Facing Fears

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I never thought I would write a blog.  I’ve always felt a little unsure about them.  Like the world has gone mad.  Everyone wants to paint a picture of their  ‘So called perfect life,’ that’s not so perfect in reality.  Everyone’s an expert.  Sally went to Phuket for two weeks and now has an ‘expertise’ travel blog.  Barry did an online course for £40 and is now a nutritional bone structure adviser, (it could be a thing.)  That was until I came across a blog that changed how I felt.  A blog that I could relate to.  It gave me the extra push I needed to face my fears, and have a much needed surgery I had put off for 7 years.  And I thought, well if a blog can help others like that, it’s worth becoming a ‘blogger.’

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See I used to be someone who ran away from fears,  shoved anything scary I could, so far under the rug.  From relationship problems, to serious health matters.  My partner so much as tried to speak to me about my dislocating knee’s, I would feel a surge of panic come over me, and shut the conversation down.  As a born worrier, which lends itself nicely to anxiety, being told I needed my legs broken and realigned, was something I was waaaay to anxious to ever face.

I had always been this way, even in other areas in my life.  Putting off that dreaded, ‘ We need to talk,’ conversation with a partner, or spending years suffering with depression, yet not wanting to face it and ask for help.  I just ignored, in hope everything would just go away.  Facing my fears was never my strong suit.

But it dawned on me this morning just how much has changed in my life, since I actually started facing fears head on.  Two years on not only did I talk, and get help for depression, I finally had, and am recovering from the much needed knee surgery.  And also now able to face any kind of confrontation, plus I met someone who loves and supports me.   Now, I’m not writing this as a,  ‘Hey, come over here and look at how great I’m doing.’  But in a way of, I never thought two years on I would actually feel proud of where I am, so I know It’s a place anyone putting of fears right now, can come to. 

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The changes happened as I slowly started putting myself out there more, and started facing fears in my personal life, and work life, so out of  my comfort zone, that my anxieties actually began to decrease, therefore my happiness increased. 

So have you had a niggle for a while that your too scared to face?  Be it a relationship problem ?  Work issue ? An addiction you don’t want to admit you have?  A health scare you know you need to deal with? Or a relationship you know you need to walk away from?  Now, I am no expert, but my experience of facing fears are, it makes you feel empowered, strong, and I would never want to go back to that girl running away from everything that she feared.

So tell yourself today, you will be brave, and take those baby steps towards those fears. 

I was once told it feels better to move towards a problem , than it does away from it…….

They were right.  x

Happy LOVE ( yourself ) DAY

Roses are red, violets are blue, try loving yourself, before asking someone else to.

Ok, ok, it’s a little cheesy, but it’s the day of love. So, with love in the air today and being someone who blogs about wellness and recovery, self-love is something I wanted to delve into a little more.

Now we have all heard the saying, ‘’ If you can’t love yourself, you can’t truly love another.’’ I used to think this was just some cliché statement adults used, when they didn’t like your boyfriend choices. But as I have grown and matured, I now realise just how true this statement is.  Like so many of us growing up, I would say my self-esteem was low, maybe this is pretty common for any teen/early twenty something trying to find their place in the world.  But I found my low self-esteem opened me up to fake friendships, jobs I could do better than, and settling for toxic relationships.  I wouldn’t attend job interviews I wanted as I was sure I wouldn’t be able to do the job.  I would waste time in unhealthy and unhappy relationships as I was to scared to be alone.  And I spent time with people who just drained the life from me.  I had no idea at the time, that this all stemmed from a place of,  ‘lack of self-love’.

Self-love impacts so many areas of our life, our relationships, our careers, the friendships we maintain and social situations we surround ourselves in. So of course the statement of loving yourself first, is vital to an all rounded happier life. After a lot of realisation, growth, confidence building and of course maturing, I find myself in a place where I like (love) my imperfect self. And I know both my faults and pros and I’m ok with them.

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Here are a few tips I found were vital in my own self-esteem and growth journey.

1) Cut out (down) time spent around negative people.

Ok don’t ditch your pal Sally who’s going through a bad break up, but I mean cut down on time with those people who are always negative or seem to find the joy in finding the worst in everything. Negativity is contagious, and it spreads like wild fire, emotionally, mentally and physically.  You may find yourself surprisingly happier when you cut down on time spent on these kinds of friendships.


2) Remind yourself daily of what you did that was great today.

Some days I can go to bed with a smile on my face knowing I have made a small difference, I work with young people from troubled backgrounds and knowing iv had a small breakthrough that day, can make me feel proud for perseverance. Other days I got out of bed, I washed my hair, and turned up when I really didn’t want to.  Not as impressive, but you know what, you achieved something – So remind yourself daily how well you are doing. Tell yourself something great you did today.


3) Leave unhealthy/unhappy relationships

Ok that’s a big one, you may not feel ready to leave, but I mean, if you have really tried everything possible, communicated with this person how you feel, if there’s no change, don’t waste precious years of your life with toxic people who do not value you. Let go of people who do not add substance to your life. You don’t need a relationship to define yourself or your identity and you defiantly don’t need one that does not show you love, respect and value your worth.


4) Stand up for yourself. Be assertive

Is there someone in your life who you feel, talks to you in a way that really de values you. Whether it’s a boss/colleague at work, a partner or a friend, if you don’t like the way someone is treating you, communicate this today. Letting someone speak down to you, no matter their position, while you sit in silence is a confidence destroyer. In time being spoken to disrespectfully will dig away at your self-esteem. Now I’m not saying go into work today all guns blazing, but when I feel I am treated unfairly now, I will calmly let that person know its not ok with me, set your boundaries and value yourself. Confidence stays intact.


5) Try something new – Anything-

I can be a real creature of comfort, change used to petrify me.  But I found getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new, gives your inner self a little boost, and a sense of proudness that doing the same safe thing over and over can’t always do. Now I am forever wanting to try new things. Those things you usually hand over to others because you can’t do it. Try it. That exercise class you’d love to join but your to nervous to go alone, Join it. That job you want but you’re to scared to be interviewed for. Go for it.  You may not succeed first time but your inner self will thank you when you do.


6) Stop comparing yourself 

I spoke in a previous post about how comparing your recovery journey to others, can rob any joy you have. How comparing will steal your joy . This is relevant also when discussing building your own self esteem.

Do not compare your situation today to Sue and Pete and their perfect valentines pictures all over Facebook.  Social media is not a true reflection of what is going on in peoples life’s. Be so focused on yourself and making yourself happy ( and those you love ) that a picture of Sue and Pete only makes you feel happy for them, not compare yourself.  Focus on yourself, how far you have come, and your own results, this will both motivate you and boost yourself esteem.


7) Stay in the now

We often visualise loving ourselves once we get the man we want, once we are in the ideal career, or when we at the weight we desire.  Although having goals are great, start working on liking yourself as you are ! Right now! Today! And the rest will follow. 


It took me a few wrong relationships and a lot of self-improvement to find a romantic love I am happy with. But more importantly I am happy with the relationship I have built with myself.

So rather than just telling someone else today how brilliant, loved and amazing they are. Tell yourself to. How great you are. How fab you are doing.
Its not selfish, self indulgent or stupid. It’s vital.

” The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone else to love the you, YOU love, well…………..

That’s just fabulous.”

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Lazy Days, or Stuck in a rut ?

You may notice I tend to write a lot of positive posts, how to look after your mind, how to feel better, beating negativity etc etc.  Now, I don’t do this because I’m sitting here with ribbons in my hair, singing along to musicals.  But I write them because that’s what works for me. It keeps me motivated, allows me to check in with myself, and I like to think others like a positive read also.

But on the flipside, it’s ok to admit when we have shitty days.  We all have those days where every idea we had to be productive goes out the window.  The days where we say we will DEFINITELY be going to the gym, but instead we then spend the whole evening scrolling through ‘Andy from school’s photos,’ on social media. Because god forbid we don’t look through all those, even though we haven’t seen Andy for 8 years.  Or those days where you spend hours looking up healthy recipes and meal plans, to then just order a Dominoe’s. And we have all experienced times where we plan a productive ‘day off’, to then just watch TV all day and feel cross eyed by the end of it.

But then why not ?! We need those days! We are hardworking multi functioning humans, with a lot going on.  Our brains need that down time.  But it is when those days start to become our routine, bad habits creep in, and our planned ‘lazy days off’, leave us feeling unmotivated, with zero energy, or any feel good feelings at the end of them.   As I am currently off work on recovery from surgery, those days are easy to slip into, so after a 4 day stay over in ‘Rutsville’ I’m ready to find some balance again.

Knee surgery entails not a lot of going out, but also these cold months are inevitably the months many of us spend time indoors.  Our days off from work, we plan lazy days in, but this doesn’t mean those days can only be filled with TV and endless scrolling through social media every time your at home, leaving our brains feeling like mush by the end of them.  So I have devised a list of things to do for those during recovery, and for those feeling in a rut, who may want to add a little variation to their lazy days off.  Here we go.


Podcasts-

I’m nowhere near as dedicated to listening to podcasts as I would like to be, but once you get into one, it’s a really nice change from just staring at a TV.  They are entertaining and broaden your mind and a great night time listen, for those who don’t like reading. I am always looking for new podcasts to grab my attention, I’d recommend these old favourites;

Serial – An old one now, but still great, listen to a crime tale unwind, it had me hooked.

Ted Talks DailyInteresting, motivating and will broaden your mind. Pick any subject your interested in, and prepare to feel empowered.

Crime Town- I am currently listening to this as I write, working my way through this gripping documentary, for the ears.


Read –

I love to read, but I became better at ordering new books and then looking at them lovingly as they sit on my bookshelf. But I’m breaking that bad habit and my latest reads are;

The Kind Worth Killing- Peter Swanson-  I read this book in two days, crime thrillers as you might tell are my thing, if you’re looking for a psychological page turner, full of suspense and twists, this is the one. This is everything I hoped Girl on Train would be.

Happy- Fearne Cotton An honest, insightful, intelligent read, which is a reminder that we never can tell who is suffering.  It’s a positive book which reminds us all to slow down and look after ourselves.

Elanor Oliphant, is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman– A chick flick, with humour and purpose.  It’s about a 30 something girl, and her humdrum existence.  So far I am enjoying this book, it’s a great escapism from reality, and I am loving her quirky character already.


Box Sets

We all love a binge watch. I have given myself a set amount of ‘healthy binge time’ a day during recovery, as I love it, but my brain aches after a while and not in a good way.  If you’re needing a new tv binge, the following I found impossible to turn off;

  • The Jinx – The life of Robert Durst – A crime documentary with a twist, if you haven’t seen it. You need to.
  • Big Little Lies – Girl power at its best.
  • Line of duty – An extremely intense who done it, who doesn’t love one of those.

 Although I still feel like I am the only human who’s yet to watch Game of Thrones. Am I missing out…


Research that Business idea

Remember that business idea you said you never had enough time to look into, or research. Well those two hours a day you just just spent watching repeats of ‘friends’ or facebook scrolling, take an hour out and read a business book, jot ideas down, make a mood board.  This is something I do once a week at the moment and want to do a lot more of.


Be Creative 

Draw, write, paint, make something, do anything you enjoy, it does wonders for the mind.  I am currently printing off all my favourite photos into a scrap book/ album. I no longer want the majority of the photos I own to be on Facebook and not in my home. Its strangely therapeutic and relaxing creating your own photo album.


Wall Art

Buy or create a print or a motivational quote that means something to you and frame it. I have put one above my sofa, seeing as that’s the place at the moment that I tend to have my many ‘I cant do it’ moments. So this was the perfect place to hang up a little motivational reminder for me.


Create a Mood Board

Go onto Pinterest and create your own mood board of anything you are interested in. Whether it’s new recipes you want to try, decor, fashion, travel.   I am moving home in a couple of months, so my mood board is made up of new decor ideas for our new place. There are so many pretty things on Pinterest and, amazing ideas to feel inspired.


Meditate

UNPLUG. Turn off phones, radio, TV, and relax.  I have been doing this every night during my physiotherapy exercises, I set the scene by lighting my favourite incense, playing calming music, (ocean or spa music is my favourite,) and I take some deep breaths. I always feel good after and now I can’t imagine not doing this as part of my evening routine. Try it, if you don’t already. Give your brain some time out. It will thank you.


And of course, carry on doing what works for you, what you enjoy to do on your lazy days off, but if like me without realising it, you had been caught up in bad habits for so long, not realising why your feeling fed up, bored or sluggish, after what was planned to be a ‘perfect lazy day in’. Then try some new things.  Now that I am aware of my bad habits, that have been hijacking my happiness. I’m making better choices on my recovery days, and taking better care of my mind.

So I’m off, to turn off my phone, put on some new pjs, light some candles, eat a giant chocolate bar, and sink into a new book.

What are you doing for your mind this weekend ? xx