A little Ray of Sunshine………

Recovery is long isn’t it. Whether it’s recovering from surgery, mental health, addiction….it can feel like a long slog to feeling like your bright, shiny, self again……but we will get there. And it will all be worth it. 

I am all for living in the moment, making the most of the now.  But sometimes you just need a little exercise to lift your spirits and take your mind off of  ‘a difficult/ mundane time or long recovery,’ and it’s great to have a few things to look forward to in the pipe line.

So today I got thinking about summer. Ok, I know it’s only April, but we’ve all had a little taste of the sunshine, and it’s gone to our heads. ( I hope I wasn’t the only one who was stressing out that I have zero summer clothes, frantically looking online for a new wardrobe, for all 3 days of sun we had.)  But it did get me thinking about this summer, and how I would like to spend it.

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I’ll be spending the majority of my summer in Brighton. I love Brighton, it’s definitely my happy place.  I’m not sure exactly why I love Brighton, but I do remember after a stressful day at work, when I stop, breathe and look around me. I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and content ness to be in such a happy, colourful and vibrant city. So choosing to live here was an easy decision.

I told myself I would do so many things last summer in Brighton and due to life , work and knee problems, I didn’t get round to even half.  So this summer I intend to make more time.  So what better way to lift the spirits, than to write your own summer bucket list.   It’s not about jumping off bridges ( unless that’s your thing ). But about looking for reasons to celebrate, and enjoy the places we live, doing things we love, no matter how small.

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Here’s my list for anyone visiting Brighton, or like me surgery recovery has been such a slog, you just need a little something to look forward to.


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  • Be tourists for the day down Brighton Pier.
  • Go to more open mic nights (Love the Brunswicke pub in Hove for this .)
  • Eat Fatto Mano Pizza ( the best ) on the lawns on a warm summer evening.
  • Watch more coastal sunsets.
  • Check out as many new Coffee shops ( Hixon Green, Flour Pot Bakery & Red rooster faves )
  • Have a picnic in St Anne’s Gardens.
  • Dance the day away at Gay Pride
  • Cycle from Brighton to Hove beach ( little hopeful, but if knee is willing)
  • Join a yoga class above Six in Hove (once knee recovered)
  • Try out more Vegan restaurants.
  • Host a big BBQ
  • Summer evening date night at Theatre Royal
  • Summer day drinking on Brighton Beach.
  • Go to Brighton Food festival.
  • Watch more live gigs/ comedy (Komedia Comedy Club is the most popular )
  • Stroll along the colourful north laines and buy some vintage bits.
  • Read books on Hove Lawns and dog watch ( So many cute puppies down there.)

Feeling better already. 

Ready to soak up the season.  Now roll on the sunshine………….

x Happy Saturday x

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Good vibrations….

I am sure if the majority of us, if asked, how we would like to imagine our ideal home atmosphere, it would include some of the words, happy, calm, peaceful.  We wouldn’t tend to use the words chaotic, stressful and intense.  Although Its not always easy being positive and happy at home, mainly due to life duties, relationships and work life balance, but we can all try and create a better atmosphere at home when possible.

  I am always looking for things that help improve my mood, wellbeing and give me a balanced happy lifestyle.  So for the past several months, I have become increasingly more intrigued by the world of Holistic Healing, and positive energies, especially around creating more of a positive energy at home, seeing as that is where I am spending most of my time currently post-surgery.


Crystals and Gem stones.

I have started to enjoy learning more about gemstones and crystals. They are everywhere and popping up more and more. What are the meanings behind these beautiful stones? And which ones should I include in my own home, or on my body?  So, they say the best way to learn,  if it’s for you, is to get your hands on the gemstones. Luckily living in arty Brghton I am spoilt for choices, but after hearing great things about a supplier near me, ‘’ The Gemstoners.‘’ I gave them a visit.

Not only are these products healers and cleansers, but they also all look amazing too. And the staff were so helpful and informative, being someone still learning and intrigued.

I was advised by a lady, to choose the stone you are drawn to, I was instantly drawn to;

Amethyst-  Balance, Protection and Healing. This stone has a calming influence, soothes stress and encourages balanced thinking.

Labradorite A useful companion through change, banishes fear, insecurities and strengthens faith in self.

Gemstones are said to have health, wellbeing and mood benefits, and enrich the life of those who wear them or keep them in their home.  I chosen to keep one on me as a necklace and one at home.  I am so IN LOVE with these beautiful gemstones, their healing properties and I am ready to introduce them into my life.

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Positive Affirmations

Surrounding yourself with a few healthy reminders can only be a positive. From cards, art work, diary notes, to a screensaver on your work computer. A happy, healthy, mantra to go by, or a reminder to focus on when you need it.
I asked a local artist to paint this quote for me. Seeing as I am at home a lot this painting is now above my dressing table as a gentle reminder. And makes me feel more positive.

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Aromatherapy and Essential Oils.

Negative energy and emotions are all around us, so creating the opposite at home is vital to our wellbeing, You can use essential oils to create this positive energy within your home.  You know that feeling when you walk into a spa, the atmosphere, smell and energy.  I get that same feeling in the evening when I create a relaxed scene, light music, a bubble bath and my favourite essential oils on the burner.  I want to create that at home more. So I tend to use;

Evening – Lavender or Bergamot- for a calming peaceful effect, which always helps me sleep better.

Daytime – I use peppermint or Orange – Helps me feel sharp and focused on my daily tasks. Lemon and oranges oils can be great for mood improvers at any point during the day.

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Beyond anything else, collecting crystals and gemstones, learning to use different essential oils, should be fun, enriching, and interesting. Get out and experience whatever you can, and see for yourself.

And I’m all for feeling calm. balanced and surrounding myself with positive energies …… listen to your intuition, and play around with things! Have fun in finding what suits you!

Everything is energy and energy is everything.

Happy Healing XxX

 

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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A Sunday Well Spent…..

One minute your enjoying your weekend, thinking that brunching and browsing shops for new candles and cakes is now your full time job,  next your hit with the realisation that tomorrow its back to the grind of working life.  Dread hits.  Between the ups and downs of work, kids, duties, life, Sunday nights are the perfect time for most, to re-energise and think about the week ahead, to feel organised and prepared for whats in store. All great. But the truth is we are so busy moving onto the next ‘thing to do’, overwhelming our heads with worries of what the week entails, that we rarely slow down and reflect on whats just been or appreciate the now.  So with that in mind, I’m going to make Sundays my day that I reflect on my week just gone, write down what I have achieved (no matter how small it is), and more importantly what I am grateful for.  I am always on a quest to include new habits into my life that can improve my mood, so I believe doing this will increase a more positive mindset, decrease anxieties  and diminish for some that dreaded Sunday night feeling.

When we have a busy week ahead, or an early start, ( or like me an operation ) these thoughts can overwhelm us, make us feel tense and lower our moods, so then its really easy to lose sight of everything we have to be grateful for.  So even if your feeling low, worried or anxious, struggling to find the positives, still write these things down tonight, (fake it till you make it,) as these practices will eventually in time help lift your mood.

I was lucky enough this weekend to have my friends arrange me a ”new knee, new me ” Lunch. Go for pancakes in Brighton and spend some time puppy sitting :).  So as I sit here full from lunch, content from my day, and ready for my Sunday night ritual of bath, face mask, book and bed…. I thought i’d put pen to paper and reflect on my week  just gone. 

Achieved- 

  • I walked along Brighton/Hove Beach, I was aching after and pretty sore, but I managed one last, long walk, before my operation as I had hoped.
  • A glowing appraisal at work ( go me )
  • I walked past 3 cake shops today and didn’t go in and buy any ( big for me anyway)

Grateful – 

  • I am grateful for living by the sea.
  • I am grateful for supportive friends who have made, what could have been an anxious weekend, a really positive one.
  • I am grateful for all the thoughtful gifts that I received, for post surgery (Is it my birthday ?!)
  • I am grateful for the man who works in ”No where man” coffee shop in Brighton, for making the best pancakes I have ever had.
  • I am grateful I have my health ( despite the operation, ) as I know how tough others have things.
  • I am grateful for a warm, clean, happy home.

So enjoy your Sunday night, light some candles, enjoy a long bath, put on a face mask, and reflect on the week just gone. What are you grateful for this week?

Happy Sunday-ing x

 

 

 

 

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