31 October 2018

MY THOUGHTS ON FOOD & MENTAL HEALTH


^^ A few of my favourite recipe books ^^

(grab a cup of tea and settle in for this one...)

I've been putting off writing this post for a long time because, to be totally honest with you, it is one that is so personal that any time I dig into the topic it physically hurts, not to mention wears me out mentally. Yep, that sounds really dramatic, especially since I write very freely about my mental health in great detail, but that had the same affect on me too when I first started writing about my experiences and medication etc. This whole food thing is one of the very final things I have to conquer and, f**king hell, it's a hard journey.

I have been pushing aside food issues for years now; some of which are totally out of my control, thanks to a constant imbalance of hormones, but many are things that I have full control of, but just fail to keep that control. Maybe control isn't the right word to use, it is more a case of balance.

I have literally done all the 'diets', everything you can imagine, from severe restriction of food, to every food replacement shake you can imagine. Sometimes these things have worked, sometimes they haven't but, only recently have I realised that each and every diet I have been on, despite its success levels, has slowly been chipping away at my confidence, self-esteem and mental health. There have been a few acceptions to the rule, such as the coach I worked with for a short time over at my current gym, Serene, who has a different, more supportive approach to things, which isn't focused on the things that can bring you down, but overall I have found that I am less myself after each attempt to control/balance the way I eat.

Naturally I am curvy and store more body fat, that is my build and, to a certain extent I can get my head around that; I genuinely wouldn't want to be super small, I like muscle on my body too much anyway, but I know that I don't always help myself and that have got myself into a binging cycle, attaching food to all the emotions and using it to almost medicate my mood. I am sure we have all been there to some degree or another, am I right?


Something happened to me at the end of my most recent attempt to shift a sh*t load of weight on an extreme diet this year; I spent basically three months crying, anxious and miserable, my weight wasn't dropping like it did the last time which, upon reflection is probably a: the stress put myself under whilst trying to do these full-on diets and regimes and b: my bodies way of saying 'hey there... I'm not sure if you are aware of the fact that I'm struggling to regulate your hormones and all this restriction is really not helping me, so I'm gonna just store all the fat in-case I need it, okay?'.

Everyday on the program I berated my body and pushed myself to constant post-exercise migraines and just wanted to sleep all the time; I dreaded every single meal because I was exhausted at weighing out everything and feeling nauseous all the time because I didn't want to eat another bloody egg. After the twelve weeks, rather than feeling proud and like I had accomplished something, which I did (I lost some fat for sure), I felt suicidal and more depressed and low than ever; I felt like everyone would be judging me and thinking 'wow, she's such a failure, she lost weight and now shes going to have to keep it off and she won't'. The voices turned on me and I went rapidly downhill in my head.

In the downward spiral of the whole thing I just kept thinking to myself 'if I can't get to where I want to be on the extreme programs, how am I ever going to be able to live in my body on a 'normal' day'; I felt like just eating food was becoming more and more of an issue for me. The problem with the restrictive diets is that you crave all the crappy food and when you can have it again you just don't know where to draw the line. It takes a lot of work to get to a healthy mindset with the whole thing and I needed some help.

One of the best things I did was to read the Mel Wells book I am constantly harping on about, 'The Goddess Revolution'. This book helped me more than I can ever articulate, and I really recommend it to anyone and everyone who struggles with self image or food or both! The thing with my specific issue is that I am all over the place with food, either binging or restricting and so it was hard to know where I was at any point, this book helped me to understand my thoughts more, as did her second book, which I have just finished, 'Hungry for More', which was great, and I do recommend it, but the first one was the game changer for me.

After reading that book my mindset started to gain a little light within the darkness, and it was at that moment that all my Christmases came at once and the stars aligned for me; the beautiful soul that is Peta was studying to become a food psychologist and asked if I'd like to work with her (hell yes please!) and I have been working with her now for several sessions and it has been truly wonderful. (As a side note I will be doing a post with Peta, all about Nourishing Soulfully, her new business very soon, so stay tuned for that).

Peta is the kindest, most nonjudgmental person you could wish to work with on these things and during our sessions we chat about all kinds of issues that don't all relate to food, but also things that can trigger the way we eat or look at food. Opening up about some things in that area wasn't easy at all but she has helped me move through certain behaviours and really look at why I did/do them and guided me through doing the work to unpack the reasons. This is the thing you see, you have to do the work in order to make changes! Is it easy? Bloody hell, no. But it is worth it.

With Peta giving me journaling prompts, homework to do (generally things that unpick something I have brought up during a session or positive affirmations to practice) and food diary work too (which is so interesting to observe), I am gradually starting to see things differently. Seriously guys, contact Peta for an initial chat if you could do with some help, she is wonderful in every way; so kind, super supportive and goes way above and beyond what you could imagine (she created a Pinterest board of recipes for me to look at bless her socks!).



Let's be real here, any issue that has been around since childhood should not and cannot be covered up with a quick fix (at last I have realised that!) so what I am focusing on now is trying to be a bit more gentle on my body and mind and learn more, thanks to Peta and Mel Wells, what my body actually wants to eat and when it wants to eat, rather than thinking 'it's 1 o'clock I should be eating'. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of thought to realise the things you do out of habit and really tune into your own body, but it is so worth the work (and I am only a little way into this journey).

I am now trying my very best to listen to what my body is saying in terms of the sort of foods it wants and when, and this includes taking 'bad' out of my food dictionary and just thinking of everything as food. Clearly there are foods that are more beneficial to our bodies and that is important but, in my case anyway, by labeling something as a 'bad food' I just want it more, whereas if I think of everything being in abundance and always available to me, it takes the frantic need for that food away. Thanks to Peta I am no longer binging on huge packets of peanut m & m's, just buying some as and when I fancy them and making them last.

I have also begun to listen to my body when it comes to evening meals and not just cramming food in; I try and understand how much food I need and don't dish up too much all at once, with the knowledge that I can always have more. 

The strangest thing has also happened recently... I have started to want less and less meat and have been cooking chickpea curry and black bean chilli. Don't get me wrong, I'm not quite a vegetarian just yet, but I am tuning in more and more to my body and that is what I am hearing... eat less meat. It feels good and so I am going with it right now. 

It is only since working with Peta that I have realised how much I go through the motions with meals, often not really tasting food or taking time to really enjoy it. That is changing. Things are still difficult in terms of body image and my mental health, but I am getting there... baby steps but steps nonetheless!

That is my food story, past and present, and I am certainly working on a much brighter food-future, because life is way too short to be in a constant state of worry, plus there are so many delicious meals to be enjoyed!
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28 October 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE

 
Well… that was quite the week guys! I know I have said this before, most weeks recently, but normal scheduling and routines should be back on track as of now!

What has been the big disrupter (is that even a word?) of all things work and blog related has been an operation I’ve been waiting for, which came with a pre-operation injection that caused all kinds of havoc on the four weeks leading up to this weeks op (if you really want to hear me waffle on about that then watch my latest vlog for that story!). So this week was ‘the week’ of the op and, to be honest, it didn’t go to plan! I sat in the hospital waiting room from 7am until almost 4pm hungry and very thirsty and unfortunately, when I came round from the anaesthetic, I was told that they had been unable to do the planned procedure. Do you know what, it is what it is; I feel so fortunate to live in a country where we have access to medical assistance and all the staff at the hospital were so lovely too. The bright side is I now know for sure that there is nothing scary happening with my body that shouldn’t be there and I also know that I cannot pull off knee high circulation stockings with bright yellow hospital socks, although the latter is probably a given! Every cloud has a silver lining though and I met some lovely ladies who were also waiting for operations, including Kel, who was so sweet to talk to and really brightened the morning up.

So, that exciting waffle aside. shall we get onto this weeks little list (I haven’t been far but there are always things to be grateful for!):

:: This week I have really enjoyed watching ‘A Branch of Holly’ on YouTube because she has started daily vlogging and I am really into seeing how other business owners plan out their day. I have always found Holly’s content really useful and often get a little lost on her blog reading various interesting things! I highly recommend you check her out if you need some help with your blog/social/content.

:: On Tuesday morning Peta, who definitely now needs no introduction on here... maybe I can get an affiliate link from her or something (!) and I had one of our 'catmumpreneur' Facetime chats, which is basically us giggling away for an hour like a couple of insane people, discussing anything cat related and recommending Netflix shows to each other! We really should do a podcast because I think it would be comedy gold… maybe! It is always lovely having a catch up though because I haven’t seen many other humans for a while, what with all the illness!

:: After my op I came home to a cute new cat-mug from Sainsburys (thanks Joe!). If you watch my IG stories then you may have seen me put it on there last week when I spotted it on a shopping trip; I do love mugs; it’s impossible to have too many! This one is the perfect size and it's a cat, so win-win really!



:: Talking of post-op treats, I received two gorgeous bunches of flowers this week; both are so pretty and I am so grateful for them, they made my week! One of them, from my beautiful bestie Helena, came in a Liberty printed box, how gorgeous is that! Thank you so much to everyone who sent their well wishes too, you guys are the best.

:: On Friday I watched ‘Girl on the Train’ on Netflix; what a film! Have you seen it? I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing (actually I was on the edge of my pillow as I was in bed with a hot water bottle, but you get it!) and was desperately trying to guess the plot but I just didn’t see it coming. I am always bad at predicting story lines so I am guessing that everyone else probably knew what was happening when they watched it! I highly recommend it though, check it out if you haven’t seen it, it’s a good one!

:: I also heard someone (probably Peta!) mention a Spotify playlist this week, which I am currently listening to and highly recommend, it is called 'Songs to Sing in the Shower' and it is brilliant! I'm a sucker for cheesy songs so I was all over it and, as I type, I am currently bopping to a bit of 'The One and Only' by Chesney Hawkes!

:: I go on about sunsets each and every week I know, but this week there have been some of the most breathtaking that I have ever seen before; the colours have varied from deep purple to gold and have had me totally mesmerised.



:: Can you believe we are about to have the final of The Great British Bake Off? I can’t that’s for sure! I have really enjoyed this series and know who I really want to win… it’s Kim Joy all the way for me! I think she is so cute and I love all her little animal decorations and the colours she uses; I look forward to watching Bake Off every week (it is the only cooking programme I like!) so I will miss it when it is over!

:: As much as I hate it when I have nights where I struggle to sleep, I also kind of enjoy the peaceful stillness of the early hours, which is just as well, because on Thursday night/early hours of Friday morning (2.30am actually), I woke up hot and in pain so went downstairs. I felt wide awake so planned out my new downloadable calendar in my sketchbook and finished the end of a book I was reading too. I felt like I had a productive few hours and really enjoyed the quiet, thoughtful time. The book I finished, in case you fancy a read, was Matt Haig’s ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’. It was a good read if you want to jolt your brain out of the intensity of modern living and perhaps realign some priorities… I have since started reading ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, by Gail Honeyman which I am really into already and am so intrigued as to where the story is going! (I have now just finished this book as I started typing this post two days ago... my review is this 'heart-wrenching and beautiful - go read it right now'



:: The little bear has been my recovery partner this week as she has been laying next to me, cuddled up to the hot water bottle that I had attached to me most days (the true reason for her devoted cuddles I think!). Animals aid recovery so much don't they? That isn't to say that Joe hasn't of course, I don't want him feeling left out!

That is about all for this week. I am back to vlogging this week, so there should be another one coming soon; I had planned to vlog last week but, quite honestly guys, I was boring myself! Stay tuned for Wednesdays blog post, which I have already organised (I know, I can't believe it either!) and make sure you are signed up for my newsletter too as I am getting back to normal function again and plan to send out something much more regularly as of now! I am also planning on working on a monthly downloadable treat to send out to subscribers as well as exclusive content; this will be coming soon as soon as health is back to 100%.

See you on Wednesday!
xoxo

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21 October 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE (PLUS VLOG!)



Another week has past and that means a new 'Weekly Gratitude' list from me. I have still been unwell all of this week but did get around to editing my vlog from the previous week, so you can catch that at the end of this post (I would love it if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date with any new videos!). I started back on the vlogging train again with full intentions to vlog weekly, which I certainly will be doing, but I have left it this week as I did far to much sniffing in today's video, let alone putting you through it for a second week! (You're welcome!).

Have you guys had a good week? I love it when you come and say hi in the comments or over on Instagram, especially when you share what you have been up to, so don't be shy! Let's get on to my week shall we (if anyone saw my IG stories last Sunday, where I apologised for not posting a gratitude list due to illness, I can confirm that I am still grateful for strepsils, paracetamol, tissues and vitamin C, so won't mention it again!).

:: This may sound super dull, but I finally got a replacement charging cable for my iPhone (thanks Joe!), as my last one had given up and, last time I tried to plug in my phone it took 21 plug and unplugs to get it to actually charge; there were visions of me blowing up the house with the stupid thing, so I am so happy to have a brand new and fully functioning one! I'll tell you something though, Apple know that you have to buy their specific charger don't they...I can here the bank gasping at the cost of the bloody thing.

:: Due to my silly and somewhat relentless variety of illnesses these last few weeks I have been reading quite a lot. I mentioned recently that I was reading Mel Wells' second book 'Hungry for More', which I finished this week (Peta, it will be heading your way soon enough, definitely one for you!). Having been given a library of books from Peta and a couple from another lovely friend, Kimberley, I am very spoilt for choice as to what to read next. I opted for 'A New Earth' by Eckhart Tolle, one that Kimberley lent me several weeks ago. I love Tolle's work but it isn't the sort of book I will fly through as it is one for the mind to pause and to contemplate over, so I also started Matt Haig's 'Notes on a Nervous Planet', which I will finish before the new week starts I think. This book is wonderful; sort of uneasy and thought provoking but it does make you reconsider things that you do in your life from a practical standpoint. I will be taking a stack of books into hospital with me on Wednesday as I get bored really fast so will want to swap and change throughout the day!



:: I am super grateful for a parcel I received from MyProtein recently, which contained a tub of their new Whey+ and some of their new Pre-Workout+ too. If you have followed me for a while you will already know that I get 99% of my supplements from MyProtein (as well as training clothes too), so when they offered to send me some new products to try I was so chuffed! I will be doing a little review in a vlog once I am out of hospital, but I can say that I have tried the pre-workout (they sent me the orange/mango) and it is actually really delicious. I only used half a scoop as I don't normally use pre-workouts (mostly because they taste a bit gross) but I wanted to experiment with this one and on top of it genuinely tasting nice, with no horrible after-taste, I felt the kick without the tingly weird shakes! I highly recommend that you start on a smaller amount than the pot says with any pre-workout to assess your tolerance and, in my opinion, only use them when and if you need them rather than taking them every workout and becoming reliant on them! I'll get back to you on the whey protein soon (I am looking forward to trying it in some pancakes!!).

:: As you will see from the vlog this week, Joe and I went for a little stroll at Godolphin House in Helston last Sunday; the National Trust membership really is the best thing we have ever done! I know I feature it a lot, but it is so stunning and looks different in every season. If you are ever in the area you have to go, but always check the website for when the house is open because it is limited (they also do great cake in the cafe...I've heard!).



:: I managed to watch season one and two of 'Glow' on Netflix and really got into it by season two and was genuinely frustrated when the last episode finished! I also watched 'Butterfly' on ITV catchup this week; a drama starring Anna Friel among others, all about a little boy called Max who is struggling with his gender. It was so well put together and I am looking forward to episode two and seeing how they unfold the story.

:: There have been some gorgeous skies this week, including a beautiful sunrise of golden oranges and pinks yesterday morning. The moon has also looked stunning all week and has been sat quite low in the sky and super clear. I cannot get enough of staring at the heavens.

:: I have really got into my meditation in a huge way recently and have been practicing it regularly and it feels so good. I have a long way to go as some days I really struggle to clear my head, as much as I try, but I figure it is called a practice for a reason! I have also been sticking with one crystal and working with it to really 'get to know' it, after listening to a podcast about crystals recently and how we all tend to flit between different ones without fully imprinting our energy onto one first. I think I fall asleep almost every single time I meditate, but I still enjoy every second regardless and often have little ideas or useful thoughts pop into my mind, which I think would otherwise not have shown up. Onwards and upwards!

:: I am currently working on a bit of branding design for a very special lady I know, and have been enjoying sketching out ideas and painting in my sketchbook; it feels so lovely to be working on something a bit different to normal (I am also a tad terrified too... fingers crossed she will like it!). Also, if I could stop being ill so I can actually work for more than an hour at a time without nearly falling asleep I may get it done before next Christmas!!

:: Speaking of Christmas... I love Christmas (that is not what I wanted to say though!) but I am in utter denial about the fact that the supermarkets are crammed full of festive bits and bobs! I did bring the Morrison's Christmas food ordering book thing home from the shop this week though and we both thoroughly enjoyed flicked through that...especially the desserts!



:: Yesterday poor little Gizmo wasn't at all well; she hadn't been very lethargic and not eating or drinking at all. We whisked her off to the vets (thank you Mounts Bay vets for being open on a Saturday!) and she got diagnosed with a fever (bless her little paws) so, after a couple of jabs and some medication to go on top of today's food, we arrived home and I can report that as of this afternoon she is much more herself... I was an anxious, tearful mess all of yesterday as I instantly think shes about to leave this world (dramatic much?!) but it is only because I love her more than nutella.

:: I did a very 'out of comfort zone' thing this week and booked onto my first wedding fair ever with Leaf Lane Studio! I will be exhibiting at The Eco Wedding Fair on 24th February and I can't wait (but I have so much to get done for it!). I decided that I would probably talk myself out of doing a show forever unless I just jump in and book something, so there you go! Moving out of your comfort zone is only ever a positive thing, so I know it will be good and also, how am I ever going to learn unless I do it? Answer: I won't...so I am doing it!

:: The other thing I did this week was set up my November Bullet Journal and, do you know what, I am really happy with how it turned out! I PROMISE to do a video on it. My reason behind lack of videos is purely equipment based! I'm asking for Amazon vouchers for any occasion for the foreseeable future so that I can buy a decent vlogging camera (Canon G7X II) and a tripod also. In the mean time I have to balance and rig up a very delicate amount of objects in order to get an over head shot (for a behind the scenes on that see my IG stories 'Gizmo' saved section... what are those things called?! I have saved the set up from last time in there because our bear found much fun in playing with it last time!).

That is about it for this week. I am going to try my best to vlog next week but I go into hospital for the day on Wednesday, so I will see how that goes and obviously won't be vlogging in there (no one needs that in their lives do they!).

Have a truly wonderful week ahead and thank you for stopping by!

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17 October 2018

WHAT WE HAVE TO ACCEPT...



Firstly guys, thank you ever so much for bearing with me over the last week or so; I have quite a few health-related issues happening and last week it all became a bit much and my poor old body had decided a rest was needed, but I am back now, so let's hop straight into todays post!

I have been thinking a lot recently about things in my life/about myself that I struggle to accept on a daily basis and have decided that, whilst certain things are a 'work in progress' or will never be 'done' (self improvement is never done right?!) I must accept where I am now as a valid place to be, even if it makes me a little bit uncomfortable. 

The fact that we are all constantly searching for more (materialistic items, spiritual enlightenment, money, recognition... whatever your 'thing' is) means that we are never truly living in our 'now', and that is rather sad to think about isn't it? It is so difficult to be present when life is running by at a million miles an hour and we are fed so many things on television, on-line and on social media that tell us the things we 'need' to do/gain to be younger, slimmer, fitter, or just a better all round human; this focuses our minds away from the moment we are in and onto the future us.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with thinking ahead, I honestly think that we are kind of losing sight of ourselves a little and so I decided to sit and have a think about the reasons I can use as possible excuses to avoid living in my now and really work on accepting them more, whilst still seeking the balance of improvement and bettering certain circumstances, but just with a more realistic vision, and less of a 'I'll be successful when I've... *insert whatever the thing is here*.

Here is my list of things I need to sit with for a while in order to enjoy my present moment a little more...

1. My body weight fluctuates because of health issues.
This is one of the big boys for me for so many reasons, but mostly because it sets off my mental health massively. I will get around to writing a blog post on how I have been dealing with food differently as soon as my health improves (I also touch on it in a vlog which will be up today or tomorrow!). I seem very unable to cope with my body shifting and, with my current health situation being a little all over the place it means my training has been far from consistent too, which has only added fuel to the already burning fire. I had a moment of clarity the other day where I just thought 'my God woman, stop with the crazy body shaming; you are poorly, your body is crying out for a rest, so how about you just accept it and don't worry for a change'. This is my biggest mountain to climb and, right now, with all the hormone issues and heavens knows what else, I really don't feel my best and therefore assume that everyone else is thinking the same about me too. I need to work on accepting myself for the moment I am in and that is why this is top of the list. I am trying to get out of the restriction/full-on-diet mindset and move into something much more healthy all round and have been working with Peta, of the newly named 'Nourishing Soulfully', to do this... blog post to come soon! But to relate this back to the topic in hand; by me constantly worrying and thinking 'I should be doing 'this' or 'that' in order to change my body, I am working so hard to try and just be in the moment and allowing myself to feel into my present physical shape without judgement. So very hard!

2. I can't do all the things I want with my business right away.
Quite honestly, this is purely financial, but it is still frustrating. I have ideas, plans, products and things I want to do with Leaf Lane Studio but I know it is a slow game (unless I want to end up in debt, which I really do not!). I had planned to release a little Christmas collection of goodies, but it just isn't realistic for me right now and, do you know what, that really is okay. I have realised recently that sometimes slow and steady really does win the race and, as long as I am taking steps forward I should be happy with that. I often remind myself of that saying which goes something like 'remember when you wanted to be where you are right now', because that seems so relevant to me. Accepting where I am and staying positive about the future and the plans I have to make this business really work for the long term is my goal, rather than feeling like a failure for not being able to have products out for Christmas this year. This, my friends, is the reality of being a business owner, and I am here to tell you it is hard (but bloody fabulous too!).

3. I don't have to feel guilty for taking a rest.
I have spent a vast amount of the last couple of weeks asleep or resting and that is not something I am used to needing to do. I am one of those people who is always tired but, recently, I have wanted to sleep more and more and have felt so exhausted to the point of not being able to string a sentence together. As I lay on the bed I would be racked with guilt and end up feeling even worse for it, but I had a chat with my bestie over message the other day and she made me feel so much better (thanks Helena xx). Whether it is my physical or mental health that disrupts the daily routine, I am allowed to go with what feels right; as much as I know this and would certainly advise rest to others, I struggle so much to do what is right for me without being racked with guilt and the feeling of laziness. Isn't it crazy to think what we do to ourselves when, really, we should rest, switch off, and then return to life once we are recovered and able to function; that is so much more productive!

4. I'm just not confident with my business finances.
I made the decision to stop torturing myself and worrying endlessly about tax returns and various other things, and reached out to a local accountant for help. Yes, it is an investment, but the amount of worry and anxiety it will lift off me, making me more productive in the long term, is well worth it! These are the things I'm talking about really, the little things that can help us stay focused on our day and not be day dreaming about possible disasters in our future! (Also, I truly felt like a grown up calling an accountant... which I really should already feel at 37 years old surely!).

These things are what take up the most space in my head day to day and so the sooner I can shrink them right down, the faster I will be back to living in the moment and enjoying things as they come along, rather than pondering the 'what if's'. These things can also render me somewhat useless at pushing myself too, because my head is too full of worry or guilt to feel creatively 'on' and able to design new products, for example, so the knock on effect is bigger than you think sometimes.

Let's all learn that we work in seasons and with our health and our moods and just try our best to accept that as our reality shall we? It is so easy to feel like the only one out there feeling a certain way, so it would be nice to hear what you guys are trying to accept in your life right now too... let's chat in the comments!
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7 October 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



This week has been a bit of a strange one for me; my health has been up and down and that has meant that I haven't been my most productive (which really annoys me!) but I am getting better at letting things just 'be' and trying to rest in the knowledge that I will be 'on the up' again soon and will be firing on all cylinders. How has your week been? Is it feeling like autumn where you are yet?

Onto this week list!

:: I have started reading Mel Wells' second book this week, Hungry for More. You may remember my utter love for her first book, The Goddess Revolution, which I highly recommend every single person should read. The second one, as the name suggests, really digs in beyond just food and asks questions that help you understand certain thought processes that lead to certain behaviours and emotions. There are really useful journaling prompts after each chapter too which, if you can do them (and I recommend you do them!) really help you un-pick your thoughts. It is so easy to think about things in your head and think that you have everything worked out but, believe me, as soon as you start to journal things through, really letting everything pour out, you will go to brand new places in your mind and whilst it can be a bit raw sometimes, it is also very cleansing.

:: This morning we took a lovely drive along the coast road that runs between St Ives and Lands End and stopped at Sennen for a little wander; it is one of our favourite places and looks to gorgeous in this autumnal weather too. I spotted a little boat in the car park with a familiar name...



:: On Thursday night it was so clear outside that Joe and I found ourselves out in the garden a couple of times star-gazing. I am still totally overwhelmed by the fact that we can see the milky way right above our house and I wish I had the camera equipment to take a proper picture of it, because it is beautiful, and I honestly feel so small whenever I stand and look up. After a day where I haven't felt my best, either mentally or physically, I love nothing more than contemplating the heavens because it really does make you realise your place in things and that we are, ultimately, all one.

:: Whilst I worked on some bits and pieces in my little art room this week I threw on a film that Netflix recommended to me called 'How To Be Single' and, I have to say, it was pretty good! I am a right old bore when it comes to movies as I rarely just try something new, unless someone I know has really loved something they've seen (even then it can take me an absolute age to get around to it!). This film is basically summed up in the title, but it is funny and sweet in places too, although it is most definitely a 'chick-flick', so you have been warned if that genre isn't your thing!

:: I mentioned recently that I had dug out a very old iPod which was in a box in the back of my wardrobe. It is rammed with music, from dodgy dance singles I must have loved once, to old albums I no longer own but am so pleased I put them onto the iPod now! I have been listening to it on random for over a week and have found some real gems, as well as some cheesy crap too... hello there James Blunt! Okay, so I confess to still liking one or two of his songs, but heaven knows how I listened to whole albums at a time without throwing myself off a building! What songs are your guilty pleasures? Let me know in the comments, let's share with the group!


^^ A weekly gratitude post wouldn't be complete without a picture of Gizmo! ^^

:: I was flicking through Bloglovin' this week and catching up with a few of my fave people, when I stumbled across a little Leaf Lane Studio mention on 'Love From Lisa' blog. I have recently worked with Lisa on her wedding stationery for her upcoming big day and it was such a lovely surprise to see my name on her blog too. Lisa and I have been little instagram/blogging buddies for a while now so it was such a privilege to work with her on something so special.

:: After putting up with pajama bottoms and vest tops with many holes in for a long old time, I decided to treat myself to a new pair. I went off to good old Marks and Sparks and found some truly gorgeous bottoms that are so incredibly soft and feel cosy as hell to wear! I love lounge wear so much and just wish I could live in it full time!

:: Yesterday afternoon, whilst there was a break in the forecast of pouring rain, we head off for a walk at a very windy Godrevy, to see if we could spot a few seals (we did) and just get some much needed fresh air. Honestly, I don't think we have ever been there on a windier day; it was one of those 'hold on to your hat' types of walks (my bobble hat had its first outing of this new season and thank goodness I took it!). The sun came out and the waves were dramatic too, which is always my favourite kind of weather, especially over at Godrevy, it always looks so gorgeous.

That is all for this week folks! I am off for a little sit in the sunshine whilst we still have it! See you on Wednesday.

PS: Have you signed up to my newsletter yet? (click here to do it right now!) :-)

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3 October 2018

AM I A FAILURE?



It's been a while since I had a little mental health chat on here, which is mainly because I have been kind of busy but also because, on the whole, life has been steady-ish. I say 'ish' because with mental illness 'steady' just wouldn't be the word I would use to describe it, at least not in my case. The high's and lows are less severe these days (thank the maker!), but sometimes I am sailing along all fine and dandy and suddenly I notice water is pouring into the boat (or in the case of Monday, out of my eyeballs!).

What I often find with 'those days' is that, when I am in the middle of the peak day (i.e. the day I lose my sh*t), I can then look back and think 'do you know what Lucy, you haven't been quite right for a week or so really' and then I feel silly for skipping a couple of days meds (usually accidentally) or simply not listening to my brain enough. But that is the nature of the beast; it follows so close behind you, like a shadow, and whenever you stop it stops, so it is easy to miss the signs when you look for them. 

Anyway, after a few days of feeling jittery one minute, numb the next, then exhausted, then hyperactive I peaked with being a tearful mess on Monday and actually said out loud '... am I a failure?'. This question comes up for me every bloody time I struggle for a few days with my health, because the utter crap-bag that is mental illness makes you feel totally useless and like nothing you are doing is going anywhere. For someone who is usually optimistic, endlessly positive and never without motivation, this can hit hard!

Do I want to be someone who has the energy of 'everything I do is crap' / 'I have no good ideas' / 'I'm rubbish, why can't I get myself together today?' / 'I just want to lay in bed and sleep and cry'... answer: hell no! But this is something that happens, this is just real life isn't it? We all get these days, mental illness or no mental illness, and some of these days we have zero option but to actually let ourselves feel all those crappy, negative things; we need a good cry, some chocolate and a cheesy film, maybe even to slob about in our pajamas all day, napping at every given opportunity, but sometimes this isn't an option at all. Why? Well, because we have a job to do, people to take care of or a house to run; so we have to do some things differently.

But guys, gather round, for I have found the secret to the days where giving up for 24 hours isn't possible... do you want to know what it is?

Ready?

You sure?

Okay, here it is...

you have to just
D O  Y O U R  B E S T
(gasp!)

Wow, that's it? I hear you cry! Yep, that's it. As the famous saying goes 'this too shall pass' and it always does pass doesn't it; so just think to yourself 'I'm clearly having one of those day/weeks', shove on Bridget Jones (or whatever floats your boat) and let it be. If you need to take some time to be alone, or miss a workout or three then do it, because the world won't stop turning.

PS: If someone could remind me to re-read this post when I am feeling crappy that'd be wonderful!                     
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