What makes you smile?

I’m sure you can compile a list as long as your arm of all the things that make you smile but what about that inner happiness? Sound a bit too hippy? Well I’ve tried many a thing along the way to give that sense of calm. To take the edge off so to speak.

We have all had our ups and downs through life as part of learning and I firmly believe we all need a little help to heal ourselves along the way. It may come in completely different forms for different people. For one person a trip to see a reflexologist may be just what they need to find that sense of inner peace to be able to take on the next challenges life throws at them. For others it may be something completely different. It’s about finding what suits you and what you feel comfortable with. This year has started with a wealth of emotions and I’m already trying to wade through what I need to battle first.

As the years have gone on and for one reason or another I have found it incredibly hard to find this happy place. We have so many pressures on us in this era that we don’t even realise where downtime and peace comes into our lives. It’s chaotic! All go..go..go! I’m guilty of never stopping. I’m not even sure what real downtime is. I just cannot switch my damn brain off. In turn this causes anxiety which I struggle to stop. You know that whole stomach churning, feeling sick, heart beating double time and being super quick to snap.

Even when we get to sit down we have to be so disciplined not to reach for social media or to be mentally writing a check list of what is required next. So we never get full mental rest. I’m guilty of it all as I’m sure most of us are so I thought I’d document some of the things I’ve tried, good and bad purely because if it didn’t work for me it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you!

Books

The lovely Fearne Cotton has written Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect. She talks candidly about her own struggles with mental health and how to keep it at bay. I can honestly say I haven’t picked up a book that wasn’t related to study within the last 6 years (yes my eldest child’s age!!) and felt compelled to complete it. It filled me with tips and hints to try and the added information from MIND was enthralling. It may not be a quick fix but it is a self help guide which means you have to want to help yourself and actually apply the techniques discussed. I would however recommend you give it a read for its well thought out and honest account. Well done Fearne. Plus the added bonus is you can pick it and at the times of need so no pressure to read and remember in one go!

The Little Bullet Book is a wonderful planner for mindfulness. It helps with focusing on key areas and organises your mind as well as your diary. It’s a great little book with lots of self help tips. See separate blog dedicated to this little book of which gives more details. I have spent the first day of 2018 scribbling my plans for the war ahead, it’s rather therapeutic. Plus super pretty.. win win!

Apps

I have used an awesome app previously <a href=”http://Headspace – meditation & mindfulness“>Headspace that really does shut your brain down into some sort of trance like state! ok it sent me to sleep but honestly sometimes this is difficult in itself so i’d say its very effective. The man has the most gorgeous voice and talks away in his dulcet tones taking you on an audio journey. It’s meant to subconsciously help you which I do feel it does. However a good nights sleep is also something that helps massively.  Worth a go.. plug in and see what you think.

Exersice

I used to run so often and loved it for the escapism. It has all gone a bit squiffy since I had kids. My diet is anything I can sort with ease and possibly (ok defiantly) not always the right choices. I do love the idea of eating healthy and exercising daily but I just don’t seem to have enough hours in the day. Roll on spring so the evening are longer. Currently it’s hard to want to leave the house to run when it’s dark and cold. Maybe I need a SAD lamp?! (Amazon here I come!). I do think if you can find something that increases the heart rate daily (naughty 🤭) then that helps to release endorphins which are a natural high. So go on find something to get you going!!

Medications I have to say I am quire adverse to medications unless I really really need them! Odd for a nurse right but yep we do make the worst patients ourselves. However, of late I have become much more interested in homeopathy. Amelie has always suffered with a cough and has been diagnosed with asthma. She’s been pummelled with medications including steroids that effects her mood which it’s less than ideal especially at the tender age of 5.

I had been looking into alternative medications when her friends mum became a student homeotherapist so thought why not. I can honestly say it’s been a game changer. Amelie’s cough is much more under control and I am even starting to think about weaning her other medications. Amelie has also been suffering with anxiety of late with the reality of life kicking in. I’m told this is the age they start leaving their little bubble of feeling like the world is rosey and start worrying about being taken by a bad man. It’s a horrible thing to watch our child have nightmares. She’s is so protective of me and is worried something will happen to me. It seems to be much more controlled now with her a lot less irrational. I do believe this is due to the homeopathy.

I have also used <a href=”http://RESCUE Remedy Dropper 20ml“>Rescue remedy for years and find it a great symptom healer when your just feeling a bit overwhelmed. It may just be something you use if your scared of flying or if social events make you have a ball of anxiety in your tummy. It just helps to calm it!

Hobbies Hobbies are wonderful to find some escapism, some downtime, something to be passionate about. I know it’s hard to focus when your in a funk but having that go to something that you can start it may just help to lift your mood. I thoroughly enjoy painting. Not the DeVinci kind of painting but the up-cycling if furniture. It’s therapeutic to see a tatty old piece of furniture turn into something fresh and become re-loved. I often end up painting the walls of my house in a mad 60 minute makeover style to give myself the sense of satisfaction… it works… momentarily until I realise I have a ton of other things I need to be getting on with. I also love to bake but that doesn’t help with the muffin top!!

Talking One of the most important things if you are suffering in silence is to talk. That one person who you can open up to and be totally honest with is key in your quest to feel better. It’s up to you who you can talk to but you should know you are not alone. You should try and speak to your GP for advise or if you are really struggling and worried about your safety or others please do call 999 or get to an A&E. If you feel you have no one you can speak to there are amazing charities that offer that listening ear. They are there to support and offer advice.

MIND  0300 123 3393 Email< a href=”https://www.samaritans.org/”>SAMARITANS  116 123 Email< a href=”https://www.rethink.org/about-us/our-mental-health-advice”>RETHINK  0300 5000 927 offers advice on living with mental health and practical advice. Phone line is open 930am-4pm Monday to Friday.

I would love to hear from you if you have any hints a tips please do leave a comment. Sharing is caring and all that!

I hope this year is a positive one,

Love & Hugs

Kate x<<
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