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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The photography tip that will ‘Christmasify’ any photo!

As we get closer to Christmas, each day is becoming more and more festive. I’ve grown up spending most of my Christmases in London, and for anyone who has visited London during December you will know that the festive atmosphere is contagious. The glowing Christmas lights on every street have this effect which makes everything warm and bright, and I love to capture this in photos. In this post I’m going to share my top tip for ‘Christmasifying’ any photo you take during this season, and using the lights to your advantage.

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You’ve probably seen loads of photos like this on your Instagram feed or all over the internet this time of year, but for me, it took me a while to actually perfect this style of photo. There’s something about using this style which always reminds me of a festive time of year. The whole gist of the ‘Christmasified’ photo is focusing on a subject in the foreground which has a background of lights behind it, but by blurring the background and only focusing on the foreground, the background turns into balls of glowing light which radiate festivity.

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Here’s an example of what the blurred light effect looks like

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And here’s an example of focusing on the foreground and blurring out the background

Once you know what you’re doing, it’s pretty simple to achieve this style. However, it’s hard to only focus on one point using your phone camera, so I would suggest using an actual camera where you can adjust your settings to achieve this effect. I usually shoot manual on my camera, but if this is something you’re not used to, then feel free to just adjust some of the settings I mention in this post. If you’re shooting on manual like me, be sure to shift your focus to one singular point, or when you push down the button to take the photo, make sure in your viewfinder you see that you’re focusing on one singular point in the foreground (otherwise, you will be taking in the whole landscape and not focusing on anything specific).

Step one for achieving this effect is NOT using flash. Personally, I don’t think using flash with these kinds of photos is a good idea, as the light from a cameras flash is too harsh and I hardly ever use it when taking photos. Instead, opt for a more natural light source, while it’s winter and there are lots of festive lights, it’s probably still going to be a little dark around you. But as long as you have enough light to be able to see what you’re doing, your camera should be able to pick up on your subject.

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The most important part of achieving this effect is adjusting your aperture. Your camera’s aperture is basically, how much light is let into your camera when you take a photo. By adjusting your camera to a higher ‘F’ number you’re letting in less light. So not only is your photo darker but also your photo now has a depth of field, because your camera only has enough light to focus on a subject in the foreground.

If you’re adjusting your aperture to let in less light, in order to achieve that depth of field effect which blurs out the lights in the background, you have to make up for this somewhere else in your settings, so that your camera still has enough light to actually take a photo. You can do this by adjusting your shutter speed. Your shutter speed is how long your camera shutter is open for when you take a photo. So by having a lower shutter speed, your photos will be brighter as more light is let in. So to achieve this effect you would need to choose a high aperture number, and a low shutter speed number.

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You may also want to change your cameras ISO, which is how sensitive your camera is to light. So if your camera is really insensitive to light, you probably won’t be able to pick up on all of the subject. By changing your cameras ISO number, to something higher your camera will be more sensitive to light. My last tip for capturing your subject in the best way is to ‘meter’ off your subject. So when you press down on your camera button to take the photo be sure that you’re focusing on a specific point on your subject, so that your camera picks up on it.

Remember:

Aperture – High ‘F’ number (your aperture is always 1/the ‘F’ number, so a higher number means a smaller fraction)

Shutterspeed – Low number

ISO – High number

I hope that you enjoyed this post! I usually don’t write posts this in-depth about one specific type of photo, but I thought that it might be useful to explain how to take this specific type of photo as it’s so festive. Let me know what you thought of this post by liking it or commenting, and if you try using these tips let me know, I would love to see what you come up with!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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5 Ways To Deal With School Work

Hi Guys!

After what seems like the longest week ever, it is FINALLY the weekend. But, my weekends are now filled with homework and revision, as I’m sure most of yours are. So… as I do, I thought I would write a blog post about this.

Going into my Sophomore year has been a real shock, but I think I am getting into the routine now. When I first came back from summer I found that my brain was still on holiday, and I wasn’t as productive as I was last year. This really started to worry me, as I felt like I was losing it, and I was going to fall behind. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that has experienced this ‘back to school-itus’ so far, so I wanted to share a few of my tips with you guys on how to deal with homework and school work in general, and getting back into a routine:

  1. Go to sleep early – One of my favorite things about summer is sleeping as late as I want to, and not having to worry about early starts the next day. I found it really hard to adjust from that routine when I started school, as I was so used to it. But, I think it’s a really good place to start getting into the routine for school, and to ensure that you won’t be tired at school. (which, trust me is the worst)
  2. Focus in class – Really this sounds so simple, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years in school, is that by focusing and working hard in class, you’re really just helping yourself. By listening and doing what you’re meant to in class, you usually end up with less homework, or you find the homework easier to complete. And, when it comes to a summative assessment you are way more prepared because you have understood everything along the way, and don’t need to do a last-minute cram session.
  3. Utilize your time – This tip is really big for me, as I do like to make sure my schedule is completely full, and I take on as much as I can. So for others, this would result in them not having time to do everything. But, I have come up with a system for utilizing every single second of my time during the day. For example, I write down my blog post ideas on the way to school and plan my Instagram posts for this blogs Instagram. Any emails, that I need to send out, I send in the car. So that when I get home, I have finished everything that could be finished elsewhere, and I just have to complete the big tasks I have to do at home. Whatever you do to utilize your time, it’s a really good idea to finish tasks throughout the day, whenever you find that you have time.
  4. Make lists – This is so helpful for me. Wow. I always find that I have a never-ending list of things I need to do, and I like to keep a list on my desk, as well as on my phone, of the things I need to do next. There must be some scientific reason as to why lists are so effective, but for me, it just un-jumbles everything in my brain and gives me a step to step guide of what I’m doing next. I would really recommend this for any student.
  5. Go Running – This has really helped me get into my school routine again. Of course, it’s partly because I love running, but also because running gives me discipline. I know that as soon as I get home from school I need to get in my run for that day, and then I can eat and do my homework. Not only does it give my day structure, but it makes me feel better about what I’ve done that day, and more motivated and focused when I’m doing my homework. Also, on the note of utilizing my time, one thing that I have started doing, is listening to audiobooks while running, at first this was purely because I had heard so many people talking about this. But, I thought that I would find it too boring, however, it’s actually a good sound to run to, as it keeps your mind on something else. And it teaches you something, I think that I might start listening to a more educational audiobook, such as a textbook (as I’m now listening to Harry Potter) so that I can utilize my running time even more.

I hope you guys found my tips helpful! I mean, they’re just a few random thoughts I threw together that I thought you might find useful. What are your best study tips? And be sure to let me know what you think about mine!

Little Miss Expat

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