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Some are waiting for snow

Some are waiting for snow. Some are waiting for warm sunshine. Me? I’m waiting for it to be 5:30 so I can go home and put on my mis-matched pjs and have a hot water bottle.

This time of year, for anyone can be long and a struggle. Christmas has been a gone and January feels like its going on forever. For some, if not most, this time of year should be a time to focus on your friends, family and yourself.

You may be feeling the pressures of University but that does not mean you have to forget about yourself. You are allowed to treat yourself from time to time. You are allowed to take breaks. You are allowed to have days that involve doing nothing but eating junk food, watching tv and switching off from the outside world.

In a world full of stress and chaos, I am going to give you a list. This list you can choose to try or just ignore. This is a list of self-care tricks, tips and ideas. I hope this helps get you through these winter blues.

  1. Make yourself a hot drink, sit and read your favourite book.
  2. This may not be your cup of tea but, put Classical FM on and listen for an hour. You will be surprised at how relaxed classical music can make you feel.
  3. Bake a cake or cupcake (I will leave a simple Victoria sponge recipe at the end of this blog)
  4. Wrap up warm and walk from the barbican to the hoe and back. Stop off a take a selfie if you like 😉
  5. Have a movie day (with friends or just yourself) pick 3 favourite films, buy some sweets, ice cream, chocolate and a bottle of your favourite fizzy drink (fruit twist Fanta for me :P) put your pjs on, grab a blanket, settle down.
  6. If you have car- drive to the moors or the beach. Just because its chilly, doesn’t mean you should always stay in and not breath in some fresh air.
  7. Go for a swim. Life centre, Plympton, Marjons. Or if you are feeling brave, take a dip in the sea. Exercise is a brilliant stress-reliever.
  8. Build a pillow fort. Just because you are in University doesn’t mean you can’t be a kid for the day. Grab your friends, grab as many pillows and blankets as you can and start building!
  9. Try some meditation- download an app (sleep sounds) or look on YouTube for a tutorial.
  10. Treat yourself to a pamper. Either pay for a pamper or go to lush, grab some bath bombs, go home and relax in a bath of colourful glittery warmth.

This list is just some of the things I have tried, tested and found they work. You can do these with friends, family or go solo. Either way, remember to look after yourself. Don’t forget, it’s okay to put yourself first once in a while.

Victoria Sponge Recipe

You will need:

  • 6oz self-raising flour
  • 6oz margarine
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1tsp of baking powder
  • 1tsp of vanilla (you can add more if you like vanilla)

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4, grease and line your baking tins.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy
  3. Beat the eggs and vanilla together, add this bit by bit into the butter and sugar. Stir well between each pour. (don’t worry if it looks split- just add a bit of the flour and beat well)
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add into the butter, sugar and egg mixture.
  5. Split the mixture between to cake tins.
  6. Put in the oven and bake for 25-30 mins. Check at 25mins. If the cake springs back when you lightly touch the top it is done. If you want to be double sure, put a knife through the middle. If it come out clean the cake it baked.

*Traditional Victoria sponges don’t have buttercream. But mine do. So, here is the ingredients and method for butter cream*

You will need:

  • 2oz of soft unsalted butter
  • 7oz of sifted icing sugar *do not forget to sift- no one like lumpy buttercream*
  • 1tsp of vanilla (optional)

Steps:

  1. Cream the butter till soft and fluffy
  2. Add the icing sugar bit by bit
  3. Add vanilla (optional)
  4. Beat mixture till smooth

NOW SMOOTH THE BUTTER CREAM ONTO THE CAKE, ADD YOUR STRAWBERRY JAM. SANDWICH TOGTHER AND DIG IN!!!!!!

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