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

 

 

 

 

A little light ……

Depression-

Majority of us will have experienced this in some form, whether its having it yourself, knowing someone who’s had it, or feel you have dipped your toe into it from time to time but never fully slipped.

I wanted to fill this blog full of positive messages and positive feelings, as I want others to feel good when they read it and motivated to take care of themselves when facing challenges.  But I am also aware of how patronising it is to tell someone who is going through depression to “think positive”, “happiness is there for you” or “appreciate what you have.”  As when you are in that place, you do want to think positive, you do appreciate those around you, but you are just living in your head so much, that you may not show it, and you would do anything to feel happy again.  But that murky, heavy cloud just feels like its over powering and will never lift.   It’s a feeling of despair and darkness, that if you are going through this right now….I’m so sorry you are there…but I promise you will see some light again.

I remember not knowing I had depression, I would feel quite an angry person and agitated over the smallest of things.  I would be up and down throughout the day, and feel like everything was far too difficult, whilst battling constant thoughts of self doubt.  But then I could go out with my friends, get drunk, and laugh, so I couldn’t be depressed if I could do that?!   Well I could.  It started as what I called “walking depression”, I went to work, met friends, faked smiles, but I didn’t feel right, but I wasn’t sure why.   I couldn’t shift the flat feeling and that I saw gloom everywhere,  not all day, but in parts throughout.  I remember being at work and saying to a colleague, “I need to do something fun, something big, as I just don’t feel anything ” And nope,  I still didn’t know then the reason I was so numb.  That was when I went on to do everything BIG and reckless, to feel something, which obviously ended in despair and a deeper depression. NOW I knew I had depression !!

I remember reading my messages on our friends group chat, Sam was talking about a new lamp she really wanted for her newly decorated living room, Fran mentioned a new top she had seen in Top shop she was dying to buy.  And I thought, Seriously?  How can these people care about a bloody lamp, or get any pleasure from buying a new top.  I couldn’t care less about a lamp or understand how this was making them feel anything?  I felt like a zombie.

But I did remember feeling joy over those small things once, I used to enjoy Wednesdays, Wednesday was magazine day,  I’d treat myself to a new magazine, a chocolate bar and some flowers for my home. A little ritual that brought me some joy on my lunch break.  I remember my sister mentioning she had noticed that, I hadn’t done this in some time. And come to think of it, she was right.   It had been five months.   I had stopped doing the little things, as I had been living in my head, and I felt that those small things no longer brought me any joy.

Id say it took over a year to fight depression away, and god I fought it, I tried mindfulness, exercise, therapy, self help books, happy diaries, medication ….name it I did it. I wanted to feel normal again.

Anyone going through depression for the first time wondering what the hell your going to do, well your going to do great… your going to win…and your going to feel joy again….just take all the small steps, being kind to yourself, still pushing yourself to do those small things and you’ll get there. And then one day those small things, that once brought you joy, will again.

Our generation, being more open about mental health and being more aware, is massive. It means were not alone, and now when I feel it lurking, I can nip it in the bud before it takes over that far again.   I recognise it now. I know what it is. And I know its not who I am, but something I suffer from.

Saying that, I’m a realist and with surgery looming, I know it can come back at any time, but next time, I’ll be ready, I have the tools and I’ll be much more prepared.

But for now, Its Wednesday…. its magazine day 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