Unwind

Unwind

Have that bath, eat that chocolate bar and scent your room with candles because it’s time to chill tf out.

Everyday we get ourselves in such a stress and forget to take time for us. To unwind, to get patterns where a certain routine makes us feel calm. So put your phone on charge, close your eyes and breathe. Take a few minutes for yourself. When it all gets to much just have a few selfish seconds because you need it.

Work stress, family and friends, just personal things getting you down and don’t know how to escape it? Switch off. One thing I’ve learnt recently is the need to be selfish. We only get one life so we do we spends our life’s miserable and wanting to stop sometimes. We’re human we feel so much more stronger which is both a blessing and a curse! Sometimes I envy some animals because they seem to have it made!

How to unwind? Well it’s all about finding what works for you. I might say go make a cup of tea and sit down for five minutes but you could a caffeine aversion or it may stress you having caffeine as it gives you more energy. So I’ll give you some suggestions and if you like them try them, If not maybe it’ll give you some ideas into what you could do to unwind.

First of all an easy grounding one. Breathing. If you’re feeling stressed and can’t escape a situation just take a breath. Stop close hour eyes and concentrate on your breathing, feel your body moving and your organs working together. Feel your mind unwind and try to relax into it. Rationalise you’re thoughts and come back to the room. If you’re really up against stress then excuse yourself for a moment and do it in private. Take yourself to a bathroom or staff room if at work or just any room you can to just take a minute to yourself. I found this helpful in my old job when things would get to much I’d take a step back and breath to calm my self and slow my anxious mind. Since becoming a mum I find this one of the easiest tools I use to just take a step back and be calm and rational. Having a screaming, tantrum throwing Grenade that is your toddler can really cause you to get worked up at times. But we don’t want to meet fire with fire and give them the attitude they give us. Of course sometimes things get to much and you might become the “shouty parent”. But how do we stop getting to that stage? I’ve had a few days recently when the tantrums have been constant, embarrassing and heart breaking. I’ve wanted to cry and scream and it’s exhausted me. I’ve found that when he’s having a monumental tantrum because he can’t hold your used tissue or something as absurd as that it can help. I feel the stress, embarrassment and defeat in me so I take a step back. I close my eyes and breath I remind myself he doesn’t understand how to explain how he feels and then think in my head how to explain things to him in a calm way. If he’s been pretty full on all day and the few seconds don’t help then I will leave him watching tv and stand in the kitchen for a minuite I’ll do the breathing and calm myself and come out a new person.

Secondly have some water. Have a nice drink, waters best as it’s healthy and best for you. It’ll refuel you and help you think clearer. Taking the time to just drink and relax can make you feel miles better. Ever wondered why you always accept a cup of tea or coffee when at work when you’re not even thirsty and may have had 16527 cups already today? Your body is starved of water and it always makes you feel better.

Self care is probably the most important thing you can do unwind. When you’re feeling particularly in a dark spot in can feel impossible to want to look after yourself but you must. Force yourself to run a warm bath, shove a ridiculously funky bath bomb in and light yourself some candles. Turn the light of, get in and close your mind of. Don’t take your phone in the bathroom so you can fully disengage. Exfoliate and pamper yourself. Wash and condition you’d hair slowly feeling how it feels as you do it. Sink into the bubbles and just unwind into the warm ness. Warm water comforts us and sitting in a smell explosion tub helps even more. Once out Put a face mask on, moisturise, dry your hair nicely. Put on some fresh pjs and enjoy the feeling. It’s amazing how much just having a wash can help you feel.

Treat yourself, if you can afford to treat yourself every now and then absolutely do it! Buy that cute top! Buy a nice chocolate bar, buy a new book, buy whatever it is that makes you feel happy. Just think about that feeling you get when you first wear/use or eat a treat and how you’ll feel then. Why shouldn’t you buy something if it’ll make you happy!

Turn your phone off when you’ve done what you need to on it. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of instagram, Facebook then twitter. You’ll spend the nights looking through carelessly stressing yourself and it’s really unneeded. Perhaps just turn it off for little time sections and then increase it. Use that time doing something else. I use the time to read. I love reading because it takes me away to a far away place. It takes me out of reality for a little while and my mind and emotions are stretched. It helps me unwind and instead of reading how someone doesn’t like some chocolate bar they brought online my brains out to something better.

Journal. Write down your feelings it helps, whether it’s in a book or like me in the form of the blog sometimes it helps to get the thoughts out from your head and into the real world.

Talk to someone. Try to talk to a friend or family member about your feelings and let them out. Talk about random rubbish and just try to live in the moment. Try to enjoy conversations where you’re not distant thinking of other things switch off because I guarantee the things your thinking odd are not that important.

It’s all about finding what’s good for you but this what just works for me. When I’m in a stressful situation or dark place I try to use these as much as I can and it normally works. Just taking the time to rationalise yourself and disengage is sometimes all we need.

World mental health day 2019

World mental health day 2019

I will always talk about mental health. I will always say it is okay to not be okay. For years I suffered in silence. It all started when I was around 16 but in some respects earlier. I was bullied and because of that I became a very anxious person. Growing up I started to get mood swings, they have been labelled as hormones, a bitchy attitude or just who I was.

As I grew older I started getting into bad places at times. I wondered if everyone would be better without me? I wondered if it would be easier for everything to just stop. I realised this was not normal but I never really felt I could speak to my family or boyfriend at the time. I’ve always kept myself to myself. It wasn’t till I started working in care when I was more responsible to other people where I started to get affected by stress. I became a insomniac and I stared to get severe ocd. It became horrific. I was running on empty looking after others while feeling awfull about myself. I still put on a happy face and pretended I was ok when I really wasn’t. Little things would upset me and I would cry. Everyone would think I was over emotional and a cry baby not knowing the struggle I was going through every day just to exist. I’d get defensive and snap and broke up with my boyfriend at the time and felt nothing. I was desensitised and didn’t give two hoots I’d thrown away a 3 year relationship. But I made the right decision and he was one of the worst things in my life and something I could change easily. He made my anxiety worse and made my depression worse and was never there when I needed him.

I still struggled on but eventually one day at work something set me off and I went to see a doctor. I spilled about everything, how I had spent years feeling wrong, how I wondered why I got out of bed in the morning, how my days of would be spent in bed and I was unable to give my all to a job I should love. I explained how I’d become fixated on doing tasks over and over and I would get a panic attack if not done wrong and hot and itchy. I explained I had started flicking light switches on and off and there was nothing I could do. I explained how I’d have to double check every switch was off and correctly in a room as I left as I’d worry the house would burn down. I explained I had to do certain things as in my head my family and friends would die if I wouldn’t do it. I knew I didn’t need to in my heart but my head wouldn’t let me stop. I was diagnosed with ocd, depression and anxiety. I was offered counselling and tablets. Tablets didn’t work just made me feel shit and I tried so many. I gave up in the end. Sometimes tablets are for you and sometimes they’re not the only things that help are mega strong ones that make me feel even more exhausted. Counselling was ok it started over the phone but when it came to a in person day I panicked. I went in and was basically told by some old man I was too young to feel how I was. I felt so stupid and worse I screamed back how many people have you looked after that beat you for washing them and caring for them? How many times have you had someone scream at you for days on end while you try to help them?How many times have you took a hour to get out the door as you didn’t feel you turnt a light switch off right and sobed? I left feeling horrid and refused anymore counselling. I kind of blacked it out and pretended I was fine for a short while it worked.

I met James and my mental health improved by itself. We moved out and I was the happiest id ever been. Eventually my work pattern changed and I basically worked 4 nights a week and saw James three nights a week and I felt horrendous. Work got really stressful and I had personal things at work where I was made to feel like crap and I ended up having a breakdown. I came home from work sobbing rocking back and forth unable to move I was so sad. I called my doctor and went in and was signed of work. I was due on shift in a hours time and had only had a few hours of since my last two days straight and sleep ins and was due for another that night. I hadn’t slept in days I was exhausted and my feelings got the better of me. My mum came over as I called her as my manger was saying I wasn’t aloud to be of work sick as they couldn’t cover my shift. I wasn’t allowed to. Which made everything even worse my mum came round and told my manger to stop calling me I’m off sick and if she harrasses me anymore she’s be explaining to me how to go elsewhere to complain. She explained I was shaking sobbing in a corner and they expected me to come into work to look after a vulnerable adult when I couldn’t even look after myself. She explained if I’d been hit by a bus I wouldn’t be told to come into work and they wouldn’t tell me I was not aloud to be off work and put the phone down. For the first time I fully allowed myself to feel everything again and had a month of despite my managers telling me I had to come back daily and forcing me to have meetings while of sick and telling my work collegues personal confidential things and doctor telling me not to go back. I eventually felt a bit better and left where I was based for elsewhere in my company, things where a bit better and I was back on medication and just looked online at counselling and learnt to talk to people when feeling down.

I was ok with the odd down stage until I had my son. I was a nervous wreck at first I worried I’d be a terrible mum and I wasn’t like the rest. Everything made me anxious. I was sad and had nobody to talk too. When I returned to work when I first went back I was a wreck. My ocd came back along with my anxiety I was annoying people, questioning things. My arms and hands would be red raw from my hand washing from my ocd and I’d get palpitations. My pulse on shift once went to 144 bpm sitting there relaxed. I cried at night because I knew I was annoying others and felt terrible for it. My insomnia returned. But things calmed down I stopped caring so much.Over time I calmed again. Eventually though I became stressed again and everything flared up. On top of work I was a mum and had all the mum guilt to go with it and worry and decided I couldn’t work anymore. I had that thought again about how everyone would be happy without me so off to gp again and signed off. I decided to leave and concentrate on my family. I have felt better since stopping work. I’m not stressed. But I still have times I’m depressed. I still have times I’m a bit of a mess. I still have severe anxiety and always will. I will always question everything and that’ll never change. I will always have difficulty accepting love and and not questioning everything my loved ones do. But I have found that talking helps. Relaxing helps and taking the time to step back and excuse my self from situations has helped massively.

We need to talk about mental health and normalise it. Suffering in silence is hell and makes everything ten times worse. Sometimes we need a little cry or to go out for coffee and talk. Sometimes we need to know that others have similar feelings and your not just crazy. Sometimes we need a little break and to put our self’s first. Sometimes it’s ok to concentrate on you before others and that’s ok. If you need help or someone to talk to I am always there. But most importantly if you feel not ok, pop to your gp. Sometimes a diagnosis is all you need to start feeling better about yourself. You are important and you are loved. You are not alone and never will be.

Mental health since becoming a mama.

Mental health since becoming a mama.

Something I’m not ashamed to say is my mental health has changed so much since having a baby. Some ways in the better and some ways not so good. It’s impossible not to change after having a child and I find that nobody talks about the positives it has on your mindset.

First of all I’m going to start with your expectations of yourself. When you have a baby all you do is compare yourself to other parents, your parents, people you’ve never even met onlines parenting abilities and it’s exhausting. Sometimes you may feel you’ve got to do better at being a parent and do things others are doing. E.g seeing mothers sending their kids to clubs and going on holidays. You think am I being a good mum not sending him to all these groups he wouldn’t even probably like? Am I stopping him learning about culture because I’m too hervous to board a plane with a child that insists on screaming on the floor if he doesn’t get what he wants. You think do I want to be like this parent and be like a child’s friend or be like another and more strict so he appreciates you more. You wonder if you’re doing well enough or if you could do better. It makes you anxious and worried. You spend time worrying that your child will fail and it’ll be your fault because of your failures and although they won’t as you know deep down your a good mum you can’t help but doubt yourself.

A positive is I’ve found I don’t really take anyone’s crap now. When someone expect my life to revolve around them or they’re being nasty now I don’t take it. I don’t want negativity and my negative thoughts around my child so I will just cut out people’s crap. I’m direct and tell people how I’m feeling and surprisingly I feel a stronger happier person when I do. I feel a weight lifted of my shoulders.

Your self image will change. Your body will naturally go through changes growing a baby so you’ll no doubt hate your body. Your skin and hair will look difffrent too. You’ll be self conscious where you weren’t before loving baby clothes instead of dressing to feel good about yourself. And this is probably the most common and saddest thing to happen to most mums. To go from this confident body loving queen to a shell of a woman who’s tenants left the body and took that bit of them with them.

I’m sleepy all the time which causes me to be stressed. I get upset when elijahs been a pain although I don’t show him, sometimes I have to have a good unwinding session before bed. Tantrums are very hard to deal with and the eyes of the public judging you while you struggle hard enough. Sometimes other people’s eyes make you angry and you want to snap but can’t. You have to find the energy to teach your child right and wrong. You need to teach them to deal with their emotions when you can’t even deal with yours. The responsibility is some next level stress.

You’ll probably socialise with people more. You’ll probably make some mum friends and you’ll get out more. You’ll feel happier to express yourself and confide in your friends. You’ll feel more positive having people you can relax and be yourself with. You’ll keep yourself busy and stop your mind wondering.

You’ll feel proud of your child and look at that smiling face. You’ll see you can do anything if you believe in it because your child believes in you. You’ll believe you can be loved. You can see your hard work pay off and feel a love and happiness like no other.

I’ve only touched on some of the ways having a child has affected me and their are so many other ways. I know I sound like I am complaining about being a mother, I am not. I love my child and being a mother more than anything it’s everything I’ve always wanted. But you have to realise that you do have emotions and they are going to change and it’s ok to talk about them rather then bottle them up inside and struggle alone. If you ever need help my inbox is always open.

Let’s talk Insomnia.

Let’s talk Insomnia.

For years now I’ve struggled to sleep when I have a bout of anxiety. I sit watching the clock tick by and wonder how what it feels like to sleep. Ten minutes will last I’ll think and look at the clock and it will be two hours.

I’ve tried not drinking all night so I don’t need the toilet, no cafffiene, no late night snacks. I’ve read to relax. I’ve left my phone down stairs. I’ve made my room both cold and hot. I’ve sprayed so much sleep spray I smell like it till I shower. I’ve tried over the counter tablets and I’m exhausted.

Going to sleep at 4 am every night just can’t do. I’m basically living of three hours of sleep every night before my toddler wakes up. I then have to give him my undivided attention. I have to look after him and clean the house. I have to push him in his buggy around and chase him when he runs off. I have to drink copious amounts of coffee now to try wake myself up which never works. In reality I have no idea why I can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because I worry I’ll die in my sleep or something else I’ve buried deep in my self consciousness. I suppose it’s easier now I don’t work as I didn’t sleep atall some nights and had to do a ten hour shift and two hours travelling absolutely exhausted. Some times I’d nod of on the bus to work and have to use everything in me to wake myself up and get tot work on time.

Does anyone have any recommendations to help this sleepy anxious mess out? It would be much appreciated and I’m ready to try anything. I can’t go on much longer not sleeping and there’s so many negative side effects to it and i would like to wake up refreshed in the morning. I imagine some spots would go, I’d have more energy, feel better in myself and may be able to loose weight easier. Any suggestions atall please comment or hit my mail box! Thanks guys!

My struggle with weight gain after having a baby.

My struggle with weight gain after having a baby.

Everyday I look in the mirror and wonder why I haven’t woken up skinny again and how it’s just not fair. My body image is something I really struggle with and don’t think I ever will accept either. I never paid attention to my weight gain because it was too late. Illnesses, pregnancy and work related stress all contributed to this body that won’t just pop back into place.

I try to live healthy I can be healthy all week, exercise, eat right and then I see no weight loss and end up reaching for the just eat app or raiding my cupboards to put it all back on again. I’m a comfort eater and if something gets to me I instantly reach for food and it makes me feel better, chocolate, cakes, crisps and fried foods are my weakness and I’m not afraid to admit it.

It’s so hard to not gain weight after a baby. First of all you eat lots when pregnant no idea why but you do. After everything’s a quick instant meal when you can a takeaway here a chocolate bar there just so you can look after a baby and chase a toddler. You have no time to go to a gym or childcare. You can’t afford a gym pass either when you know you’ll go once a month if that. Taking the time to cook food is difficult when your toddler/ baby is screaming for attention. Your body can sometimes struggle to breakdown weight when tired and if not sleeping enough or suffering medical issues like me it’s even harder.

I’m constantly seeing posts from people who say love your post natal body! You’re body’s beautiful when these fake woman just want likes on their posts. You don’t love your flab, you don’t love your empty belly that’s still hanging away over your trousers. You don’t love your stretch marks that stretch across your body replacing your once soft and smooth skin. It is more than okay to hate your post natal body or if you can’t have children and have a jelly belly or stretch marks with no story to show it’s okay to. We let go and get comfortable in baggy clothes and eating to block out the pain but when is enough enough?

Today I decided enough is enough. After I’ve demolished my cakes and food this weekend I’ve brought I’m back on the diet and going to eat veg and healthy snacks when I’m feeling emotional. I’m going to exercise and wear and use the clothes and equipment I spent a small fortune on gathering dust. I feel good when I eat good and exercise my body just feels good.It’s gonna be hard work but I need to accept my body. I’ve done so well loosing so much weight that I’ve dropped 4 dress sizes which I’m proud of but the progress has been slow. I look at time hops and see how I used to look and I miss it so much when I didn’t worry about my weight and ate what I wanted. I accept my body. I don’t like it but I accept it and I will improve it. If not for me but for my health.

Rediscovering my love of reading.

Rediscovering my love of reading.

One thing I’ve done since taking a cleanse of social media is read more. My books that I have been buying but not “having the time to read” had been gathering dust on my overcrowded book shelf.

Since giving up social media for my mental health I’ve had so much time! After cleaning the house I have so much free time now so I choose to read a book or watch a tv or both at same time loosely listening or reading. I read all sorts and I’m currently in between two books. I’m taking a break from reading the flat share mainly because I left it downstairs one night and couldn’t be bothered to fetch it so started a new book. I am hooked at the moment reading the tattooist of auschwitz which I’m reading on my kindle. I’ve polished of three books in the last week I have not been glued to my phone and it’s amazing I feel my brain working and like I’m transported somewhere else where the stress just disappears while i am in my imagination.

I’ve also been brought a new kindle from my lovely husband which I adore. My old kindle had been broken for a year and in usable and I hate using kindle on iPhone/iPad/kindle fire as the blue light gives me a headache and I’m tempted to go on social media or I get a notification and I’m distracted. This way it’s comfortable and feels lighter than my phone and I have a unlimited library for my books instead of my bookshelf’s pile either side that’s growing.

One thing I will recommend to anyone who’s feeling particularly stressed. Get off your phone. Search for a good book and read it. Take your time it’s no rush and relax let your mind escape and focus on something else. It also gives you something positive to talk about other than what you’ve seen of Facebook/ Twitter or instagram today.

Why I don’t drive.

I was in primary school when I was hit by a car walking to school. I remember being flung into the air like a food wrapper in a gust of wind. I remember the thud as I came down and the shock. I remember people scrambling round me and crying for my mum. My bag had been ripped to shreds and my Lisa Simpson pencil case and lunchbox had possibly saved my life by the dents to the front of their tin cases.

I was okay of course I’m still standing today but I did break a finger, severely sprain my legs and possibly this is the cause for my back pain all my teenage an dying adult life being knocked to the side by a car can mess you up in ways you don’t see. The trauma it caused me remembering one what it was like to be me and two the poor young woman who hit me screaming in tears praying I was ok and clearly shaken up. Thirdly my thoughts where with her poor bunny that was going to the vets it had knocked into the windscreen as she’d stopped. When the ambulance came I remember being so scared I’d be in a accident on the way and didn’t trust cars for a long time. When I’m a passenger I’m over cautious and worry at any closeness to another car especially now I’m a mother with a car seat to worry about.

So why don’t I drive? Exactly this reason. I’ve taken around 8 driving lessons where I absolutely hated them. I had a panic attack every time I sat behind the wheel and every time a car came near or someone crossed the road or walked in the street. I worry I will hit them and it’ll be my fault. I worry I’m going to get hurt by another car and it all gets too much. I have a lot of people in my family telling me just to drive but unless you’ve been hit by a car as a child I don’t think you can really understand the trauma. It’s not as easy as just drive as I physically cannot trust myself behind a wheel if I was to have a panic attack so I jacked it in. It doesn’t effect me too much. I enjoy walking with Elijah to places and going on the bus sometimes. I only go to town which is fifteen mins from my house on a good day so it’s quicker than driving and parking and cheeper then paying fuel. If I go out with friends I normally bus to them or meet them or take turns coming to mine. My husband drives so at weekends or if errands or day trips are further a field we just drive then and we have two car seats one for me to take out with friends and one for our car. It’s all about making the best out of a bad situation and I’m yet to have a big problem yet.