Apps I find help my mental health.

Apps I find help my mental health.

When your phone is always in your hand it’s quick and easy to download apps that can help when you’re in a bad place.

I downloaded calm harm first. It’s been the best app ever for me. It’s completely personalised and you need a password so nobody else will open it. It’s made for people thinking about self harming but I find the excercise a are good for depression, anxiety and stress relief too. The activities are short or long and you can stop and change activities and choose what you want to do. I find the distraction helpful and some of the activities relaxing or even quite fun.

The nhs wellbeing is more understanding of where mental health effects the body and keeping a little diary of how your feeling like a free self help journal.

Companion is really good because they’re excercise a for breathing and exercising people talk through while you meditate.

Catch it is understanding your thoughts and changing them. A bit like cbt therapy in a app. You write how you where feeling then access what someone else would say in that situation to your thoughts and can make you feel a bit better.

Sleepio is about activities to help you sleep, it’s okay not the best but it’s better than nothing!

My personal self is basically a personal cbt app with other types of therapy mixed in too. You complete questioners and keep a diary so it is all based around you, you work through modules that help too!

It’s all about finding what works for you. I’ve be. Through loads of terrible apps but these are what I’ve found works for me. Distract yourself how ever you feel works for you!

Decorating your toddlers room on a budget.

Decorating your toddlers room on a budget.

Decorating your toddlers room can be a bit confusing and a little stressful at times but fun none the less. We didn’t want to spend a fortune on decorating Elijahs bedroom as we knew he’d outgrow anything we decorated as children grow out of what they like so quickly.

We decided not to stick to a theme. Why do all bedrooms need to look the same and follow a whole style? Why stick to one thing when the possibility’s are endless! We decided to keep with a not to far out design and just accessorise. We brought vinyl stickers from eBay which are dinosaurs and easy to stick on. We got a personalised Jurassic park one two as Elijah loves dinosaurs. We also brought a light switch sticker which was from eBay too and all the stickers including some glow in the dark dinosaurs too for probably under 20 quid. We brought some blackout curtains from dunelm in a safari print in a sale again and we brought a dinosaur bedding set from there as it was lovely. Elijah loves dinosaurs but loves jungle animals even more so was so happy with his curtains. He then brought a lampshade in the sale at John Lewis also in a safari print so we then had our theme animals and dinosaurs and Elijah loves having both. It makes accessorising easier as you can choose from more than one theme.

We brought a tippee tent from a garden centre for 15 pounds and have put in the corner of his room alongside a rug we got from dunelm for 35. We’ve put some of our old pillows into a bean bag cover from eBay for 15 and living room cushions in their to make a cosy reading area. We read there every night and it’s so cosy I could sleep all night.

We recently brought Elijah a nightlight for 15 pounds which is simba from the lion king and is his favourite animal and film at the moment. Elijah also has a ottoman which is green to match his room which holds his toys and we’ve brought little Knick naks along the way. We got personalised prints made (by my cousin) so we saved money there. We brought Elijah a few more bedding sets in both styles which he loves when changed regurally.

We went to flying tiger and managed to get lots for only 16 pounds for everything pictured. A tiger head, boxes for organising toys or anything you want, hanging storage and a money box to save that pocket money. An absolute bargain for quite good quality and stylish items. If going really simple a lick of paint and these bits would be more than enough to decorate your kids room. There’s lots of other accessories and frames and prints for your kids room in the same style or other styles they sell there. If Elijah wouldn’t pull it down I’d consider a trailing plant in their and big cheese plant to make it look more like a jungle in their but unfortunately I’d end up going in to leaves everywhere. Have a shop around on Etsy and eBay and be open minded. Your kids bedroom doesn’t have to be instagram perfect because they change their minds every other day. Just buy what you think they’ll like and don’t bankrupt yourself. Enjoy! A lick of paint and a few prints is more than enough style!

Living near the seaside with a toddler.

Living near the seaside with a toddler.

Living only a twenty minuite drive to the seaside is something I’ll always be greatfull for. If the weather is nice in the summer it’s only a short drive to beach and there are quite a few beaches around us.

Even in the winter we wrap up warm and breath in that fresh sea air. Having a run on the beach or riding a bike/trike is just as much fun no matter the weather. We’ll spend more time inside on the amusements playing on claw machines and 2p machines. I’ve been lucky to win three toys on them recently so maybe my streak is over and I should avoid them for a while lol! Elijah loves to play on the 2p machines and can easily put 3 pounds down without getting bored.

We love watching the ocean and collecting stones and throwing them in the ocean (even if Elijahs doesn’t go very far). We enjoy watching dogs running and playing and spotting things going by. We love in the summer taking out shoes off and walking in the sand and sometimes paddling in the water. It bad weather we love dressing in our rain coats and wellies and jumping in puddles on the pier. We love watching the ocean no matter the weather but we live it most in windy weather because it’s so fast and beautiful.

We like to go for strolls down the beach too so often will bring Elijahs buggy for when he gets tired of walking for a while and we’ll get lunch or bring a lunch with us and make a day of it. Do you leave near a beach?

Winter craft activities.

Winter craft activities.

The weather is getting colder and with Christmas soon approaching a easy fun (albeit messy) activity is to make Christmas cards. Using hand and feet and a bit of patience you can use your little ones feet to paint a card.

What you need. Card. You can get cards with envelopes from online which is what we did to save the stress after looking in town a lot at the ridiculous prices for a sheet of card. You’ll also need paint and paintbrushes . Also a pen for writing.

Start by letting little ones paint a sheet of paper or a canvas for a gift for someone aswell. This enables them to get the excitement out of the way to paint and make a mess.

Secondly paint your child’s feet and then hold and place card under their feet hold their foot down quickly and pushing as you do it and take paper away quickly trying not to smudge. Your little one may end up loving this activity and ask for more painting of the feet over and over. With the footprints you can make Christmas trees,snowmen or reindeers. You can also paint hands too and make penguins or a Santa’s hat. You’ll just need to the painting/ drawing of faces and details.

Not only is it a great activity but also a lovely gift. A card someone may want on their mantelpiece for years to come. It is also way cheeper than buying individual cards for everyone in your family.

Joining the library.

Joining the library.

Growing up I loved trips to the library to get a new book and was always so eager to go. I remember running with my books into the door and how much I loved scanning and stamping them in and out. It wasn’t just about getting a new book but also being able to go somewhere and see what I wanted. Since being a adult I don’t think I’ve gone to the library since I was around 13 years ago which is now almost 12 years ago. Scary!

One thing I’ve always enjoyed is reading and it gives me joy knowing I’ve been passing that onto Elijah. Elijah loves reading and we have 100s (not a exaggeration his books shelf is full to the brim and he has a book box full that’s overflowing and around 45 books on a shelf). I’ve come to think it’s wasteful to have so many books and we should start donating some we don’t read and going to the library instead. Obviously if he really likes a book I’ll probably still buy it but I’m trying not to be so wasteful:

We signed Elijah up and he absolutely loved it. He ran over grabbing all the books he could read and played in the kids section. He did colouring and played with the toys. We choose some books and I got them out and we brought them home. Did you know you can get up to 20 books at one time for three weeks? That’s a lot of books and a lot of time. It’s also completely free and better for the environment. What a great way to have a trip out the house and also learn while we do it! Visiting the library also keeps them too and it’s such a great part of the community, they also do classes and activities regularly for all the family.

Things I do to calm myself down.

Things I do to calm myself down.

We’ve all been stressed, depressed, anxious and worked up at some stage in our life and we will be again. Instead of dwelling in your emotions you need to try to separate yourself from these emotions with some self help tools and objects even if it feels impossible. Sometimes just looking out the window and watching how the rain falls can make us feel better just for that second.

I’m not saying colouring in is going to cure your depression because it most definitely hasn’t cured mine but distraction can help even for a little bit. So what do I do to distract myself so I can relax just a tad?

I read. Reading is really great for your mental health. It’s somewhat changed my life, when I’m stressed I’ll start a new book and read till I feel a bit better. My imagination is put elsewhere and I don’t sit there over thinking as I am distracted. I find the kindle a brilliant tool for this as you can buy a book immediately and read it so you don’t have to choose a book you have and you don’t have to wait you can just do it now!

I use my fidget cube. It has different textures and things to do like a switch, buttons and dials. I play with it in my pocket when I’m out and feeling particularly anxious or if I’m watching tv on the sofa and feeling I can’t calm down. The switch on it has really helped my ocd I don’t flip the house switches as much just the one on my cube.

I journal. I have several self help books which involve me talking about my day, what went wrong and can go better. It enables positive thoughts and makes me think. I find the smallest things to be proud of myself for or went right today and try to be “mindful”.

I colour. Colouring is very therapeutic and occupying the mind is too. I’m not talking colouring a basic baby colouring book dog but intricate designs that take time. I have several and my favourite two are my cath kidston colouring book and my swear word one which I do when I’m feeling angry about something. Yes it’s crude but instead of swearing I colour it in and Elijah can’t read yet so I see no issue.

I look back at photos. I look at photos of happier times and remind myself life can be good and I will smile again.

I burn candles. I burn candles and use in sense/essential oils to relax myself. The smells and soft flows can relax me and not feel so over stimulated by everything going on around me.

I watch a film or series. I distract myself watching something new or old and try to commit all my focus into this. It doesn’t always work but sometimes if I don’t feel up for much this little activity is enough to keep me calm.

I practice self care. I’ll have a nice candle lit bubble bath or hot shower. I’ll use my best products, exfoliate and then I’ll moisturise so I’m slippery enough to belong in the ocean. I’ll wear fresh pjs and change the bedding. I’ll spend time doing my hair and if I’m going out I’ll do my make up.

I’ll do housework. Although I mostly hate housework when I’m feeling particularly over whelmed I reach for a cloth and clean. Having everything clean and tidy makes me feel good so I’ll get to scrubbing the house to take out my emotions. I’ve been known to have a cry washing up at times and feel miles better after.

I cook and bake. I love making yummy treats so when I can I like to bake or cook something new which gives me a bit of a boost when it tastes somewhat decent.

I go for a walk. I take myself or my son with me if nobody’s home to watch him and walk through nature. I take in the worlds beautiful views and smell the natural air and it almost always makes me feel more open minded and clear. It helps me make decisions in stressful situations and I work our anger I have built up sometimes.

I buy stuff. I indulge in buying a new ornament or new top or toy for my kid. I love buying new bits and a treat always makes me feel better.
I go out and see friends or family. Something about being around others at times just makes you feel okay again.

I have a hot drink. Warning myself up makes me feel warm and cuddly and it can help me relax into myself and let my walls down.

I sit in the dark and relax. I try to rationalise my thoughts and relax into myself . No stimuli works for me.

I turn my phone off and avoid the news. I avoid negativity, and there’s plenty of that at our finger tips I can feel so much better when I don’t use my personal social media or read news articles on politics or horrible disasters that have happened.

I go out for the day. Staying in can make you feel lonely and horrid so going out for a adventure can make you feel so much better.

I listen to music. Either loud when I’m angry or relaxing music when I’m sad to listen to the music and calm myself down.

I use White noise. It not only helps me sleep I also use it to make myself feel safe when I’m over stimulated or out and nervous about something like an appointment. I also like to watch the rain and they’d why I like thunderstorm sounds the most.

I talk to someone. When I feel particularly bad I speak to someone about it and I feel a load is taken of my chest and sometimes we need help.

it’s all about finding things you like to do that occupy your mind. For example my husband likes playing video games or editing photos he’s taken. He’ll sit there for hours but he always feels better afterwards. Sometimes things get hard and that’s okay. Sometimes you need to be selfish and do things for you and that’s okay too. Just remember that you matter too and you can get through this. Distraction is a short term fix and if your are suffering talk to someone or your gp. As always my inbox is always open.

Eating out with a toddler.

Eating out with a toddler.

Ever since Elijah was little we’ve eaten out together. I used to feel really nervous about how others would feel when I took Elijah out to eat. Would he make a mess? Would he be loud? Would others stare? Then I remembered I too was a baby once apon a time and everyone else was once a baby too, surely not everyone was kept out of restaurants out of fears of a possible tantrum?

Taking a baby into a restaurant is all calm and relaxing. Baby sleeps, feed change and back to sleep. People think they’re adorable sleeping or when they first sit in a little highchair and eat tiny meals when they start weaning. The older they get the more tantrums they have when they are hungry or bored. The cause of a tantrum is normally either of those two things and sitting in a restaurant isn’t the easiest of places to entertain a toddler and they must wait for their food.

I personally love taking Elijah out for dinner he always has fun and it’s something where we sit around giving each other our undivided attention and chatting. Sure we still have the odd meltdown here and there but most of the time it can be calmed down with distraction. Colouring pencils and paper or singing songs normally helps. But when he is particularly bored I do let him watch nursery rhymes on my phone till the food comes. I don’t normally let him have my phone in public but if I feel it’s going to upset people eating their meals if I don’t let him quietly watch nursery rhymes until his meals comes out then I don’t mind.

When the meal comes he always eats very well and tells us when he is done. We have even taught him to tidy away his mess and give us the plate. He’ll then wipe up his hands and face with help and we’ll wait for the bill. He will normally go back to colouring or will wait nicely if we tell him where we are going next. We do have our moments we feel judged when we are out like any other parents. When people stare because your child’s on your phone like you let them on it every single second of the day. Also sometimes Elijah will get upset because he can’t express himself and is hungry or bored and people always turn around to have a nose and I then feel how I approach his tantrums will be judged whatever happens.

I always say don’t stop enjoying meals out because your toddler may cry because every single last human being was once a toddler them self’s and should have a element of understanding. When you eat out you are teaching them how to behave in public too so if there being naughty teach them that it is not right. Remember tantrums are short and will be over soon and that it is ok to distract them with your phone if that helps. And if they cry? Remember your in a family restaurant and the people judging you who don’t have kids have no right too. Enjoy meals out, enjoy your food, enjoy your family time and enjoy your life!