This October signals a fresh start for me.

I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED MY MASTERS DEGREE.

I know that probably doesn't seem like a big deal to, well, anyone, but this is huge for me. For the past 2 years, I've had deadlines, workshops, exams, and that little voice in the back of my head telling me 'remember you've got to do this!' At times, it's made me feel low, anxious, tired, fed up, frustrated and resentful.

Well not anymore my friend, oh no!

And to be honest, I'm already seeing how having this off my shoulders is making a huge difference. The first in that, I'm ill.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the reason I'm currently suffering from the worst bout of tonsillitis ever known was that, for a long time, it had been underlying and now I've relaxed a bit, it's hit me at full force. Yay me.

Second, I feel happier. It hasn't quite sunk in that I have now got 2 and a half days a week (I work part-time) to do whatever I want. The freedom is so exciting I can't tell you!!! Having that huge burden - yes, it was a burden to some extent - now removed has done wonders for my mental health already, and I intend to take full advantage of it.

So, without further ado, here's how I plan to keep looking after myself this season, now that I can:

Read. 

I've had - and still have - a huge pile of books on my shelf that have been there for months (some for at least a year, I admit) and haven't been touched. This stresses me, because I like buying new books when they're out...or at least when I first hear about them, and then I feel guilty (though this doesn't last long) buying and reading something newer when I have lots already sitting there. So, I'll be reading til my heart's content.

Baking. 

It has been far too long since I last baked that I genuinely don't even remember when it was. This time of year is peak baking season anyways, so I'll be getting very involved making themed biscuits, pies, cakes...the possibilities are endless and it makes me so excited!

Photography. 

It's always been a small hobby of mine to take photos, but now I've got myself a decent camera, I want to get out there and be snap happy while the seasons are changing. Autumn is my favourite time of the year and it's also the prettiest, so I'll be taking my camera out into the nicest parts of Oxford, probably with a PSL in hand. Anyone is welcome to join.

Hot drinks. 

Speaking of PSLs, I will absolutely be dosing up on all manners of hot drink - yes, PSLs, hot chocolates, and my new favourite, the caramel macchiato. I've also heard Society Cafe in Oxford do a pumpkin tea which sounds delightful, and I'll probably drink something with the word 'chai' in it somewhere. When in Autumn.

Therapy. 

I'm aware this isn't possible for everyone, but I've just started up my third round of therapy and I'm gonna throw myself into it. The first session was harder than expected, but at this point, I'm keeping an open mind and just thankful I have the chance to see a therapist when there are so many people who are still waiting.

Cosying up

This will involve wrapping myself up in my cosiest of jumpers - some of which I'll have bought at New Look/Zara/ASOS etc because have you seen how amazing their latest collections are? - maybe with a blanket, a hot drink, and perhaps even a book. Fairy lights go on, candles will be lit, I might get into bed or just surround myself with cushions, and I. Will. Chill.

Baths. 

Thank heavens for Lush is all I can say. I recently spent over £50 on Lush bath stuff to sort me from now til Christmas so this will be happening.

M x