Getting through the next four weeks of lockdown- in association with nivea!

Getting through the next four weeks of lockdown- in association with nivea!

As we are lunged back into the deep end which is lock-down it’s worrying whether it will be the same as last time or perhaps worse? Will our mental health deteriorate again? What will happen to our children who have only just been reunited with their friends and family’s only to be ripped away from them again. However this time it’s different, we know what too expect and with that comes bit more calm and less panic. We have learnt to adapt to what the world has thrown at us and made it through even our darkest days. So now we’re a week into lock down although i can’t say i’m not still a anxious mess i can say there are things that i am appreciating more and helping me negotiate my way through this confusing time.

One thing i love the most in the world is autumn. I love walks in the park and through the woods with orange, red and yellow filling the floors and air as the wind blows them all around and the leafs dance in front of you. Last lock down it was just nothing but pure heat and being in the uk that meant warm houses with no air con. This time i can wrap up warm and enjoy the cool air. This lock down, i’m taking control of doing things i enjoy more and not letting the hours pass by as i get lost in the abyss.

So first i am keeping active. I am going for walks with my husband and son or just me and my son. I am not rushing my way through going out now. I am taking in the scenery, changing up my routes and looking around at what nature has to offer. I turn my phone of and just chase around after my son and look for leaves and old trees together. I spend time talking and just enjoy being out. I’ll often fill up my thermos and take a hot drink out with me too. It doesn’t feel like were in lock down when we go for a walk it feels like we are in peace. If you have children i highly recommend walks even if round the block just to burn some of that energy, just so we can get some peace. If you live near a park wear a puddle suit go on a wet day and let your child jump in puddles and squelch in mud, it’s free and super fun! If mud and leafs isn’t your cup of tea then you can always exercise from the comfort of your own home. There are so many home workouts free to use on you tube, the same with yoga, unwind your mind and body at the same time.

I am trying to also keep my mind busy, i joined a book club and have gathered a small library worth of books to keep my mind focused when things get hard. The greatest escape is always to another world which is the realm of books. There is always something for someone. Not everyone enjoys physically reading so the world of audio books is another fantastic way to escape for a little while without the effort of reading a few hundred pages! With reading also comes blogging and writing which i love doing with a cup of tea, especially at the end of the day it’s the perfect way to unwind. I find journaling and writing in a diary is also a fantastic way to unwind in the evenings before bed to combat the stress of the day. I also find keeping elijah busy is a fantastic way to entertain me too. We get sensory activities, colouring and crafting everyday. I include elijah as much as i can in the kitchen too which helps me enjoy cooking again too. The next project after elijahs birthday is getting ready for Christmas and boxing up our house to move on to the next chapter of our lives soon.

I am trying to enjoy time with my family more. If there is one thing corona-virus has taught me it is that family and friends are important. That we should try and keep in contact with each other. I never thought of myself as lucky before the lock down but having my son and my husband with me has shown me just how important they are to me.It has shown me that i too am loved and that is something that i never thought was possible in my mind. This lock down we can see another adult and their under school age children outside which means i can see more people and elijah can see other children which makes the world feel so much less lonely too us all.

The biggest thing i am concentrating on is my self care. My skin has been neglected over the last few years and it’s time i treat myself like i deserve. That includes giving myself a full routine of skincare daily and introducing more skincare into both my morning and my evening routine. With the excessive uses of masks out and about my skin is becoming a spotty mine field. The dry weather is no help either! So the first thing i do in the morning is washing my face. I wash my face with facial wash and my electric scrubber. After this i use toner on a reusable cotton pad and get started on the moisturising. I use a serum and then eye cream, i then use a light moisturiser or day cream. My evening routine is very similar except i exfoliate with a scrub or peel every other day.I also use my topical creams after my serums and then apply a night cream. I always use lip balm at night as well to moisturise everywhere on my face. If i’m going out in the sunlight ill always apply a light sunscreen to prevent damage to my skin. When i do my skincare i like to light a candle and slowly massage it in and make it a relaxing environment. I’m also partial to the odd sheet mask or eye and lip masks i try to do these every few days i try to do them when i am particularly stressed so that they become a calming place and not routine!

Of course skincare is not just your face. Its your whole body. We always complain about dry patches of skin but do we nourish our skin first? Using a shower gel or creame that is moisturising and smells fab can always make you feel better. Using body scrubs every few days are a fantastic way to rid the body of dead skin and also leave our skin feeling softer. When out the shower using a moisturiser after helps to keep skin soft and help fight the signs of ageing.

Taking care of your hair and having the odd hair mask here and there can feel like complete luxury so try to incorporate into you bath or showers before you wash your face as when the oils can roll down your skin and cause a greasy feeling face! Of course then you should obviously get into pjs and shove on some cosy socks and snuggle up for the night.

Whatever you do to get through this lock down just know that your not alone. There are lots of people here for you including me, there is so much more to do aswell. Whether your idea of chilling means watching a series on netflix or doing a marathon, try to enjoy it! But remember take care of your skin and your mental health!

I have been gifted nivea products with no expectation to post. I am part of the nivea family and writing about or featuring their products is completely my choice!

100 days of lockdown.

100 days of lockdown.

Can you believe it. It’s been one hundred days since lockdown began. Whilst things are slowly being eased it’s still so surreal to accept that lockdown even happened in the first place. At the time it was announced as a time line of only three weeks and the world would go back to normal. We believed the earth would keep turning and normality would return. But the days grew to weeks and the weeks grew to months and here we are 100 days later.

In someways I’m thankful for the lockdown. I’m thankful it’s protected my family and friends and it has protected many lives. I’m thankfull the world has slowed down a bit. I’m thankfull for taking the time to appreciate the worlds beauty once more and learning what is truely important in the world. I’ve become thankfull for my old and new life in many ways. I’m thankful that I am able to appreciate how lovely my life was before. How loved I was and didn’t see. I am able to see how much I love my family and friends and how lonely I feel without them. I’m thankful for knowing now that the experiences of going shopping trips and eating out are a treat and something I never will take for advantage again. I will always now have more respect for my fellow human beings and a sense of community I never had before.

We as humans will never be the same. Whilst things will open again next week and normality creeps in again there will always be the anxiety of the what ifs. What if I catch covid? What if the businesses shut down from loss of earnings? What if we are placed on a second lock down? Although I highly doubt another nationwide lockdown will be impossed I know that the anxiety will long linger for many months and years to come.

Obviously lockdown has been hard with every postive there’s a negative. Being stuck in with your own thoughts all day and no physical contact in many cases can be hard. I don’t think I’ve wanted to cuddle my friends as much as I do now and I’ve never been one for personal contact. My mental health has been on a rollercoaster. I’m not afraid to admit there was times I didn’t want to go on anymore. Where getting up in the morning was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But you know what I got through it. I’ve spoken to so many others who have experienced the same emotions so know that your not alone. It’s okay to feel lonely, it’s okay to feel anything other then positive right now. You don’t have to do something with your life like develop a new hobby all you need to do right now is survive and that’s way more commendable then learning the guitar or some other pointless hobby someone has got.

While there is still no end in sight but lockdown restrictions are lifting it is okay to feel scared. It’s okay to question everything. It’s okay to be scared of meeting friends and family. It’s okay to worry about going shopping. It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to have relapse of health anxiety and panic every time you go out. It’s okay to be concerned. So do what’s best for you and take your time. Do not feel you need to rush into things just as restrictive measures are taken away and someone tells you what you should be doing. Ease yourself back in slowly. If you want to wear a mask, wear one. Let’s try not to focus on what others are doing as it only gets us more upset and everyone knows the risks. Let’s try focus on just us and what’s right for us.

So here’s to 100 days. I can not believe it has been that long and it blows my mind even typing it. But we will come out the other side. We have survived and we will continue to survive. One day we will feel normality once again.

It is okay to talk about dark thoughts.

It is okay to talk about dark thoughts.

So this is a bit of a hard topic to talk about. As you know I am always talking about my mental health in the hope that others feel somewhat more normal in their feelings. I’ve never really divulged into the extremes my depression takes me too sometimes and perhaps it’s out of judgement, perhaps it’s the fear that I don’t want to accept I’ve ever reached that stage but I guess it’s more I’ve had a few of my friends come to me recently saying they feel the same. They also feel like they want to die at times.

Lockdown has obviously been crap for mental health. There’s been no upside in relation to mental health or physical health to me personally and it’s really taken it’s toll on me. Many others have felt the same. Without any real interaction other then via phones it’s really hard to communicate how we feel through a text. My counselling has been cancelled with no light at the end of the tunnel, no communication and no online sessions. I would normally take Elijah out daily and we’d see friends at-least 3/4 days of the week to get out and about . Now we are all stuck in with no communication. There is just no ability to feel better and being stuck at home means I’m stuck with my feelings. Many, many others are in the same position.

I have many times in my life become engulfed by my depression. Where I wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning, where I would rather die then start the day again. I wanted to die. I thought about how quick and easy it would be. I never wanted to kill myself. I never wanted to do anything about those thoughts but I did feel the world would be better of without me. I wanted to stop the pain. I wanted to stop the dark clouds that engulfed every moment of my life. It was hard. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of leaving my husband and son behind. I sort of became a human on autopilot not really thinking and doing things such as cooking and cleaning away and talking but not really being present to experience it. My body was here but I wasn’t. I was watching over unable to feel.

I hit a point I couldn’t take it anymore and had a breakdown. I found having a breakdown and ugly crying helped. Talking about my feelings to my husband is what was the breakthrough. Getting the words out, getting the feelings out was what I needed. The hurt, the pain and my feelings all in the air and I felt heart and safer. I spoke to my gp and my anti depressants fiddled around with again.

It is so important to speak when you have these thoughts. To tell your loved ones and get the thoughts and pressure off your head. It is okay to feel this way and while it’s not normal you can talk about how you feel. You are loved, somebody will always care about you and there is always someone you can talk too even if you don’t know them.

If you feel this way always speak about it. The people you speak to won’t judge. You can always call 111, the Samaritans and many other charity’s. You can call your friends, family, doctors or even just look online about your feelings. The storm will pass. You will breath again and feel better one day, it may not be today, tomorrow or next week but the calm will come. You will not be judged for having these thoughts. You will not be sectioned or anything like that for the thoughts. Feeling like you want to die is different to being suicidal and taking steps into it or planning it. If you ever get to a stage you are making plans it is time to take yourself to a hospital or talk to anyone who’ll listen.

The more you talk the more it lifts. The more better you feel. The more that heavy ness melts away with our tears. We get into our heads that everyone will judge us and that it’s not okay. Like we can’t have these thoughts. As parents we can’t have these thoughts because we’ll we’re parents. We apparently can’t ever have feelings of being down and can only ever be happy. This is not true. Anyone can experience depression. It doesn’t make you weaker, it doesn’t make you crazy it just means you feel so deeply that sometimes you can’t get out of those feelings. You’re not an attention seeker. You’re loved. You’re wanted, you’re existence matters and the world would be a shittier place with out you in it. Yes we can’t stop the worlds current situation, we can’t stop the bad news, the hurt and life events. But we can talk about it. We can process it and we can fight another day.

My inbox is always open. Charlie x

My plans for after lockdown

My plans for after lockdown

When Boris says this is all over and life finally returns to normal there’s a few things I want to do. So I thought why not make a post about all the things I want to do! So here goes…

Go to the national history musuem. Why this random place? Well my son is OBSESSED with andys dinosaur and prehistoric adventures and he loves dressing up as Andy. So after a google the other night we found out that andys clock is at the musuem and I think Elijah would love running around the musuem and seeing all the dinosaurs and animals too. He loves our local musuem so he’ll love that too.

We will go to the zoo. Elijahs favourite place to go is the zoo. He’s asked almost everyday since being in lockdown and every time we get in the car he thinks we’re going to see the animals and I have to break his heart and say it’s closed over and over again.

Celebrate our anniversary. We will go away for the night to a hotel without Elijah somewhere as that was our plan that got cancelled.

Go for a meal. To have that restaurant vibe where there is no clean up. Just food brought to us and be socialising.

See our friends and go out together in groups. We’ve missed our friends and so has Elijah so we’ll be having lots of days out with friends.

Go to our family’s and see everyone inside. We’ll go see all our family we haven’t seen in a while!

Go to the cinemas. We are big cinema fans and we go for the social experience. We go twice a month so I’ve certainly missed it.

Go shopping. I want to go for a day shopping in town with no feeling of judgement and looking at different things.

Go to diy stores and buy bits to do the house and garden up too.

Go to a library and book store. I miss books like something fierce and staring into the books selection and picking something new!

Finish signing Elijah up for nursery. so many little things have been out on hold and this is a important one.

Obviously some things will take a while but I can’t wait for normality! Stay safe, Charlie x

Things you must watch this lockdown

Things you must watch this lockdown

Obviously we’ve been stuck in quite a while now and so that obviously means your work attire is now pjs and your lunch is no longer a meal deal but instead devouring a very large chocolate bar and bag of crisps whilst staring at a wall. No judgement. But it leaves us with one thing on our minds, what can i watch? I have lost count the amount of times i’ve loaded the Netflix screen flicked through for ten minutes then given up. But there has been the odd time i have found gold and here is some of those little nuggets of joy. Or depression filled trip as i apparently like a lot of things where people die my husband pointed out to me last night.

First up i will hit you with some series:

The handmaids tale- This series follows offered who is a woman who has been stolen from her old life and basically turned into a breeding cow to make babies for her commander. This shows a world where woman have no rights and the woman are treated with no respect. It’s a eyeopener and it really gets you thinking. It’s a must watch and i’m re watching it now again with my husband.

Killing eve- Everyone has heard of it so i wont say much more then this series is basically about a assassin who gets obsessed with a agent investigating her and visa versa. It’s quite funny and suspenseful at times and a really good and easy binge watch.You don’t have to concentrate and the acting is really good on both parts you don’t get bored.

Thirteen- is a series about Ivy a girl who goes missing after being kidnapped. She shows up years later when she manages to escape. It’s a really good suspenseful series with lots of twists and turns and the star is also the star from killing eve.

Greys anatomy-I have re watched this series over and over again and i never feel any less emotion from re watching a episode then to the first time.The series follows Meredith grey and her friends as she becomes a surgeon whilst having all sorts of love affairs and mystery illnesses. I didn’t watch it for years because i thought it would be terrible but you know what i absolutely love it. The emotions you go through and the amount of times my husbands come in from work and seen me ugly crying and said your watching greys ill leave you alone is quite shocking to be honest.

New Amsterdam- similar to greys it is again a medical drama but this series more focuses on their staff then the patients and it’s quite nice getting to know the characters with a bit of medical mystery thrown in.

Working moms- OK so i thought i wont like this series but decided to give it ago and got hooked. It basically just follows a load of mums hanging around in their girl gang and its great. Even if your not a mum its a good comedy filled series to watch.It’s really good to watch as mum to see that your not alone in your feelings and also it’s a good laugh.

The Witcher- Okay i admit i only watched this because one my husband wouldn’t shut about how he plays the game of it and two have you seen henry cavill? I mean. That’s why. It follows a guy who basically has some slight mystical powers and his lover who is a witch. I really loved this series and it has a bit of a game of thronsey/ lord of the rings vibe and i was really sad when we completed it. There’s lots of action and fantasy it’s a great escape from the world at this time.

Vikings- The early seasons are a must. I wont say when to stop watching because that would give it away but the first few seasons are complete binge worthy greatness. The series follows Ragnar and his friends as he invades England. Loosely based on legends it shows how the vikings invaded and it’s a really great series with lots of gore and blood.

Tiger king – annoyingly i hate that i liked it. I spent the whole time thinking why am i watching this crap but now all i can think about is where is Carole baskins husband.

Now lets think of some movies as i’m more of a series person:

Trolls 2- obviously a family favourite had to make it into the misk. After Elijah becoming obsessed with trolls we decided to rent trolls 2 and we all absolutely loved it. It isn’t the same as the first one but still good and i won’t mind watching it again and again.

The invisible man- Again we rented this for a date night and i’m glad we did. Its a bit of a horror/suspense film about a domestic abuser making himself invisible to mess with his ex. Scary at times but the main character is a incredible actress from the handmaids tale and we loved it.

little monsters- This is a comedy about a zombie invasion that happens while a class is on a school trip to a farm. It was quite funny and different to anything we had seen before.

Last Christmas-A romance had to make it in and although it’s not christmas it is such a good film! I cried like a baby in the cinemas and i want to watch it again! A hopeless lovestory of a girl who pushes everyone away who finds the one.But are things really as they seem? A feel good love film to no doubt cause many smiles and tears in the stoniest of hearts.

Hope i’ve given you something to watch! Charlie x

Stop making all the effort

Stop making all the effort

One thing that lockdown has taught me as a life lesson is that I put way to much effort into other people. I’m always first to start conversations and I am always trying to keep relationships with friends/family members that don’t perhaps deserve the time.

Yes we are all going through our own personal battles during lockdown and it’s hard enough trying to keep your head above water let alone reply to a text… but have you noticed that those who choose to ignore your texts or calls are the ones who didn’t bother pre lockdown? I find it so frustrating always reaching out to people and trying my hardest to share my love with others and have it thrown back in my face repeatedly.

I would always be the first texter, the one making plans, the first to talk in a room but not anymore. I have come to find life is to short to worry about what others want and need from me.When all you need to worry about is what you need from yourself. If you’re noticing your always the one who cares and someone else doesn’t, do you really need them in your life? Is your life really effected by them not being in it? After all if they can’t be bothered to reply what’s the difference in complete silence?

My life is so much easier not waiting anxiously for texts of people worrying if I have perhaps upset them now. I no longer worry about making awkward plans and having to make all the conversation effort. I don’t worry about upsetting someone by not replying because it’s what they have done to me for many moons. I also don’t feel like I’m an issue. I don’t worry what’s wrong with me anymore and thinking I’m always to blame.

Know your worth. Know that you need to communicate with someone as much as they are communicating with you. Don’t embarrass yourself chasing others for a conversation but at the same time realise that’s you need to put in as much work as them. If they’re texting you first text them first every now and then. Arrange plans more frequently and share the responsibility. A friendship/relationship works two ways where both of you benefit in partnership. If one of you is letting the other side down then all that will happen will be resentment and the slow fizzle into a void. You cannot expect someone else to do all the legwork while you sit around moaning about everyone else not bothering with you. Do remember that people who used to bother may not bother as much in lockdown and that’s okay. Remember who’s been there before lockdown and who hasn’t.

Find your friends, love your friends, love your family, make new friends and enjoy your life don’t be weighed down by some sort of moral obligation. You only have one life and it’s to short to go round with resentment. If your friends/family come back one day and want to try to build that trust up again let them. But don’t be walked all over. Love yourself

Thanks for reading Charlie!