Tag Archives: live and learn

Let’s Talk About Comparisons

Today, I just wanted to talk freely about my problem with comparisons. When I say comparisons, I mean comparing where you’re at in your life to where other people are. Comparing what you’ve done or what you have to other people. Getting jealous or angry or bitter about what you think you lack.

I have a HUGE problem with this, I confess.

One of the things I’m trying out is not beating myself up for comparing or getting jealous, though, because that’s not healthy either. Instead, I’m recognising that I’m doing it, and doing a few things to stop it. This is things like writing a list of what I’m grateful for in my own life. Writing a list of the good things about myself. Writing a list of achievements or experiences that were important. Etcetera, etcetera.

Others things that I do is make sure to smile, breathe, and say that I am happy for that other person. Like my little sister has just spent a month on her own travelling in Thailand. It was an exceptional trip and of course, I’ve felt very jealous. However, when I feel the jealousy seeping in where I just want to scream and block her on Snapchat, I smile and breathe and say, “wow, she’s had an amazing trip, my baby sister, and she deserves it. And my time will come.”

Another great thing to do is put things into perspective. Take my sister as an example again. I know for sure that I wouldn’t have done what she has done. Maybe I could have gone to Thailand alone for a while, but a month? I’m not so sure. Plus, the things she’s done are extraordinary but it’s nice to do those things with someone else (in my opinion), and so I’d rather wait and do them with my partner when we’re able to. See? Perspective. I’ve wasted energy and harmed my mental health by comparing and getting jealous of the fact that she’s travelled alone and done great things when in reality, that’s not what I’d want to do anyway!

We’re all guilty of doing this. We get jealous of what others have; for example, their flashy cars that we wouldn’t even buy if we had the money to do so anyway! Or we compare our simpler lives to people who are out all the time, when in actuality, we may be introverts who don’t thrive in those environments anyway, so it wouldn’t be something that would actually make us happy!

I’ve found myself jealous of people on my social media for having all these friends to party with or whatever, but I don’t even like parties! I don’t need or want loads of friends, either! I love my own space; I thrive in alone time, and so I have friends that I see now and again, and I have my partner who’s there every morning and evening, but other than that – I wanna be alone, man! So, why do I hurt myself with comparisons?

And why do you do it?

When we put them into perspective, we often realise that they make no sense. Even when they are justified, like comparing your B grade to your friend’s A grade, we still can’t allow it to continue. How is comparing and getting sad going to serve you? It’s only going to make you feel rubbish. So, let it happen, but recognise that you’re doing it and stop yourself in your tracks.

Say, “hey, they got an A and I didn’t, but that just means it’s their subject not mine, or they revised harder, or they test well and I don’t. It doesn’t mean I am less-than or that I’m going to fail in life. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Plus, a B is pretty great too!

It is natural to compare sometimes or get jealous, but try these things that I’m trying to do when I get jealous, too:

  • Set goals to help you get what you actually want, anyway, therefore you won’t be jealous because you’ll have it too.
  • Use those people you’re jealous of as inspiration instead of a source of anger.
  • Do a social media cleanse and either get off it or unfollow the people who make you feel jealous and don’t actually serve any good to you.
  • Have visual stimuli for what you want from life, so that you work hard to manifest it, and so that you have something else to focus on instead of people who have what you don’t. This could be dream boards, vision boards, photographs, mindmaps, photos on your phone, quotations, etc.
  • Change the dialogue. Change “I’m so jealous of her/him” to “I want what they have, and I will do this and that to get it” or “I’m happy for them.”
  • Give yourself a reality check. We all know that no one posts about or talks about the problems in their lives. We all share our highlights, our best parts. So don’t compare your internal dialogue, your past, your down days (etc.) to someone else’s social media feed which only features the best parts of their life. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you realise.
  • Remember money and material things does NOT equal health and happiness.
  • Remember that you have enough and are enough already. There’s someone out there (probably loads of someones or the very someone that you’re jealous of) who is actually jealous of you and what you have.
  • Stop looking outward, and start looking inward. If you’re focusing on your life, your health and happiness, your wants and dreams, your passions, you won’t have any time left to be looking elsewhere and getting jealous anyway.

If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.

If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Missing Sunglasses Metaphor

Today, I’ve been squinting to the point of a headache due to accidentally leaving my sunglasses at home. It gave me a dreadful headache and dry eyes and generally put me in an even worse mood than I already was, which ruined what could have been a nice day.

But the sunglasses were in my bag the whole time…

My first instinct was to cry in frustration and beat myself up for being so dumb. But then I began to see it as a metaphor.

Something I needed dearly, and would have helped rectify my day to an extent, was with me the whole time. The only problem was, I didn’t look for it.

I had the tools to change my situation, my mood, and my day with me all along.

This is deeply profound because this is so true for all of us and all our lives. Oftentimes, we have the tools and the power to rectify a bad vibe or situation, yet we don’t use them. We don’t seek them. We don’t look passed the bad.

If I’d looked in my bag and remembered that I’m a pretty prepared young woman, who would naturally her sunglasses always in her bag, I could have changed things. My mood would have soothed, even by a little.

Gosh, guys, how silly?!

We need to remember that we always carry with us the tools to help ourselves. There’s truly no need to suffer. Just look within. Just look, and see what you might find…

“Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck” Thoughts

This book wasn’t very unique, or life-changing (as the title says) to me, but I loved it all the same. It kind of felt like a long blog post, but I love blog posts that inspire thought and get you thinking about changing your life, which this book did for me.

Here are some thoughts that the book inspired:

  • It’s OK to reserve your energy for important things (things that are important to you, your way of life, or the people you truly love and care about).
  • It’s OK to prioritise, and it’s OK if other people aren’t happy with your priorities.
  • People-pleasing and caring what people think is at the root of all our wasted f*cks and energy, so cut it out.
  • Your life will work so much better if you stop doing random crap for others that brings you no joy or fulfillment.
  • It’s OK not to give to people who wouldn’t do the same, people you don’t know, or people who are just takers.
  • It’s OK to only do what aligns with who you are and what you want instead of giving energy (and sometimes time and money, too) to things that you don’t like, upset you, bother you, or aren’t YOU.
  • If you don’t care about makeup and fashion; if you don’t care about the latest celebrities; if you don’t care about classical literature; if you don’t care about the latest games or films; whatever it is, if you don’t care about it, that’s OK! Stop giving those f*cks or pretending to; do you, it’s easier and it feels so good!

This is an oversimplification of what the book represents and what I took from it, but giving less f*cks, or as I like to put it, “giving away less of your energy” to non-important things is truly liberating. You will find that it will free up your time for what matters, making your life not only run better, but give you time for manifesting your dreams (for example) which is much better than going to your friend of a friend’s graduation party when you hate parties and don’t know anyone.

These things also help with your mental health, as it’s stressful and exhausting trying to bend over backward to fit in, or please people, or help everyone out. I’m sorry (well, I’m not, as the book says) but it’s not your job to fix or run other people’s lives. It doesn’t make you an arsehole for trying to reserve time and energy for what’s important to you, so do what you need to do for you and your health and your dreams and your passions. Anyone who tries to prevent that is the arsehole, in my opinion!

I used to try to help everyone, be everyone’s hero, and carry everyone. I used to bend over and do whatever others wanted. Well, no more. I have to reserve my f*cks for bettering me and my life from now on…sorry, not sorry.


If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.

If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

“There’s No Room” – Poem

There’s no room to grow,

Within these four walls.

These hallowed halls,

Ring too loudly

Of the past.

 

There’s no room to breathe,

Among these toxic fumes,

That have been festering,

For years,

Within the minds

Of my family.

 

There’s no room to heal,

When the black clouds do grow,

Casting a shadow that covers

The entirety of our “home”.

 

There’s no room to change,

When everything else

Remains the same.

Everyone else,

Unbending, but altogether

Broken.

 

There’s no room to dream,

When they all push their

Nightmares onto others.

The wrongs overpower the rights,

It seems.

 

There’s no room for flight,

My wings remain crumpled,

And fractured,

Unable to spread wide and beautiful.

Unable to fly and see,

The world for all that it is.

 

There’s no room in this place,

No room for me.

No room for my big dreams,

No room for my progressive moves.

No room for my cleansing attitude.

No room for my bending mind.

No room for my soothing words.

No room. No room. No room.

 

And so, I must leave.

 

I must spread my wings,

And like a bird,

I must seek

A place where I am free.

The perfect environment in which,

To plant my seeds.

And water them I will.

Water them I will.

Until I grow anew.

And then,

Perhaps,

I shall return home.

With a smile and a body,

Too big to fit through the door.

But I’ll peer inside and see,

They’re doing just fine without

Me.

We needed the space to grow,

Each of us.

By leaving, you had more room,

Too.

And so now, the house and the people,

They’re not quite as small as they used to be.

We are tall. We are tall. We are tall.

I Now Have a Lifestyle Podcast!

Hey guys, I now have a podcast called “What I Know So Far”, where I talk about bettering your life, your mindset, and your mental health. If that interests you, then check it out here on Anchor (soon to be available elsewhere, too). Thanks!

What I Know So Far podcast by Siana-Rose Crawford on Anchor

What I Know So Far on Overcast app

What I Know So Far on Apple Podcasts

Remind Yourself That You’re Enough

I know that my mental health weakens when I compare myself to others, get jealous of others, fail or fall short, or don’t do “enough”.

Well, the best way to combat this is to remind yourself that you’re enough. Remind yourself of the awesomeness that you’ve already achieved or seen or experienced.

We can feel like we’re not enough when things aren’t happening right now, but we forget that we had a great experience or achieved something great a year ago or a month ago. Stop being so against yourself. You’re amazing. You’ve done great things, and great things are yet to come…

Remind yourself monthly or every weekly of what you’ve achieved. Of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Remind yourself that your life as a whole isn’t as bad as you think, just because right now it isn’t sunshine and rainbows.

Let go of expectations. Let go of comparison.

The best way to do that is to not go on social media. I’m trying to start my day by not looking at my phone right away, otherwise I know I’ll probably see someone doing great things on social media and it will make me feel crap and then it’ll set the wrong tone for my day. So you need to not do this, too.

Have a constant list of great things about yourself. A list of achievements. A list of things that make you feel good. And regularly look over this list. I have a “sad times” book that I go to when I feel down and it’s full of quotes that make me feel good, lists of things I’ve overcome and achieved and like about myself, and generally all feel good things. It’s a way to effortlessly remind myself with my own words that I’m okay, I’m good, I’m enough.

Let go. Let it be. Trust in the course of life.

So, if you’re feeling low, remind yourself of what’s real about you and your life. Remember that you’re not alone, not as lost as you think, and not a failure or disappointment. Remind yourself that you’re enough, you’re on a path to something, and growing pains do hurt but it’s a part of the process of growth.

Breathe. Laugh. Live.


If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.

If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Our Trip to Portugal: Part Two

Here’s the details from the other half of our trip…

Airbnb

Ever since I decided to travel for myself, I have stayed (or tried to) in AirBnbs. If you’ve never used it, give it a try. You can opt to stay in a house, a spare room, or a shared room depending on your budget. It is the perfect way to travel on a budget because you can get a great little home for half the price of a hotel (at times). And it makes for a unique experience, where you feel like a local rather than a tourist using a hotel.

Our AirBnb was a studio “apartment” with its own mini dining table, mini sofa, microwave, hob, kettle, double bed, sink, big bathroom, small cable tv, amazing entrance with stairs and a mini garden, and it even came was a three-legged dog that we named Champion (this is from a tv show called Parks and Recreation, go watch it; my brother’s girlfriend mentioned it and it just stuck for the whole trip!)

We loved it. It was close to the beach, about a 10-minute drive, and so we ended up going to Praia da Faro 4 times. It had cafes and shops close-by, too. The best thing was that it was close to the airport, so when we had to wake up at 5am, we didn’t have far to go in the Uber to catch our flight.

I am so grateful to Julio, our host, as he suggested we visit Sagres, which is right at the end of the South of Portugal. I had planned for us to drive to Albufeira and Lagos,  but I didn’t think Sagres was close enough to Faro. It was Julio who said it would be worth the 2-hour drive, and so we did it. And he was so right. We saw sights like no other…

AirBnb

Nature

Aside from the food, or perhaps alongside the food, the best thing was the nature we saw. I read a quote recently that said, “Everyone should have themselves regularly overwhelmed by nature.” I feel that it was so apt that I read this whilst we were away, because I was incredibly overwhelmed by what I saw.

I am a very emotional person. I love and hate this about myself. But it was only a good thing that I was emotion when myself and Patrick got out of our car, wrapped up in jackets and jeans, and then ascended the hill to find the most beautiful sight I have ever seen in my life. Sagres, where we were, is called “The End of the World” which is so appropriately named. I felt like I was looking at the end of the world, over the cliffside, and staring out at the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. Seeing the edges of the cliffside, cut by the waves that weren’t vicious, but instead glorious.

I haven’t travelled far. I haven’t seen much. There are so many times that I have felt like the world is against me, and that it is ugly, and that it is unfair. But that view proved me ever so wrong. It showed me that my problems are so, so small. That I am capable of so much more than I realise. And that the world can never, ever be truly ugly. The sea may be cutting those rocks, but in doing so, it is creating something so wonderful. If nature can be that beautiful, how can the cuts from my life be seen as ugly?

Thank you, nature, for showing me that when I truly needed it.

Then Lagos gave us the opportunity to explore and sit amongst the rock formations, looking over the edge at the ocean, the boats, the waves washing over the rocks, and the cloudless sky above. It was…ineffable.

IMG_0238IMG_0270IMG_0279IMG_0285IMG_0292

Communication

We learned a few Portuguese phrases before our trip. These were “hello”, “do you speak English?”, and “thank you”. The whole trip, we said hello and thank you, of course. But we hadn’t yet used our key phrase, “do you speak English?” And so, I made it my duty to do so. When we were ordering our lunch at McDonald’s, I went up to the counter and ever so bravely and fluidly said “Voce fala Ingles?” I felt like a rockstar, I’m not going to lie! The young man smiled and said that he did speak a little bit (which I understood because it kind of sounded like Pequeno which is “a little” in Spanish, which I learned in my GCSEs!)

I loved that throughout the whole trip, I found myself saying “that word’s like such-and-such in Spanish.” My 16-year-old self was coming out, remembering the language I used to love learning. I received a B grade for Spanish in my GCSEs, and apparently, a lot of the words had stuck with me, even if I didn’t realise it. Thank you, Portugal, for reminding me that I love foreign languages. I really hope I can kick myself into gear and start learning more languages and brush-up on the Spanish, French, and Japanese that I already know parts of.

Sightseeing

Of course, no trip abroad is complete without sightseeing. We spend some time on the beach, chilling and reading and having a tussle. We parasailed and went on a boat to see the coastline caves and the vastness of the ocean. But we also had to look around at the monuments, the culture, and the town.

We were staying in Faro, and so we looked around their Old Town. This didn’t take long, as there’s not much to see really. We loved the rickety old trains, the marina, the pastel coloured buildings, the graffiti, the statues, and the cathedral. It was awesome to eat whilst we looked over at the ocean, watching boats bob atop the gentle waves. In Lagos, we looked around their town a bit, too. It was amazing to just wonder and accidentally find hidden gems like cacti, palm trees (huge and miniature), dogs and cats, dirt paths leading to the water’s edge, and gelato shops.

IMG_0311IMG_0319IMG_0327IMG_0331

All in all, Portugal was just what I needed, right when I needed it. I got to relax under the sun, sand in-between my toes and tickling my back. I got to read without feeling like I was getting a quick chapter in before bed or before starting my work. I just got to read unapologetically, with no time limit. I got to not only see the ocean, not only put a foot in the ocean, not only brave the waves of the ocean on a bobbing sickly boat, but also see the ocean from 80m in the sky on the parasailing! That’s pretty incredible.

I got to eat, and eat well. I got to sing along to the radio on the best road-trip-like journeys I’ve ever been on. And most of all, I got to do it all with my best friend. We changed and grew and experienced it all together, which is all I ever want for us. There is no one else I would have wanted to scream with in the air in the parachute or marvel at the rock formations that were Google-picture-worthy.

Thank you for the trip of a lifetime, and here’s to many more!