Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Pt 2: HOW ARE YOU?



As promised this post is a follow up to the previous one >> read it here << where I mentioned a few things that have been helping me through lockdown, including: Routine/ Goals, Exercise, Media Restrictions, and Faith


ROUTINE:

I think there's something about having a few constants in a time of so much uncertainty that seems to provide a least a mild sense of stability. 
Personally, I tend to be quite resistant to routines and schedules and to say I have an issue with time management is an understatement, but lock-down has really given me a chance to address that side of myself, and actually appreciate routine, and how stabalising it can be.  
I have a very loose routine which has 4 basic goals everyday, and each goal has a target time, as opposed to a specific time, because I find myself more willing to commit (and even excel) when I feel less pressure. (I'm sure that a lot of people are way more disciplined than me, but for those that aren't, I've found giving myself a little bit of slack not only means I have less excuses, but actually seems to increase my success rate.) 

My goals :
1. Prayer time  -- Target time: 7:30am or earlier   
2. Wash face brush teeth -- Target time: before 10am  
3. Exercise -- Target time: before 5pm  
4. Three meals per day -- Target times: before 12pm, 2pm and 10pm 

I Know!! 
These might seem obvious to the point of irrelevant but it's amazing how easy it is to let the basics slide when circumstances change. Having a few baseline practises really helps mentally. (Plus, 3 & 4 were non-existent to me prior to life in lockdown.)


EXERCISE:

I learned this from listening to a Tony Robbins interview last year when I heard him talk about how "emotion comes from motion". I don't know exactly how or why it works but I find it does. Something about changing our physical state can change our emotional state. 
My exercises vary between a  fairly basic energising workout, or a super simple yoga session (and I mean super simple yoga). It just depends what mood I'm in.
Also guided meditations and breathing exercises help too.  

Energising Workout - This is just my selection of 5 or 6 moves that focus on the areas of my choice . In my case it's strictly lower-body exercises. Strengthening the thighs and shaping my butt. Star jumps, donkey kicks, leg lifts, and squats pretty much sums it up. 


Yoga - This has been a massive help, and because the routine and the positions/moves are so simple we've all been practising together. That includes my daughter who's 3yro, and my absolutely exercise-phobic mum, in who's in her late 50's.
We use the routine from a book called My First Yoga by DK Publishing 
It's a fantastic book for introducing children to yoga, and because it's for babies and toddlers, it actually makes it less daunting for "exercise-phobic" adults, who think they cant do yoga. 


Guided Meditation & Breathing Exercises -  At the end of each yoga session, while we're still laying down, I usually talk us through a relaxed guided meditation which focuses on breathing. 
The other option for guided meditations and breathing exercises is to search online. I subscribe to the Mindful In Minutes podcast, which has loads to choose from, or I search for one on Youtube. 


MEDIA RESTRICTIONS: 

This has been so important!
 Initially it was strangely addictive to see what was going on. However, restricting my media exposure seems to also restrict the 'what ifs' that creep up in my thoughts, which in turn allows me to think more calmly and clearly.
This also helps me be more selective about what news I choose to consume, and whether it's useful to me or not. Not ALL information is useful to everyone, so it's important to filter. 

Sidenote/ RANT - all the aunties and friends who think I'm gonna listen to the 11 minute videos/ audios you've forwarded to me, with every cautionary message, bleak scenario, conspiracy theory or fear inducing prophecies about the end times, please stop. I love you but it's not helpful and my phone memory can't take it. It's full. I can't install updates on my phone cos you keep sending me nonsense. RANT OVER!


FAITH:

THIS!
I'm no angel, but a few years ago I got baptised (at Hillsong Church in Bermondsey) and it's THE BEST decision I ever made in my life! Facts!
I haven't ever enjoyed feeling like someone is ramming religion down my throat, so I don't want anyone to feel that way by me sharing this one. Instead, think of it as an offering to you. You can take it or leave it.
I find praying with people (who want to) helps A LOT. (Over the phone, obvs).
I've also been tuning into two of my favourite churches that post on Youtube including: 
and
>> Elevation Church << 

Just a heads up - I think the services are always really interesting regardless of whether you're a  christian or not.

FINALLY
I can't begin to express just how grateful to GOD I am for the power of prayer, my wonderful family and amazing friends, and even for the fact that I've had a few rounds of counselling in the past.
All of the above play their part in helping me to keep a fairly good grip on my thoughts and how to process them. 
At present, although I'm beginning to feel a bit more at ease, I can't help but still feel a sense of pain and sadness for how much suffering has been experienced by so many people, in so many different ways as a result of the corona pandemic. Yet, at the same time I am also powerfully aware that there are many good things that have come and still can come out of this time, and they help me hold on to hope. 
Please share any positives that you are practicing or experiencing during this current craziness
Stay safe, hold on to hope & sending you lots of love ... pass it on, x 



Friday, 24 April 2020

IS IT JUST ME? HOW ARE YOU?



Is it just me who's struggling with mad intense anxiety and fear some days?
Just thought I'd ask? 
The pictures I see may look pretty online, but is anyone else actually quite nervous and, dare I say it... scared?

PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION  
Again, just thought I'd ask. Sometimes I wonder if I'm being over cautious or letting the uncertainty of these times get to me more than other people.
I wonder if I am deserving of the stares I get when I'm wearing my mask and gloves to the shop?
I wonder if I'm the only one, spraying anything that comes through the front door with Dettol, including the mail, then using gloves to isolate it in a separate room for a minimum of 24 hrs; or if I'm the only one washing my hands in disposable gloves before I remove and dispose of them and then washing my own hands straight after? Am I the only one who's completely content to not step outside the front door at all for a solid two weeks, and possibly longer, so long as we have enough food at home?
Am I a little bit paranoid, or are other people moving with the same level of caution? 
BEAUTIFULLY BLASE 
My recent dip onto social media is what triggered this post.
I'm actually really pleased to see the majority of people on my TLs and news feeds doing fine and looking breezy, trust me!
We need all the happy, healthy, positive vibes we can get.
However, as always, social media triggers self-reflection, and it got me wondering:
"Am I the only one who gets freaked out by the threat of corona?"  
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 
I just wondered if anyone else is generally fine, but sometimes finds themselves feeling overwhelmed by the situation at the moment?
I guess the point of this post is just to remind people that if you are struggling, whether it's a lot a just a little bit, you're not alone.
I don't know if the below might help anyone, but just in case it can, I've shared a few things that I'm finding helpful through this time:   
Routine/ Goals - Helps to give me a small sense of stability or control 
Exercise - Helps change my emotional state by changing my focus, and physical state, and improves my breathing 
Media Restrictions - Limiting (borderline banning) the news has massively helped reduce the anxieties. It stops the mind from creating a negative snowball of fear and panic based on worst case scenarios, and hopeless 'what ifs'.
Faith - A few years ago I got baptised at Hillsong  Church (Bermondsey) but 2 of my other favourite churches that post on Youtube are:  
 Alfred Street Baptist Church and Elevation Church  
The services are always interesting whether you're a christian or not. They're relatable and help keep me encouraged, and with these 2 pastors you can even get a bit of humour in some of their sermons. 

HOPE IT HELPS 
I hope maybe something in this post helps those who need it. 
I'm not a medical professional, but I do think that one of the side-effects of the pandemic is the impact on a lot of people's mental health, so if you do need help, please don't be afraid to let it be known!
I found out about a sight called Better Help via Fifi Buchanan's WONDERFULLY MADE  podcast (check it out, super calming yet motivating).  Better Help offers professional counselling online. I haven't used it myself yet, but it's now in the memory bank in case I find myself needing additional help.
(side-note - pretty sure there's a discount code on Fifi's podcast.) 

POSTING PART II 
Who'd have thought that this crazy situation we're going through would have encouraged me back into the bloggersphere? I never intended this to be a long post, so I'll end it here, but if you want a bit more detail about how I'm doing the above and how it's working out for me, I'll be posting a part II with a bit more info on all four. 
Please do your best to stay safe, and hold on to hope.
Lots of love x


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Orange Is The New Black



This is my first time mentioning it the blog, and to be honest, the reason this blog post is up several weeks late, is because I was unsure about whether I was gona mention it on here yet.
Well here we go...
I could put this a number of ways, but I'm sure you can guess. Yep! I'm expecting!
Yaay!

As a result, my body started changing this Summer, but it's taken me some getting used to.
I've always dreamed of being a "perfect 10" but the reality is I'm usually a size 6.
However being pregnant has changed my whole shopping experience, so I thought I'd share some of the new looks I'm currently experimenting with.
Under the influence of Summer I found myself really drawn to bold splashes of colour. These River Island trousers (with elasticated waistband) are probably the best pair of trousers I've bought this year. 

(River Island: Orange Soft Tie Waist Tapered Trousers - Sale £15)
I like the colour combination of orange and blue, but until now the only blue tops I owned were either skin tight or cropped. So I treated myself to this new one, from the H&M sale.
It's long enough and loose enough to comfortably cover the bump (for now), and the crochet pattern gives a bit more life to what I'd consider quite a conservative cut.
 
(H&M: Blue crochet top - Sale £7)
 (Necklace: Terracles.com - €15)
 (Necklace: Stradivarius - gift)
Well, now the news is out, I'll be back very soon with a few other looks that got me through this Summer.