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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The good, The bad & The ugly….

Depression is so rude isn’t it. The way it just shows up uninvited, waves over you, and slaps you around the face.  As if dealing with a major surgery isn’t big enough alone, but delivering it with a heap of depression and anxiety to, well thanks very much.

Do you ever wake up and just know it’s going to be a bad mental health day ?!  I felt really angry with my brain recently.  So I had a little word. It went like this. ” Not only do I give you a healthy break from the TV, I eat well, I read, I stay positive, I even meditate, and this is how you re-pay me?  With a gloomy feeling from my old enemy depression ?!  Ok, I’ve not lost it.  But after this little chat, I then realised, there had been a few patterns in my daily routine, that had lead me to this negative place.   Now more than ever, I realise just how much our daily routines effect our minds.  I’ve really had to make a conscious effort during this recovery, to take care of my mind, not just my body. And I can definitely feel the difference on the days I make those efforts, and those days that I don’t.

With any kind of recovery there are going to be some good, some bad, and some pretty ugly days. Two months post opp, I think I have now covered an array of these.  I previously wrote a post about preparing the mind, body and soul for surgery. Preparing your, Mind . Body . Soul.  But now sitting at 6 weeks post op, it’s a very different challenge sustaining a positive mind.  So I wanted to share a few of the things that I have been doing, to keep my mind, well… Well.  

For those going through post surgery, have a surgery coming up, are in a form of recovery, or for those who just suffer with glum days.  None of our situations may be exactly the same, but we are all healing, and we are all on our own paths, to self improvement. 

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First up;


Morning routine

This is a huge one for me. Start the day, how you want the rest of the day to follow.

Morning one – Wake up, scrolls on phone, scrolls on phone, eat cereal, scrolls on phone, watch TV, get dressed. 

11 am  feelings = Fed up. Tired.  Low mood.

Morning two – Wake up, stretch, open curtains, wash, get dressed, healthy breakfast, TV off, scroll on phone (15 minutes)….onto something productive.

11 am feelings =  Positive. Happy. Motivated.


Change things up.

 If like me your mobility is restricted at the moment, it sounds silly but change where you sit.  Six weeks of laying with your leg up in the same place can become very mundane. I now make sure I sit in different places, and change up my views. It’s amazing what this can do for your mind. I used to get told, take a different route to work from time to time, go by train instead of driving, and it works. Changing the small things up, can help your state of mind for the rest of the day more than you realise.  


Accept where you are.

From talking to others going through a similar recovery, the one word I have noticed we all throw around (including myself) is, ‘frustration’.  You didn’t want this injury, this physical hindrance,  you don’t want to be in that place. You want to be further along.  You should be further along.  See I was born with two legs out of alignment both are weak, sore and have dislocated too many times to remember. I am now healing from the surgery and have been guilty of  throwing around the words, ”Why can’t I have normal legs.”  I am grateful and lucky enough to not have had a life threatening surgery,  but sometimes frustration can get the better of us.  Accept where you are.  You can’t control everything about the healing process, but you can control how you feel, and where you go from here.


Make some small plans.

Being cooped up in recovery is tough on the mind, and there really is such a thing as Netflix and too much chill ! I’ve found making small plans for the day, keeps my mind more productive while I’m off work.  I planned to do a dinner party ( sounds like nothing, but with a stiff leg, on crutches, it’s an ordeal.) I planned to sort out my clothes drawers and de-clutter, sounds boring, but wow it feels good after doesn’t it. And of course just arrange to see people.  The little things make all the difference as we all know. Complete a 30 day self care challenge during recovery. Lets Start as we mean to go on…..


Get dressed.

Ok, you may not have anywhere to be, you don’t have a visitor today, who’s to impress….So what ?! Get out those damn, comfy pjs, and put on some normal people clothes.  I’v been pretty good at this, and on the couple of days I haven’t got dressed, I definitely felt a difference in my mood. It will give you a little more motivation to start your day.


Sleeping plan

First week or so after surgery, medication can make you feel drowsy and you may take naps, go ahead you have been through an ordeal let your body rest. But after this, if it’s just laziness, stop. Sleeping in the day time and staying up late at night, will only make you feel like utter rubbish. So keep your sleeping pattern strict, and the same as it was before. I am always tired, but I keep myself up till 9 pm ( wooo go me ) . The nights that I did stay up late, and slept in the day, were my lowest and most anxious days. So take note of how you feel and learn from the mistakes. 


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These are just a few of the things that I have noticed help my mind during recovery so far, the most.  You may have others that have helped you.  Our roads to recovery can seem long, bumpy, and no one person’s is the same.

The truth is we are all moving forward, day by day, it’s just hard to see at times. 

It takes time, patience and everything you’ve got.   

Happy Healing xXx

(Now……get out those pjs x ) 

 

 

Can having a hobby, make us happier humans ?

I remember the day I came to the realisation I didn’t have any actual hobbies. It was during a disagreement with an ex around the subject of time together on a Saturday.  Every Saturday he would spend it playing football, watching football, learning to play his guitar, or playing badminton. I brought up the subject of how maybe some Saturdays he could spend them not doing these things. This is when I was told  “I wouldn’t understand because I didn’t have any Hobbies.”

Taken aback I replied of course with…” Errrr,.. yes I do, I have plenty.” (  Shopping for an outfit and going out drinking was a hobby right ?! )  Which furiously took me to my phone to tell the girls, and seek reassurance from them by asking what their hobbies were.

A hobby Is a pretty broad term, people define it differently, but I suppose to me a hobby should be an activity that we enjoy, that you do for leisure, in your spare time.  And something you can learn and grow from.  I suppose then I didn’t have any real hobbies. I mean finding the perfect outfit for the weekend, then drinking till 2 am took some serious skill, but I wasn’t learning or growing from it.

So fast forward three years and I would definitely say I have more of a range of hobbies. Writing and starting this blog a few months ago being one. But maybe I still don’t have many, considering all of the amazing things we now have around us ready to learn and try out, ( rather than just absorbing into Netflix). Don’t get me wrong, watching a TV series on Netflix is a hobby in it’s own right, and one of my favourite past times, but it’s not one we would put on a CV.

I remember always thinking my ex was a pretty happy go lucky person, he enjoyed his Saturdays learning new chords on the guitar, and passionately shouting at the football.  His hobbies seemed to make him happy. Which led me on to think maybe having a hobby can make you a happier person, and here are some reasons why.

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1) They de- stress you

Us humans work/study hard, some of us putting in a hefty 52 hours a week. To have something we do regularly, to take our mind off of the things we ‘have to do,’  is the ideal release from working life.   People don’t tend to choose hobbies that make them angry. Painting, writing, swimming, are all activities that relax the mind. Hobbies are like mediation they keep you present and both things lead to a more content mind.


2) They give you a sense of achievement

Learning a new language, playing a new song on a musical instrument, or completing your first painting, must give you a real glow inside. They give you a sense of reward, help you grow, and therefore boost your confidence which can only lead to feeling happier.


3) You meet new people or connect with like minded friends

My friend told me that his biggest reason for enjoying golf ,is it facilitates him getting together with other people who also share a love for the sport. The social aspect of playing a sport and having fun with others, always leaves you with a feel good feeling after.


4) You get to show case your talents

If your hobby includes something you excel at, i.e drawing, singing, cooking, playing a sport, it’s a chance to show case your talents.  Either through social media, during a game, performing for loved ones or just impressing yourself.   It feels good to practice and excel at something.


5) It can help your mental health

Dopamine and Oxytocin are just two hormones that are released  when we are doing an activity we like, which are associated with reward and satisfaction.  Having a creative outlet can give you some joy and the more time spent away from thinking about work, or doing work at home the better ( common sense. )  When your alarm goes off to get up for work the majority of us want to press snooze, if it went off to start a hobby we love, I’m sure we would not feel the same.  Immersing yourself in a hobby is a great path back to happiness.


So there you have it, I think having a hobby or two could make us all feel that little bit less stressed and happier.  So try and find something you enjoy, dig out an old hobby or start a new one. I’m off to try my hand at some painting with water colours ( and pretend I know what I’m doing )  ……….wish me luck.

Happy Hobby-ing  XOXO

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