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

 

Sweet Little April……

So April is upon us.

There’s something about April. You know that feeling everyone gets when the clock strikes midnight on new year, and we all start confidently listing new routines, and better choices we are ‘definitely’ going to be making.  Well April kind of has that effect on me. I love spring and the start of some lighter, happier days, so I literally do have, a spring in my step. 

Here are a few things I have been doing this month, that have made me noticeably happier. 


Organising your spring wardrobe

Since knee surgery, I am still rocking about like it’s 1998 when sporty Spice was a fashion icon.  So I thought I would begin to organise my wardrobe, out with the old and buy myself some spring staples. A bit of retail therapy is good for the soul.  I am loving baskets bags, anything yellow (bring on the sunshine,) cute blouses, and tan sandals. (Ok there’s a lot of wishful thinking that spring will be warm.)  But If you haven’t already, treat yourself to a new spring item. 

You deserve it right.


Buying  Flowers.

It may seem like nothing, but buying some daffodils or tulips on the weekly shop, and placing them on the kitchen window makes me feel happier. And who doesn’t like flowers.

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Getting Healthy-

Ok maybe I was meant to start this in January, but I didn’t.  Instead I sat on the sofa seeing how many biscuits I could eat in 8 weeks, (I did well.)   So I am starting now.
I recently completed the, “21 days to break a habit,”  banning biscuits, chocolate and cake (crying silently onto key board.) And it is true what they say,  21 days in, and I was bypassing Jaffa cakes, and heading for an orange for a snack. And I’m feeling great for it.  Give it a go. 21 day challenge.

April is all about healthy eating for me. Goodbye Cakes.

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Exercising more.

It’s difficult to find the motivation to exercise after 8 weeks of sitting on your backside recovering from surgery, the only exercise I had been doing was lifting the TV remote. But now I am able to stand up for short periods of time,  I have no excuse.  So I have tried to fill my week with activities to feel good. I bought some boxing gloves and pads, to practise in the living room with the boyf.   I joined a really quiet gym round the corner from me, and started some soft gentle swimming pool exercises for the knee. Feeling good.  So if like me you didn’t start in January, April is the one.


Listening to Podcasts more.

I have talked before about morning routine effecting the mood you hold for the rest of the day The good, The bad & The ugly….  I have just started listening to Fearne Cottons new podcast ‘Happy Place.’ Fearne  interviews  people In the public eye, to find out their secret to staying happy and basically keeping their shit together. I loved the Dawn French and Stephen Fry one.  I’d recommend it to anyone wanting a calming start to the day, or  morning drive to work.

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Beauty regimes.

I was walking through Debenhams yesterday, when I was asked by a very cheery lady, with glowing skin, wearing the brightest shade of red lipstick I have ever seen….. if I needed a face mask that smelt of coconuts and hydrates the face ? …….Errrr YEAH I do !!  It’s called GLOW -CO-NUTS, by Origins, and it smells like a dream, and does exactly what it says on the tin. I am so glad I invested.

We all know any kind of recovery can make you feel like a slow, sluggish, mess. So now my spirits have lifted I am making sure I am doing a little extra with my beauty regime . I face mask , paint my nails, put on some aromatherapy burners and listen to music once a week and it’s been great for a little self care and distraction.

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Choosing happier TV choices.

Don’t get me wrong, If I see the title, ‘ worlds worst serial killers,’ pop up on my TV, I’m pressing series link !!  I love anything crime related, the darker the better. But seeing as recovery from surgery has been a bit of an emotional ride, and I am starting to feel more human, and positive again, I would like to keep it that way.  So for anyone else who feels like they have been living in a dark cave for a while, and are wanting to feel a little brighter, I’d definitely recommend looking at your TV show choices.

I’d recommend the series ‘LOVE’ on Netflix, its cool, easy to watch, and funny mostly. Which makes it perfect feel good TV.  

‘Queer eye, for the straight guy’ This is so uplifting you’ll forget why you were even in a mood, after watching one episode.

What are you watching that makes you happier ?!


Watching the sunset.

The days are getting lighter and the sunsets are more beautiful. I have taken time to slow down, enjoy the little things, watching the sunset and feel grateful for my day.

 

 

April – You’re the best x

 

Facing Fears

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I never thought I would write a blog.  I’ve always felt a little unsure about them.  Like the world has gone mad.  Everyone wants to paint a picture of their  ‘So called perfect life,’ that’s not so perfect in reality.  Everyone’s an expert.  Sally went to Phuket for two weeks and now has an ‘expertise’ travel blog.  Barry did an online course for £40 and is now a nutritional bone structure adviser, (it could be a thing.)  That was until I came across a blog that changed how I felt.  A blog that I could relate to.  It gave me the extra push I needed to face my fears, and have a much needed surgery I had put off for 7 years.  And I thought, well if a blog can help others like that, it’s worth becoming a ‘blogger.’

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See I used to be someone who ran away from fears,  shoved anything scary I could, so far under the rug.  From relationship problems, to serious health matters.  My partner so much as tried to speak to me about my dislocating knee’s, I would feel a surge of panic come over me, and shut the conversation down.  As a born worrier, which lends itself nicely to anxiety, being told I needed my legs broken and realigned, was something I was waaaay to anxious to ever face.

I had always been this way, even in other areas in my life.  Putting off that dreaded, ‘ We need to talk,’ conversation with a partner, or spending years suffering with depression, yet not wanting to face it and ask for help.  I just ignored, in hope everything would just go away.  Facing my fears was never my strong suit.

But it dawned on me this morning just how much has changed in my life, since I actually started facing fears head on.  Two years on not only did I talk, and get help for depression, I finally had, and am recovering from the much needed knee surgery.  And also now able to face any kind of confrontation, plus I met someone who loves and supports me.   Now, I’m not writing this as a,  ‘Hey, come over here and look at how great I’m doing.’  But in a way of, I never thought two years on I would actually feel proud of where I am, so I know It’s a place anyone putting of fears right now, can come to. 

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The changes happened as I slowly started putting myself out there more, and started facing fears in my personal life, and work life, so out of  my comfort zone, that my anxieties actually began to decrease, therefore my happiness increased. 

So have you had a niggle for a while that your too scared to face?  Be it a relationship problem ?  Work issue ? An addiction you don’t want to admit you have?  A health scare you know you need to deal with? Or a relationship you know you need to walk away from?  Now, I am no expert, but my experience of facing fears are, it makes you feel empowered, strong, and I would never want to go back to that girl running away from everything that she feared.

So tell yourself today, you will be brave, and take those baby steps towards those fears. 

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

They were right.  x

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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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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