  19. Highly recommended: Act on a recommendation that someone’s given you – read that book, listen to that album, try that flavour of herbal tea…
  20. 100 strokes: Brush out your hair 100 times.
  21. Here I am: Draw a self-portrait to reflect on when the Dog Day is over. How accurate is your dog day brain?
  22. Don’t be a twit: Read a book from your childhood. Anything by Roald Dahl will do the trick…
  23. Life is rosy: Buy yourself flowers and put them everywhere.
  24. Food for the soul: Get soulful with Otis and Aretha.
  25. Quest: Download an organisation app to get your to-do list in order. Try Quest if you have an iPhone.
  26. Crick in the neck: Do some deep, soothing stretches like the cobra.
  27. Steady hands: Practise something which takes intense concentration, like making a card house, or taking photos.
  28. Day-by-day: Get ahead with your planning. Take a look in your diary and set aside some mental health days where you will have protected time for yourself.
  29. New life: Get inspired by new lives coming into the world. Watch One Born Every Minute, or Secret Life of Four Years Olds… watch, and wonder!
  30. Thou yeasty ill-nurtured strumpet!: Shakespeare’s insults are better than yours. Try them out.
  31. Blanket fort: Make one.
  32. Snap!: Play a card game with friends or family.
  33. You’re a purl: Try your hand at knitting.
  34. Speak up: Tell someone how they can help you and your headspace. If you want them out of the house for an hour, don’t be afraid to say so.
  35. Fluffy: Make a neopet, feed it, play games… Be a kid!
  36. Let’s talk about sex: When you’re at war with your mind, make love instead.
  37. ABC: Alphabetise your DVDs or books. Question your taste. Then decide you were totally right.
  38. Feel peachy: Eat some fruit and up your vitamins – low mood can make you more susceptible to getting ill.
  39. Serious stuff: Make a list of any annoying little practical things you need to do, like getting bills paid, prioritise, then start getting them done.
  40. Hot stuff: Get a hot water bottle or wheat bag. Get cosy and focus on any aches that need some extra attention.
  41. Meeting of minds: Read this interview between J.K.Rowling and Lauren Laverne.
  42. Advent: Count down to Christmas with Gala Darling’s December Activity Guide.
  43. Deary me: Write yourself a passionate, honest love letter. You could even set up a separate email account for regular love letters to yourself for future Dog Days.
  44. Season’s greetings: Buy yourself a present, wrap it and put it under the tree. You will have at least 1 thing that you absolutely 100% love.
  45. Psych: Go to a psychic evening/ reading. Even if you think its a load of baloney, it might just make you smile.
  46. Get curious: Find the thesaurus entry for your favourite verb.
  47. Open road: Go for a drive, catch a bus and stay on until the last stop, go on a bike ride. A bit of forward momentum might make you feel free!
  48. Toilet trained: Write down your worries on pieces of toilet roll, or even just the names of people who have pissed you off and send them to the sea. Flush them down the crapper like they deserve.
  49. Horizons: Look for a new job, search for a new vocation – find a new passion and grab some books on the topic… You are never too old to learn!
  50. Gently does it: Be kind to yourself. Know your limits and don’t push them. Treat yourself as you would your best friend. Try forgiveness.