Fresh Starts & New beginnings

By next week social media will be flooded with ‘Fresh Starts’ & ‘Goodbye 2017’ quotations. With a new year comes a new energy, a new hope and a motivation to start again. Goals are great to set for 2018, as there is always room for improvement in ourselves, but firstly give yourself a pat on the back for everything you did achieve in 2017. Any challenges you overcame, before you set yourself new goals for 2018 (using the things you didn’t do in 2017)

For me in 2017, I have come on in leaps and bounds in terms of mind-set and confidence.  My personal achievement was finally booking surgery for a long pre-existing health problem, which is a big step in the right direction for me. But new goals and new beginnings really can happen when ever you choose.

New beginnings can be exciting, but for many also really daunting.  There will be many people not feeling the joy of the new year bells ringing on new years eve, I recall that feeling oh so well.  I still remember starting over. I lost my relationship, my job, my home (and my marbles) all within a few months and I spent New Years eve in bed feeling extremely sorry for myself .  I did not approach any of this with a strong willed mind-set. I stayed in bed, I cried for way too long and I felt like things would never be ok.   But in time I did come to realise;  I didn’t actually like that Job. That home was not one I called my own.  And the relationship sadly had been broken for years. So I stopped seeing it as a negative, I stopped seeing it as I had hit rock bottom, and I started to view it as this was my ‘opportunity’ to change things up.

This was my chance to try my hand at a career in something I really wanted to do. I had nothing to lose.  I had worked in the financial industry previously, it paid the bills, so like you do, I went for jobs in the same field to start.  As I sat awaiting  an interview in the stuffy office corridor, I could hear the same familiar words being thrown around from the office ” Have Aviva called back ” ,”Let them know it will be a 15% sub-charge”.  A feeling of panic came over me and the realisation that, ” If I get this job- I’m in the same place”.  So I left, I ran, before they even called me in. I’m so glad I did.  It lead me onto train and work with vulnerable young people and their families, which is something I am passionate about.

It may of taken a couple of years, but I moved from my lovely home town and I now live in my favourite City, Brighton.  In a place I call home, it has all the touches that make it home and it really is my happy place.  And I’m in a relationship that flows, clicks and brings me a lot of happiness.

I feel like 2017 turned out how I had hoped, and none of this is to say ”hey come over here, so I can gloat at how great things are going” ….but to show that, Iv been there and yes new starts can feel over whelming.

But remember, if you feel like you’re at rock bottom, you’re not,  you are just re-decorating your life…………….

 how it should be x

Mind Full to Mindful

A few years ago I was definitely someone who was at the mercy of my own thoughts. I felt completely out of control, I did not trust my own thoughts and nor could I control them. Stress was a big trigger for this, my mind would dart around with thoughts that I would describe as fast traffic, or a ping pong game.  Just back and forth, with no real reason, direction or conclusion.

I looked into everything I could to help just slow it all down, I even took a ‘break’ from the corporate world and worked in the country, where there was nothing but lambs, hay, landscape and views for days.  This definitely helped slow things down ( I’d recommend it).  It also led me onto looking into mindfulness, I read every book on the subject frantically searching for ways to make me feel better.

I also joined a mindfulness Group in Brighton, this consisted of group chats, meditation and mindfulness practices.  The teacher was kind, the people were sincere and you could tell we were a group of adults all looking for some peace and quiet from our own minds. We had to do exercises as a group, one which involved looking and feeling the ridges of a raison.  All fine, and I completely understood the concept behind it. But when we then had to put the raison to our ear and listen for a ‘squeak’ and no one but me could see the funny side to this, I knew my raison listening days were over. It just wasn’t for me. I didn’t return, but I took from it the great meditation practises, which I use at home when ever I feel I need it.

One thing I found that helped me, was keeping a journal, getting my thoughts out of my head and on to paper has always helped. I told myself to make a daily note only of all the positives in my day , this in time ( along with the scenic views of the country ) made me feel more present, less trapped in my head, I had more clarity and I felt much more grateful for the things around me.

A few years have passed since then and I would say I am now a much more positive, present person, but with Surgery lurking, I know I could slip.  I think during a recovery or major surgery it is very difficult to go through the challenges of recovery and feel ‘grateful’ for the pain you are enduring, but I also believe keeping a daily gratitude journal during this period, makes you focus on the things that you are grateful for, get you out of your head and also hold onto fewer negative feelings.

I am going to be using ‘Gratitude pen’s http://gratitudepen.co.uk/product/gratitude-pen-pad/ The founder of Gratitude pad survived pain and loss and although gratitude does not lessen the pain, it helped him on his healing process  . The journal also has great motivational quotes and a beautiful layout.

Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to enjoy the journey and be content with where we are. Its not easy and it wont be easy.

But its always an option. And I choose to be happy x 

Staying Positive -What makes you Happy?

Now, it goes without saying that what makes me most happy is my partner, my family and friends. So I will be listing some of the things that makes me smile, and some of the little things in life that I may tend to over look at times.  We all know that the grand things in life bring a lot of pleasure, but it really is all the little things that bring us happiness.

During a physical or mental recovery or pre-surgery date, it can be easy to lose sight of those things that made you happy.  My plan is to go into surgery in the best possible mindset I can, of course knowing I will have those days I struggle with seeing the good in anything. So I wanted to write a list of all the little things that genuinely make me feel happier, So that during my recovery, in those bleaker moments, I can refer back on this list and implement the ones I am able to do, into my day. 

I know that during depression that can be very difficult to do, as little enjoyment is found, but persevering and even ‘faking it till you make it, ‘eventually brings some light back into your days.

I think it is great when we all can be comforted by these small things, that make us happy, when we need it the most. 

So here is my list;

15 Little things that make me Happy –

1- Coming home to my kitten. ( Fur baby)

2- Clean new bedding.

3- Finding a new cute coffee shop in my area.

4- Seeing my boyfriend happy when his football team win ( But I wont be telling him that incase he makes me watch more)

5- Having a laughing fit with your best friend over something so ridiculous.

6- When you find a book that doesn’t make you want to look at your phone. 

7- Rainy Sunday evenings in with my boyfriend ( cliche but I cant deny it) 

8- When my 6 year old niece asks for me to do her hair, just like mine.

9-  Chilly Autumn walks, in Autumn clothes, in beautiful places.

10- Home Decor- When all the things I bought for my home piece together perfectly. 

11- Cinnamon- In coffee, in yoghurt, in candles. 

12- When you realise you have Monday off. 

13-  New cute Stationary.

14- Wandering down Brighton lanes, window shopping & people watching.

15- Chocolate. ANY kind. 

There is something to love in everyday no matter how small. Try making yourself a list too, to remind yourself what makes you happy.  x

 

Preparing for Surgery

Knee Sagacropped-stocksnap_w28qpzpak6.jpg

So you have your surgery date booked, you’re happy with your surgeon.  Now its time to do your own preparation. Being ready, healthy and prepared is the best way to go into any surgery, it helps reduce anxieties, stress and improve overall mental attitude.  Here are some tips of things I’m currently doing to prepare ;

1. Do your homework

Those who feel the most informed and most prepared are the ones that approach surgery day with confidence. Do not research to the point of raising your anxieties, everyone knows most people post horror stories. But try and Inform yourself with positive stories, as a reminder that you are on the right track. Reach out to others on Instagram and surgery forums (http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php) Is a good one. This will help you gain as much practical information as possible.  These people have been there, they know how you feel and not only will they give you useful tips and insight, but they will give you that reassurance everything will be fine.

2. Appointments 

Before your operation date, being organised is the key in avoiding any other unnecessary hurdles that could be avoided after surgery. Any bank, doctors, dentist, eye appointments you have due, or have been avoiding, get them booked in and done. Also any medication you need whilst you are off, ask your doctor for, or sign up and register for repeat prescriptions on https://pharmacyoutlet.co.uk

 3. Get Organised

I am a list freak. I write lists for work, for shopping, for everything . Not only does it help me stay organised, but it gets my messy thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Its a great way to offload.  Making a list of things you need to do before surgery is key. It will keep your anxieties at bay and things will run a lot smoother.  I am currently writing a list  of healthy meal plans I will be buying before the surgery that i can prep before hand. ( as I sit here eating mince pies ) 

4. Entertainment.

If like me your surgery is going to make you a couch potato for some time, your going to need some good entertainment. Books, Box sets, puzzles, crosswords, podcasts, music, what ever your idea of entertainment is, get it bought/downloaded before hand.  Personally signing up to Netflix will be my source of entertainment. That TV series you’ve not had time to get round to watch. Now is the time. Iv been told i must watch Game of Thrones, along with ‘Pretty little liars’ and Suits, so they are on the list.

Pre-order any books you’ve been dying to read.  Personally I have ordered a couple of light heartened books; Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keys are great for this, they provide some light escapism, keeping my thoughts light and positive is key for me.

 5. Support Network

Having a support network of people around you is something I feel grateful to have, having these  key people around after a surgery or any kind of recovery is so helpful.  Making sure you talk through with someone what you will need, e.g a drive home from hospital, help with every day tasks, walking the dog . Asking for help can be difficult, Iv always felt this ingrained feeling that I dont want to burden people with my stuff ,or bother people.  But my job and other experiences has made me realise how much we need one another. So don’t be afraid to ask. Talk through any worries you may be having with a friend, family member or parent. If you are feeling very anxious, having people to talk to can reduce those fears. 

If you do not have a support network around for what ever reasons, tell your surgeon this, they can arrange some home care for the practical side of things and also refer to point 1 above. Its amazing how supportive strangers who have been through the same thing, will support you in an emotional way.

6. Get packing 
 Pack a bag.  My bag currently consists of a good book, pack something to keep you occupied before or after the procedure.
Any medications you are on or may need should you be staying in hospital, take them anyway even if this is unplanned.
Small bag of personal toiletry items if your surgery will require an overnight stay (don’t forget to bring glasses or contact lenses )
Lose fitting comfortable clothes for coming home in.
 Now i’m off to enjoy a short walk along Brighton seafront, with a large cappuccino  from my favourite coffee shop.  I’m Making the most of those times, whilst I am able to do so. 
 
 
        7.  Go and enjoy the little things too x

 

Facing Fears

So here I am, writing a blog. Iv always felt a bit unsure about blogs, like the world has gone mad, everyone wants to paint a picture of their ‘perfect life’ that’s not so perfect in reality. Everyone’s an expert. Sally went to spain for two weeks and now has a travel blog.  Barry did an online course for £40 and is now a nutritional bone structure advisor . ( Could be a thing ) But  I then came across a blog that changed how I felt. 

See iv been putting off a major surgery for over 7 years now, my partner so much as spoke to me about my dislocating knee, I would feel a surge of panic and shut the conversation down.  As a born worrier, being told I needed my leg broken (both) and realigned was something I was waaaay to anxious to ever face.

But these past couple of years things changed, I faced fears in my personal life and work life so out of  my comfort zone, that my anxieties have decreased, therefore my happiness has increased.  And this lead me on to finally research the surgery more, which brought me to this inspiring blog.   It gave me the insight, the courage and the push to finally book surgery.

So if a blog can help me feel positive about a subject I avoided for so long and make a difference, just by reading about someone else I can relate to, then to be able to help others in the same way is worth becoming a ‘blogger’.

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

They were right.  x