4 tips to fix any bad day

Have you ever had one of those days where it just feels like everything is going wrong? Or where all you want to do is go home and curl up in your bed? Yup, we’ve all had those days. It sometimes comes from stress, fatigue, or just certain circumstances. I’ve recently been having some of those days, where one thing goes wrong and then everything else just cascades into a downward, stressful, overwhelming spiral, and it’s so hard to pull yourself out of it. For me, it’s because of stress, it’s a really busy time of year for me at the moment, but I’ve managed to come up with four tips that can fix any bad day for me.

Number one: Schedule in an ‘away time’

This is something that I do a lot if I’m having a day where I just know that I need a break. Sometimes when you’re having one of those days you know you just need to stop, because if you try and do more or carry on at this point you’re not going to gain anything from it. When I’m super stressed out, I always ask myself: am I really going to get anything done in the next 20 mins, or would I be better off giving my brain a break? If the answer is the latter I stop what I’m doing. Sometimes you reach that wall where doing more of something is actually detrimental. So I’ll take 20 mins and talk to a friend, watch a youtube video, or go for a walk or a run. Getting away from the thing that is stressing you out or upsetting you allows you to come back with a fresh and clear mindset which is so much more effective than struggling through it.

Number two: Treat yourself

I know you hear this phrase a lot, but it is really useful! If you’re having one of those bad days do something that you know will instantly put you in a good mood. For me, that will sometimes mean eating a specific food, listening to music, or going to a specific place, whatever it is, schedule in something that will make you happy and cheer you up. Once you’ve done that one thing, your mood will hopefully rise, and you’ll be able to carry on your day in a happier way.

Number three: Gratitude

This one might not be very obvious, and sometimes when you’re having a bad day this is the last thing that you want to do. Taking a few seconds to be grateful for what you have and where you are, actually grounds you and brings you back to the present. It can stop you from falling into the overwhelming spiral.

Number four: People

The people that you surround yourself with are one of those things that can instantly lift your mood. My family and I eat dinner together every night and sometimes when I’ve had a really stressful day, that time spent laughing and talking with them instantly changes my mood. Surround yourself with people who will make you happier instead of bringing you down.

I hope that some of these tips can help turn your day around, or make it that little bit better! Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of them, or if you have any you think should be added to this list.

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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Learning to go with the flow

I’ve always been a stickler for the rules, someone who lives by a schedule, and someone who likes everything to go according to plan. Okay… that makes me seem a bit lame and scary, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like organization and precision.

I’ve never been one of those last minute people who are able to just go with the flow. I always feel as though there’s always something I should be doing or something I could be doing, that if I just stopped and didn’t work according to a plan, I would be missing out on something else. This is often annoying as it is frankly impossible to do EVERYTHING in life and to do it all to a high quality. While you’re too busy trying to be perfect you miss out on the small things in life that are quite special.

This is something that I vowed to change about myself last year. After finishing the last school year, I was sick and tired of always feeling like I had to stick to a schedule in order to get everything done. I wanted to take some time off, do whatever I felt like, while still being productive. I wanted to re-program my work-style into a more sustainable one – a schedule that didn’t stress me out as much, and one that was flexible based upon how I was feeling or if I wanted to do something special that day.

You see, with sticking to a schedule, I always felt like I was missing out on something. Maybe it was time I wanted to spend with my family or time I wanted to spend face timing a friend abroad, I always felt as though if I strayed from my planned out schedule I would not get everything done. Living like this was exhausting, not to mention draining. This is why I wanted to change it this year, and I have to say I am happy with the progress I’ve made.

I may not be in a perfect place yet, but I am still proud of how far I’ve come. I have more work than ever before to do this year, but strangely I don’t stick to a schedule as tightly as before. I realized that you’re never going to have everything finished, so you might as well integrate your work with something fun, and take yourself less seriously, otherwise, you’re never going to be able to let go.

Now, I can only speak from my own experience, and perhaps, this only applies to teenagers like myself, I’m not sure. But I know that constant worrying and stressing does nothing. It gets you nowhere, and you always feel like there is more to be done. Recently I’ve been trying to be more flexible with my work and take it wherever I need to go. Sometimes if I know I’ll be spending a lot of time in the car, I won’t let that stress me out, I’ll just make sure I have some work to do while I’m there. Or if my family decides that they want to go to the beach in an hour, I won’t say no just because I haven’t got it scheduled in my diary. I’ll assess my situation and take the time off and enjoy myself for a bit. Of course, this isn’t a rationale for slacking, but it’s a reminder that you need to take a breather once in a while and just go with the flow. Do something based upon how you’re feeling because after all a bit of spontaneity is good for us.

Next time you let your stress get the better of you, just remember that nothing will ever be 100% perfect, just put all of your efforts into it, and also take some time for yourself to do something you enjoy. What do you think about this? I would love to know, share your ideas in the comment section.

See you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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How to stay motivated

Do you ever get those nights when you’re lying awake in bed listing out all the things you have to get done tomorrow? When your head feels like it’s going to burst with all the odd jobs and to-do lists kept in there? And when you know you have endless amounts of things to do, but you just can’t bring yourself to actually do them?

Yup, we’ve all been there. It’s not a nice feeling, knowing you have so much to do, but just being unable to find the motivation to start. I feel like we all lead such busy lives these days, that we hardly ever have time to take a breath. And at least for me, when I have a giant to-do list I just want to get everything over and done with, but it’s so hard to make that first dent in the list. To actually start. To find that motivation.

So in today’s blog post, I’m going to share a few of my tips for gathering motivation. Whether it’s motivation to start your homework, do a workout, or even get out of bed in the morning I hope these tips will be able to help you!

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Give yourself something to look forward to

Sometimes when I really don’t want to do something I like to give myself something to look forward to. For example, when I’m really tired in the morning and I have to get out of bed, I think about what I’m going to eat for breakfast (cause I love food!) or something exciting I have going on that day. Or when I need the motivation to do a piece of homework which is especially grueling, I tell myself that once I finish it I’ll make myself a smoothie or eat a cookie. (only now am I realizing that all my motivation is food, oh no…) But you get the point, give yourself incentives and be strict with yourself. Make sure you fulfill the task you set before giving yourself that treat!

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Get your setting right

Sometimes your motivation can be affected by your surroundings, and once you change these you’ll notice such a big difference! For example, lying on your bed in a messy room is not going to get you motivated to start something (well, at least not for me). Clean up, open a window, and get some air! Changing up your surroundings makes such a huge impact. Before I start my homework I always like to make sure my desk is clean and sometimes I’ll have my window open so I can hear the birds, maybe I’ll light a candle, just to get into a pleasant mood and mindset, and from this everything just comes much more easily.

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Make a routine. Give your body signals

We respond well to routines. Establish healthy routines for yourself, and you’ll find it easier to find that motivation. Sometimes I really don’t feel like running or working out. But I have a set of stretches and a small jog that I do every time before I workout and since my body is used to this, it gives me the signal that I’m about to start working out. Usually, once I finish this I feel much more energized and motivated because this routine has queued my body into knowing that it’s time to work out. The same goes for any other activity. Routines let your body and mind know that it’s time to get working, and means that it’s less of a struggle to find that motivation because it starts coming naturally.

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I think I’ll leave it there for this post! I hope that these three tips can help you gain that motivation to tick things off your to-do list, to go workout, or get up in the morning! Let me know in the comments section your ways of finding the motivation to start a task.

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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The economic concept that will change your life

The name of this post might seem a little weird. Who knows… maybe that’s why you clicked on it, maybe you’re intrigued about what a 16-year-old girl is going to tell you about economics and life changes?

Well, this post is not about one simple hack that will change how much money you spend or earn. In fact, this post has nothing to do with money at all. It’s about an economic concept, which, when applied, not in an economic context, can really change your life.

I’m a Junior studying economics, so in no way am I qualified to give you real economic advice. But a few weeks ago I was doing my homework, like the good student I am, and I came across something very interesting. I often read things in school, or I see things while I’m out, and I think of how they would make really interesting and unique blog posts, actually, that’s how I came up with my different ‘English-es’ blog post. This time was no different… I was reading my economics textbook when I came over the concept of Sunk Costs.

In an economic context Sunk Costs are costs that have already happened, they are things that regardless of the decisions you make next, they aren’t going to go back and change. For example, if you’re shopping at the mall and you buy a non-refundable dress, and you walk into the next store and see a dress you like even more. Buying the first dress has already happened, you can’t change that. But you can choose whether or not to buy the second dress, and you shouldn’t let your first decision affect your second one, as no matter how much you think about the first one, you can’t undo it. Of course, this is a very mild example. But this concept is usually used to explain much more serious problems such as rent or salary. However, regardless of the context, the concept still means the same thing: it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, you can’t change that. And it shouldn’t affect your future plans because you can’t go back and change what happened.

You may be able to see where I’m going with this. If we take this academic and complicated concept outside of school and textbooks and actually look at what it’s saying we can apply it to our everyday lives, and that’s where the magic is. We shouldn’t let our past decisions affect the decisions that we make next. Whatever we went through in the past or whatever it cost us can’t be recovered, and that past action is still going to cost us the same thing regardless of our next decision. How many times in your life have you let yourself be held back by something that you or someone did in the past? Yes, you should make educated decisions, but your past shouldn’t be something you dwell on or something that holds you back. You should make every decision in your life based on what you think could happen, not what has happened in the past.

There is a difference between speculating on the past and reflecting on it. I’m only 16 and I’ve been through so much. So I can’t imagine how much people older than me must have been through. Sometimes it’s hard to know that what I do now can’t make up for the mistakes I’ve made, or something I do now can’t change what’s already happened, but I’m getting better at it and I encourage you all to practice it as well.

This economic concept may seem a little abstract when taken out of context, but there is still reality to it. Let me know what you think, and if you agree with this idea of ‘sunk costs’ in our everyday lives. Comment down below your opinions and I hope you enjoyed this post!

See you next week,
Little Miss Expat

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Sustainability: why it’s important

I just spent the past few days at Abu Dhabi Sustainability week and I’ve come back very INSPIRED. Sustainability has always been something I’ve been very passionate about, but I feel like it’s extremely vital that we take action right now, otherwise nothing is ever going to change! As part of the younger generation I feel as though it’s up to us to be change makers and to speak up and inspire others to do the same, because if we all do our part, we can help the environment a lot. It was amazing to meet with other teenagers from around the world and hear about how they use their innovative spirits to help our world, and it made me inspired to do the same. It was nice to get out of my privileged life and experience something bigger than myself, to be around others who think the same way as me and hear about ways in which they’re helping the environment. Honestly, it just puts everything in perspective, when I worry about my high school problems, I realize how insignificant they are compared to what’s really going on in the world. It’s heartwarming to see so many people working towards the same goal: environmental protection! And I want to inspire you guys to do the same! So here are some easy ways to support the environment in your everyday life:

Get a reusable water bottle: This is such a simple way to be more sustainable! By getting a reusable water bottle you’re stopping yourself from using so much plastic. Also, it’s way better for your health and it inspires you to drink more water! Personally, I bring my water bottle on holidays with me, and pretty much everywhere I go if I know I’ll be out for a while.

Bring your own plastic bags to the supermarket: This is also another easy way to cut down on plastic usage! Just remember to bring your own plastic bags to the supermarket instead of using the disposable plastic ones.

Save water and energy: When you don’t need lights, don’t use them! Or when you don’t need the air conditioning don’t use it! Also, try not to waste water when you’re brushing your teeth etc… These are really easy things to do, and not only are you helping the environment, but you’re also cutting down your water and electricity bills!

Say no to plastic cutlery: This one is really easy to implement. When you’re getting a takeout just ask them not to include plastic cutlery in your order (as most of the time you don’t even need this if you’re eating at home) and it’s just a waste of plastic that goes into landfills.

Don’t use plastic straws: This is another tip that is really simple to do, you could buy reusable straws made from metal (which is what I have) or just don’t ask for a straw when you’re out. It’s something really simple to cut down on and is great for the environment!

Use your voice: We all have a voice, and a way to speak out! Be a change maker who inspires others to do the same. Let your actions be positive ones, and others will follow in your path.

I hope that these tips are useful to you and that you start implementing them in your daily lives! If you can think of any other easy tips to be more sustainable let me know in the comments section and we can learn from each other.

Make sustainable choices and see you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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Reflecting on 2018

Happy new year! It seems like just last week I was writing 2012 at the top of my school books! I can not believe that I’m going to turn 17 this year and that we’re one year away from my high school graduation! I feel like I say this every year, but this year more than ever this phrase is very applicable: it has been a BIG year. I feel as though I’ve gone through one of the toughest years of my life, but I’ve definitely learned a lot. The biggest lesson of all was learning about myself as I grow older and becoming more independent.

But before I get into an in-depth reflection I thought I would share a few of my highlights of the year:

  • Taking my blog to a new level with my photography, and doing more collaborations.
  • Making some great friends through my blog!
  • Launching the #ExpatWisdom Project on my blog
  • Having my writing published by The Expat Kids Club
  • Did my first product collaboration with Evolve Beauty
  • Doing well in school!
  • Did lots of charity work, which I loved every moment of
  • Making it halfway through my Junior year classes!
  • Running at big Cross Country and Track competitions & placing
  • Running my first half marathon
  • Did my longest flight ever and traveled to a place I’ve always wanted to visit (Australia)
  • Went to summer camp and became more independent (this was very outside of my comfort zone)
  • Did my first ever interview on camera!
  • SO MUCH personal growth
  • Became less stressed (I think)
  • Went to a Taylor Swift concert!
  • Made friends all across the world
  • Ate some REALLY good food!
  • Traveled to: Oman, London, Hatta, Washington D.C., New York, Newport, Boston, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Lebanon, Morocco, and Australia

WOW, that’s a jam-packed year! When I was writing that list I was so proud of everything that I’ve achieved this year, everything I’ve been through, and how I’ve come out on the other side. I feel like I’ve really grown up this year (and I don’t mean turning 16) but in terms of my perspective and my actions. Going to summer school was really an eye-opening experience. Living by myself for the first time, and doing everything for myself made me realize how important my family really is to me, and also what kind of a person I am. This year more than ever, as I mentioned I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I’m a simple person (if that makes sense?). I like simple things, I don’t like flashy parties and dramatic experiences, I’m much happier with a smaller group doing things I really love. I’ve learned that it’s okay not to follow the crowd, just to do what makes you happy, but also at the same time if you choose to do you, you don’t need to care about what everyone else is doing. I’ve learned that there are some things worth forgetting, and some things worth holding onto. When I say holding onto this also applies to my relationships all over the world. This year I kept in touch with friends I’ve made in different countries, who I still talk to every day, and it’s almost as if they’re in Dubai with me. And also holding onto the family who doesn’t live in Dubai with me. For some reason this year more than ever I’ve missed my family who lives abroad even more, and every time I fly back to Dubai after visiting them, the feeling of homesickness gets a little harder to deal with. But I guess as any expat would say that this is only something time can heal. I’ve learned to focus on what’s important to me, as it’s my Junior year and I’m drowning in work I’ve had to make decisions between how I spend the little free time I have and who I spend it with. I’ve learned that stressing doesn’t make anything easier, in fact, it only makes situations worse. I’ve learned not to let others actions affect me, as they don’t always have your best interests at heart, the only person that will always look out for you is actually yourself. In short, it’s been a blast, it’s been a struggle, It’s been a huge learning experience, but I think I’ve come into 2019 knowing myself better than I ever have, and I’m happy about that. There’s still a lot of things I want to do in 2019 so here are my goals.

  • Spend more ‘me time’
  • Revamp my blog and make some changes
  • Start my college applications and hopefully get into college!
  • Meet up with friends across the world
  • Let myself be the only one who determines my happiness (and even though it’s a cliche that’s a big one for me)
  • Visit at least one new place
  • Spend more time with my family
  • Go to the beach more (that seems a little silly, but I really love spending time by the beach)
  • Do well on my SAT and exams
  • Explore Dubai more as I only have a year and a bit left here
  • Use social media less (I’m going to write a post about this soon)

As you can see it’s going to be another busy year, but I’m up for the challenge! Going into this year having learned so much, I feel as though this year is going to be a good one. And as for you guys, I want to say thank you for continually reading my work and supporting me, this blog has been a place where I can interact with you and also share my thoughts. I hope that I can continue being a positive influence on you all! Let me know what you achieved last year and what your goals for this year are in the comments, I would love to hear them!

Happy New Year

Little Miss Expat


3 breakfast spots to try in London

During summer I always go back to London for a few weeks, where my days are filled with exploring new quaint stores and restaurants. One of my favourite things to do during summer is to wake up early and go out for breakfast. In case you didn’t know, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so I’m always down to try new places. London is home to some of my favourite breakfast spots in the world, and in this blog post, I’m going to share 3 that I think you should try.

Granger & Co

Granger & Co have a few locations around London, but I’ve only ever visited the Notting Hill one. It’s one of the most popular breakfast spots in Notting Hill, so be sure to get there early if you don’t want to wait in line! All of the items on their menu are so fresh, and they have a lot of imaginative options. My all-time favourite, is their ricotta hotcakes, I’m drooling just thinking about them right now.

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Andina Bakery

My family and I discovered Andina this summer, and we fell in love. Andina is also located in Notting Hill (although they do have other locations). It’s filled with the smell of freshly baked bread, and they display all of their baked goods on the counter, they look so inviting, you can’t help but try one. What I like about Andina is that their food is different from your regular breakfast options; they have a Peruvian inspired menu, and some of my favourite options are their corn cake and their artichoke and swiss chard pie, they’re so good! Whatever you order off the menu at Andina, you can see it being baked right in front of your eyes.

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Farm Girl Cafe

Farm Girl Cafe is one of my go-to breakfast spots. Their light and fresh breakfast menu is perfect for the summer, but their wide array of lattes, such as the matcha latte, rose latte, charcoal latte etc… are the perfect fix for a cold autumn day. I’m slowly making my way through their drinks menu (my goal is to one day try them all!) and I would strongly recommend the charcoal and matcha lattes! I’ve visited their cafes in Notting Hill and on Carnaby street and I love them both. Be sure to try one of their smoothie bowls, or their avocado toast topped with strawberries!

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Those are three of my favourite breakfast cafes in London! Be sure to let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these, and what your recommendations are!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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