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

 

Preparing your, Mind . Body . Soul

Third night in a row waking up at 5.30 am. Why do our brains insist on waking us up with thoughts we do not need at stupid o clock.  This time my brain decided to wake me up to have a little chat, ”What will you do if you wake up in so much pain after your operation and there is no one around?” . ”What if your recovery takes much longer or it all goes horribly wrong?”  Suddenly i’m wide awake, heart racing.  Thanks for that brain. 

With only a week till surgery, I know some anxiety is perfectly normal.  The mere thought of surgery is often very scary.  The thought of a stranger cutting your body open taps into a primal fear. And the anticipation of surgery is so full of uncertainty and possible problems, physically, financially and emotionally,  so its natural for our minds to explore all these avenues.  But stress does not aid the healing process and we all want to go into anything difficult in life in the best possible fame of mind and health. 

The body is more than the sum of its parts, Mind, Body, Soul means that our well-being comes not just from being physically fit, but from our mental health and soul too.  And to be healthier all round humans, we must pay attention to all three aspects.  Recently my head is on a roll, alert, over stimulated, full of big ideas, ready to take on the day (at 5.30 am). My body is dragging behind asking do we really need to walk anywhere, feeling heavy and sluggish.   And my soul is feeling a little flat at times.  The Key….to find some balance.

This can help not just those preparing for surgery but for any human in any challenging situation.  


MIND

Start the day differently;  I feel like my working week days can sometimes start over stimulated with too much information, reaching over for my phone to check emails, messages, scrolling through social media, putting on the TV to watch the end of that programme from last night while I eat breakfast. I want to give my mind a break this week. I owe it that.  So this week my mornings will start with just a drink, some silence and love.

Face the Fears; Whether its Surgery, worries or anything big you have coming up, it can be terrifying, in can take over your mind and replay on a loop, while we try desperately to fight the thoughts away.  But its best to accept your reality, face your fears and WHEN you feel them, let them simply ‘run you over like a train. ‘  Then you will see,  nothing actually happens. All fear wants is to be acknowledged, its worked before with other situations, so I will now do the same with surgery fears. 

Change night time routine;  Iv let this slip recently and I know the full benefits of having a better routine for my mind before bed. Over stimulation with technology before bed, and reading up on operations is not the answer for a peaceful nights sleep.  So this week I will be more disciplined. Reading before bed, listening to an audio book or just relaxing in silence.  


BODY

Exercise;  Do what you can. Whether its stretching in your living room, yoga, walking round the block, or going to the gym. I cant do much as my knee’s are in a lot of pain after long walks, but I can stretch in the mornings, I can go for short walks along the seafront, get in what you can before surgery.  Your body will thank you. 

Eat healthy;  As much as I would love to order pizza all week and stuff my face with chocolate, I know my body needs as much goodness before surgery and during. Following a nutritious diet is important for everyday health. but If you are preparing for surgery, a healthy diet is even more important, getting the right nutrients can boost your immune system and help heal faster.  The blender is on the go as I write and I have a list of new smoothies and healthy soups I want to try. Yum. 

Holistic Health;  Iv stocked up on vitamins, herbal teas, ”Positivitea- Elderflower and Chamomile” is my favourite, manuka honey, turmeric paste, turmeric Latte’s, ( helps inflammation ) herbal sleeping aids. Basically Holland and Barrett is my best friend. 


SOUL 

Having a more positive, optimistic outlook;   I know this is one I will have to refer back to many times when times are tough and I’m unable to get about. But this week, every time I have a thought about the things this surgery will effect for me, or the things I am going to be unable to do, i.e walk, be outside, be independent.  I will take 30 seconds to imagine how I expect to feel when recovered, visualise walking, hiking, dancing and the prospects this surgery will have for my future. (And no one likes a martyr) 

Practice Relaxation techniques;

  • deep breathing
  • meditation
  • listening to a playlist that soothes you.
  • Reading.

Distraction;  Ok, we have faced the reality and faced the fears, but no one wants to sit around thinking about something they are dreading. So organise something nice for yourself,  plan some thing with friends for the week before, have fun, go shopping.  I decided to go shopping, yes I bought the boring bits, shower chair, bath stool ( I wont bore you with those pictures), but seeing as i’l be in hospital for 4 nights and then unable to leave my home for 6-8 weeks, a girl needs some nice night dresses.   Primark and Topshop do some lovely bits, if like me you cant wear trousers for some time, these long night -tees are perfect. 

Who said buying things for surgery is boring.


 

Everyone has their own way of finding balance between their body and mind. No journey is the same.  But In life we would prepare for a wedding, a job interview, a physical competition, to get in the right frame of mind and health. So why not prepare for a major surgery, recovery or major challenge too. 

Keep your body fuelled, your mind healthy, and keep dreaming of all the big and wonderful things that are to come on your road to healing x