The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

There’s something good and beautiful in everyday. Even if you think you’ve had a rubbish day or things feel like they’re going wrong, look a little closer. What is the one thing however big or small that has made you smile, or that you’ve seen, heard or felt that’s made things seem a little easier today? Hidden within the busiest, stressful, chaotic and miserable days, is something good. You just have to look. Challenge your negative thoughts, what’s made you feel bad, or upset or angry? Look at things from a different perspective. Think of all the things that have gone well, that have gone right, the things that you have smiled at or enjoyed? It’s easy to think as soon as 1 bad thing happens or not to plan then we just write off the whole day. Go against how you feel and seek to find something positive and happy to make you feel better. Write down how you feel, what’s going through your head. Talk it out to someone, get it off your chest. I’m so lucky and grateful to have so many amazing people in my life. My daughter and my husband will always make me smile and make everything better if I’m feeling rubbish, they are my reason, my everything, my happy place. On the days where I feel rubbish, I challenge my negativity. If I don’t want to go anywhere and would rather shut myself away, I force myself to go out just for 10 minutes, I call it the 10 minute rule. Because I know by going against how I feel, by going out, I’ll feel better,  it in my head I’m not putting pressure on myself as I’m telling myself it’s only for a short time. So I will get out in the fresh air, walk my dog and be grateful for all the good things. Then before I know it, an hour has gone by. I think about everyone who loves me and values me. I think about those people who I love and what they think are my strengths and good points. I listen to my favourite music. I listen to motivational and empowering audios. I do things I know will make me smile. I know it’s hard, but it’s about even on the bad days, pushing your bad thoughts out of the way, and doing things to overcome how you feel. Keep pushing forward. Don’t let your bad thought have the power. Seek the good and beautiful in everyday.

What’s Your Poison?

The word family isn’t just about who you are related to by blood, it’s who comes into your life and never leaves your side. Arguably,  it’s the people who are there for each other no matter what, who love and support each other unconditionally. The people who, when you are with each other, feels like home. A sense of safety, security. Don’t waste your time and energy for people who don’t give their time and energy in return. If there are people in your life causing you pain, turmoil and unnecessary stress, then you have to ask yourself if it’s really worthy of you and your time. People come and go, some may not always be right there with you all the time, but it’s about who is present in your life adding value, happiness and love. Even if you’re just at the end of a message or phone call to each other, it’s people who are there for you in your time of need and who you can be there for in return. For many people, even they’re own family let them down and cause them this anguish. Just because your family are joined by blood it doesn’t mean that other people can’t be just as important to you. In some cases, it’s the people who aren’t ‘family’ that show more love and support than those who are. That’s what determines the true meaning of family. Don’t be afraid to cut the poison out of your life. Know your worth, you know who your true friends are and who will be there no matter what. You can’t people please and bend over backwards causing yourself grief for others who wouldn’t do the same. The people who love you, support you, guide you and have your back through thick and thin are the valuable ones. I’m very grateful and lucky that I happen to be surrounded by a loving family and friends. But not everyone has that. Not everyone can rely on their family. You don’t need to justify yourself or your actions to anyone, if it’s causing you heartache and pain, you don’t need it in your life. Put yourself first. Ditch the drama.

Perfect Imperfections

How many of you look in the mirror and wish that you could change something? How many of you see something you dislike or are self conscious of? I’d imagine quite a lot. I’ve spent years picking myself apart and criticising everything about myself. Constantly self sabotaging and putting myself down. Telling myself I’m not goood enough, I’ll never achieve anything. I’ve totally betrayed myself and abandoned all self respect over the years. Amongst many other things, my legs, for example, have always been the 1 thing I was self conscious about and I’ve hated the most. I used to do gymnastics and dancing so they’ve always been quite muscly. But now, I’m actually growing to appreciate my appearance more and just what the body can do. It’s time to change and enough is enough. Why do we put ourselves down? Why have we stopped loving ourselves? Why do we dislike how we look and wish to look like someone else? Why do we hate when our bodies change? It’s part of life, it’s part of our journey. Lots of us mummies have stretch marks from childbirth etc that I have heard some say they hate and wish the stretch marks would go but in my opinion they represent something truly amazing and beautiful. They represent your journey as a mother carrying a child. How, so many women who have miscarried and lost their babies would give anything to have scars and marks of pregnancy if it meant they could have become a mummy and hold their babies. Or those who have scars that have happened from a life changing surgery or trauma but it shows you are a fighter, a warrior, a survivor. I’m not saying you should be happy about having your scars or how they happened because of course our scars, in most cases, usually aren’t there for a good reason but what I mean is you can’t change what’s happened or the journey you’ve been through but just know where you are now and what you’ve gone through fighting and learn to love who you are going forward. You are an inspiration to many. My point is, don’t get caught up on things you don’t like, yes it can be easy to make small changes to make you feel better. But we need more self love than self hate. For a lot of people it’s a battle of how they look or if they’ve put on weight. Weight is always a huge factor for so many. I know when I’ve put on a few pounds I’ll make small changes to get back to where I’m happier. But it’s not always about weight as such but how you feel in yourself. Weight actually isn’t important it’s just a number. It’s about being happy and healthy and comfortable in your skin. There’s nothing wrong with losing a bit of weight here or there in a careful way if that’s what you feel you need. However don’t let specific things that you don’t like about yourself rule your life and make you miserable. We all have saggy bits, cellulite, wrinkles, marks, moles, lumps & bumps. Embrace who you are and how you look because you’re unique and all of our flaws and imperfections make us who we are and sometimes, what we don’t like about ourselves, others love! Learn to love and accept the lumps, bumps, wrinkles, marks, scars, wobbly bits, muscly bits. They all tell a story and makes us special and beautiful in our own way. We only have one body to live it with! Take care of yourself, be happy and be proud of who you are. There isn’t another like you.

Spotlight

Sometimes it’s ok to put yourself in the spotlight and put yourself first. Life gets so busy and we rush around so much, often feeling like there isn’t enough hours in the day. Don’t over commit, if you need to say no for you then that’s your decision, you don’t need to justify yourself. It’s ok to want time to yourself, to relax, to recharge. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take time whenever you can to look after yourself and rest. I know it’s far easier said than done, especially being a parent. It’s also ok to have bad days, days where you’re fed up, exhausted, frustrated. But just know that it’s just 1 bad day and write it off, draw a line in the sand and start again the next day. I spend a lot of time working on my mindset and being grateful for all that I have and keeping positive however it doesn’t mean I don’t get bad days. But It’s how I refocus and rewire my mind to start again, to know that my bad days are just rare moments in amongst a million good ones. Even if my depression and anxiety does creep in and take hold, I know it won’t last forever, it’s not completely hopeless and eventually it will pass. Sometimes it’s easy to get dragged down thinking the bad times will last forever but they don’t. Just remember challenges only make us stronger and we can learn from them. Be proud of who you are and where you’ve come. It’s ok to need a little help, it’s ok to feel like you can’t do everything on your own. You’re not superhuman. A wonderful quote- “You can do anything my dear, but not everything” But only you have the power, only you are the only one who can get you to where you want to be. Don’t compare yourself to others. Believe in yourself, look after yourself, love yourself.

A New Dawn, A New Day

Begin each new day as a fresh start, a chance to start again and draw a line in the sand. Look in the mirror, take a deep breath and say “today is going to be a good day, today is going to be better, today something good will happen.” I totally believe in the power of positivity. Don’t get me wrong, some days are hard and it’s difficult to think positively all the time but it helps to start the day in this positive way. Or at least not start negatively. My routine is important to me as it helps me focus and feel better. I exercise in the morning and have good breakfast to fuel my body and mind. But of course I’ve had days where I want to shut myself away. The last couple of days have been like this, where I can’t focus and feel out of control. I feel tense and totally unable to feel relaxed or calm. The sheer sense of panic, dread, fear. I have to do my mindset activities and get myself up and out. Lately I have struggled and found things hard. But it does help me to get outside and breath in my surroundings. This beautiful weather we’ve recently had certainly helped. Think of 5 things everyday that you’re grateful for, that your blessed with. 5 things that make you happy. Do this every day. You have the power to achieve anything. You are unique and stronger than you know. It’s ok to ask for help or to need support. You are not alone.

Moving Mountains

Just take 5 minutes to stop take a moment to appreciate yourself and what you’ve done today to be proud of. It can be anything, anything that you’ve battled with, something small but that seems such a mountain. Something you’ve overcome? Something you’ve accomplished that you didn’t think you could? Maybe you’ve juggled everything from kids, shopping, cleaning etc and done loads of things on a to do list? Maybe you’ve had a really challenging day at work, thinking you’ll never get through everything you needed to? Maybe you’ve just made a start on putting a goal or plan in place? Whatever it is, just appreciate you as a person. We get so bogged down with whatever is going on in our lives and sometimes we may have that feeling of not achieving anything or feeling bad because of things we HAVEN’T done, when really we should be super proud of what we HAVE done. Don’t deny yourself of that value or self worth or accomplishment. We all have struggles, we all have bad days, we all have things we put ourselves down about, we all have days where we’ve not done all that we set out to do and it gets overwhelming when we think of all the negative stuff, but just stop 🛑 and give yourself a proud pat on the back for things you actually have achieved. For some, it could just be getting up to face the day, it could be getting out the house to go for a walk, for others it could be just doing your everyday to day parenting duties, you’re all superheroes, you’re doing the best job in the world feeding, providing for and nurturing your children, sacrificing everything yourself for to ensure they have the best. This is our natural instinct as parents of course but nevertheless we as parents still suffer sometimes and don’t get enough sleep, enough time, probably don’t eat properly when we should. But don’t beat yourself up about things. If you get to the end of the day and feel bad as the day hasn’t gone to plan, just remember you are amazing and are doing great even if you doubt yourself sometimes. Be proud of yourself. Love who you are, appreciate yourself for what you do and every mountain you’ve climbed, no matter how big or small.

Midweek Motivation

Do you ever feel stuck in a rut? Ever feel like sometimes all of your motivation goes? Do you wake up thinking you just can’t deal with the day and you’d rather shut yourself away? Do you have trouble sleeping or find that you wake up a lot and your mind is sooooo active at 3am?!  Over thinking over analysing or thinking about really weird and stupid things that have no relevance at that moment when all you want is to sleep?! Why does your brain do that?! So annoying isn’t it!  We all probably get times where this happens or you’re stuck in a rut and you lose your ‘get up & go’ but It’s normal. It’s ok to lose direction or go off the path sometimes. But it’s how you refocus and get back to moving forwards. We all need a little motivational boost sometimes. What ever is holding you back or making you lose focus or motivation just know these simple things:
*Everybody cries, everybody hurts (wise words REM 😜)
*Don’t compare yourself to others.
*Everyone moves at different speeds and does things in different ways and stages. We are all unique.
*Everyone has bad days.
*Everyone feels crap or feels they’ve made a wrong decision at some point.
*No one is perfect. We all make mistakes.
*Don’t dwell on the past or the negative. Learn from it.
*The people who really love and care about you will be there no matter what, even on your bad days & when you’re feeling down.
*You can’t please everyone, just be yourself.
*The ones who matter will be there.
*Never chase someone for love, attention or affection, if it’s not given freely it’s not worth having.
*Be grateful and thankful for what you have.
*You can’t control everything.
*Have faith and trust that everything will work out.
*Hope is a liar that walks blindly through the fire, Faith jumps eyes wide open over the flames
*Believe in yourself.
You have more power and strength in you than you know.
Learn to love who you are, there is only 1 you.

One life, live it well

I thought it would be appropriate to write about love. Not mushy stuff I promise. Just a few things I’d like to share. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, showing loved ones how much you love them and appreciate them. or for some it’s an opportunity to show secret crushes how we feel. But it’s not for everyone. We should spend more time showing the people we love how we feel everyday not just today. It can also be very difficult day for some people. The ones who haven’t found that special someone, or who can’t be with their loved ones for what ever reason. Let’s spread the love and best wishes to everyone today, whether you’re in love or not. Another thing to remember is, do not be careless or reckless with people’s hearts and minds. Do not allow people to be careless or reckless with yours. Life is too short and too precious to spend it worrying or wasting time on people who don’t give you the same consideration in return. No matter how near or far, how often you see each other is irrelevant, if you want to make the effort to stay in touch then you will. It takes seconds to send a message/email. Life moves on and goes past so quickly, choose who you share it with carefully. Don’t have regrets, you can only learn from your mistakes and they’ve made you who you are. Mistakes can make your stronger, wiser.  Don’t look back, only look forward. Live for the now, make the most of every day, every moment. You can’t fail if you don’t give up. If something hasn’t worked or not turned out right it doesn’t mean you’ve failed at it, you’ve just learned how to do something different or a better way next time. Take a different path and go round obstacles, keep pushing forward, dreams,hopes, ambitions, goals, aspirations, only stop if you stop. You can’t control everything. You can only take responsibility for your actions. If people don’t want to be with you, then you have to ask yourself, are they really worthy of you in the first place? Don’t be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. Don’t give your heart if it won’t be returned. It’s hard at the beginning, if someone gives up on you, or if things don’t work out and you just drift apart. Whatever the reason breaking up is really tough. The emptiness, the heartache, the loneliness, it feels like it’ll never end. You can feel like you’ve failed. You wonder how you’ll be with anyone else. But it gets easier, learn to love yourself first, be with someone who loves you unconditionally for who you are, no matter what. Time is the most precious thing we have and something you can never get back. Choose how you spend it wisely. A good friend once said to me “It’ll all be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end” I totally believe this, even through the darkest times, when things are thrown at you that you didn’t expectand life may feel like it will never be the same again, the light will return, and happiness will be found again, even if it’s slightly different from how it was before, everything in time will be ok somehow. You are stronger than you know. Only you can decide how your story goes. Make the rest of your life the best of your life. It’s never too late to reach your dreams. You’re never too old to make a new goal. If you have a hunger and a passion for something you want to do, don’t let someone else stand in your way. You only get 1 life, don’t live it in a lie, follow your heart, live your truth. Don’t look back with regrets. Take a chance, choose to have faith, not hope. Trust your inner strength. Only you can get yourself where you want to be. Start your day with positivity and gratitude. Make it count. You came into this world with nothing and will leave with nothing, make everything else in between as valuable, worthwhile, meaningful and memorable as you can.
Be kind, Be bold, shine bright, believe in yourself.

 

“I’m ok I’m just tired”

When someone asks if you’re ok or how you are, or ‘you don’t seem yourself?’ All you can say is ‘I’m tired’ because it’s the easiest and safest thing to say. Like it’s just that you didn’t sleep well last night and just need a couple of hours sleep or just a little rest over the weekend and you’ll be fine by Monday. How it would all be so easy to fix. But sadly in most cases that’s just not it. For anxiety and depression sufferers, ‘tiredness’ isn’t just needing a couple of hours sleep. You can’t just snap out of it. It is not a choice. It’s a mental and emotional torment that is draining every piece of you constantly. Behind the fake smile and nervous jokes, behind the pretence and facade, it’s a deep dark place that you’re trapped in. Where you are tired, so desperately tired, but it’s being tired of the pain, the noises in your head, the restlessness, the worrying, the torment, the self doubt, no self esteem, no self worth. Tired of irrational thoughts, feeling like you don’t matter, feeling like a failure, that your worthless, unimportant, useless. In so many cases, tired of life, tired of the world. Feeling worse because you’re frustrated with yourself, feeling like you are a burden to everyone. Wanting to just stop and get off the ever spinning rollercoaster. I know all too well how it feels to be ‘tired’ and alone. But there are so many people to help and support you. You are not alone. It can feel like the loneliest place in the world, even if you’re surrounded by loving people but please know you don’t need to suffer in silence. You don’t need to go through this on your own. Together we are stronger.

The Silent Struggle

How often do you find yourself struggling with just the day to day? It’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s not necessarily that you find things a struggle every day, just sometimes, or now and then, but never-the-less, a struggle. I think as parents, we hate to admit it. We don’t want to seem like we can’t cope. But that’s not what makes a bad parent. It doesn’t make you an unfit parent. It’s what makes us normal and human. Not one child is the same and not one situation is the same. Everybody deals with things differently. Some days can be amazing, wonderful and happy. Other days are really testing and you don’t feel you’ve achieved anything. The baby has cried all day and you feel useless.

As wonderful and amazing as it is to be blessed with a child and to become a parent, there is no question that sometimes it’s really tough. Test’s you to your limits. It’s the sleepless nights, the hours of swaying, shushing, rocking, cradling, putting down, picking back up, driving round for hours or pushing in the pram to get to sleep, it’s the tiredness, the not settling, the baby who won’t feed/latch on, food intolerances, feeding issues, weening dramas, tantrums, the colic, the crying that seems to never stop some days. The days when you can’t get anything done, when you haven’t managed to get out of your pyjamas or had a shower, hardly had anything to eat yourself and can’t remember the last time you drank a HOT drink. The piles of washing, drying, ironing, the tidying, cleaning, cooking, preparing that seems never ending. When everything makes you doubt yourself as mother and feel like everything you’re doing is wrong. When you can’t seem to settle them sometimes, no matter how hard you try, and it feels like they are crying/screaming AT you. How, in the madness of those days where you’re exhausted beyond all comprehension, have no make-up on, your hair looks like a you’ve been dragged through a hedge, you’re  up to your elbows changing a mammoth crappy nappy for the 3rd time in an hour, to then pick them up for a cuddle when they are sick all down your top that you’ve only just put on after getting spilt coffee and half eaten toast down the last one, the door goes and it’s the postman with a parcel that you have to sign for, so you put your baby down, to which he/she screams it’s head off as he/she doesn’t want to be left for 0.1 of a millisecond and the postman just looks at your current state and delicately says ‘having a rough morning love?’ It’s here in these moments when you think how some people seem to gracefully prance and twirl through motherhood so effortlessly and beautifully and yet here you are battling through every hour like a mad person looking like utter road kill. If you are one of these like me, trust me, it gets easier, you do eventually figure it out and get your shit together. Don’t ever feel down hearted or doubt your ability as a parent. There’s no rule book, there’s no real ‘how to guide’ everydayis a learning curve and you will always be thrown new things to deal with.

You also have your multitude of emotions to deal with, that make you feel parallel opposites most of the time. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed, emotional, happy and sad all at the same time. Sometimes you’ll cry for no apparent reason. But the important thing is that it’s ok and you’re not mad or crazy. It’s so important to talk about how you’re feeling, and if you need help with anything, even if you feel like you want to try and deal with everything on your own, YOU ARE NOT A SUPERHERO! Nobody expects you to be. Just because you feel emotional, drained, exhausted, like you have to manage everything but can’t- this doesn’t make you a bad parent or a failure!! You are doing an amazing job whether you believe it or not.

You have to look after yourself. If you aren’t functioning properly then you will suffer. Happy mummy, happy baby.Don’t ever compare yourself to others. Don’t let people’s opinions get to you. It doesn’t matter what other people think. People will always judge, but all that matters is you, your family and what you think is best.

For all you parents, whichever stage you’re at, whatever ups and downs, through the good and bad, you can do this. I believe in you. You’re doing great.