Surviving summer with negative body image

Having a bad relationship with your body is hard at the best of times, but in summer, it’s heightened to new levels. I never realised how hard it would be for me in summer until I went on holiday for the first time in 3 years. It’s tough. And it’s a battle you often won’t win.

I don’t have all the answers but I know one thing, I want to help as many people as possible to overcome the feeling of hating your body. It’s draining, it’s debilitating and it sucks the fun out of almost everything, especially in summer time.

So to help as many people as possible, I wanted to share a few tips that I have come up with from my own struggles over the years.

1). Reduce your time on social media over summer- having issues with your body often leads to constant comparison. Comparing every inch of your body to those around you. And what’s the worst place for comparison? Social media. I am lucky that I have good self awareness and more recently I’ve been aware of the negative affects social media is having on the relationship I have with my own body. Know what’s good for you, stop comparing yourself to others and spend time focusing on you, that’s what really matters. Whilst everyone’s posting their highlight reels this summer, maybe take a step back from scrolling and look after yourself that little bit more🥰.

2). Wear less around the house- When you struggle with body image it’s easy to cover up and hide ourselves away all year round, so when we do get our bikini/shorts out it’s like a brand new scary experience. Get used to it before you wear your bikini/shorts for the first time. Dance around in your underwear at home, wear your bikini around the house, whatever helps you to get used to having your body more on show than usual. Accepting and loving your own body brings so much freedom, you deserve to feel good.

3). Practice positive self talk- Quite often, it’s not our body that’s the issue, but our mindset. Having negative body image can often give us a distorted view of what we really look like. It’s like you have a filter that only sees your flaws. Practice affirmations, speak to yourself kindly and remind yourself of all the amazing things your body does for you. When I struggle with my body I try to see it more practically. For example, my body is allowing me to walk along the beach today, my body allows me to swim in the ocean, my body keeps me alive so I am able to see beautiful sunsets. Thank your body today and give yourself a hug because it does a pretty good job.🥰

4). Plan lots of fun things- It’s a lot harder to think negatively when you’re having fun! If laying on a sun bed all day with your own thoughts is going to be hard for you, don’t do it. Plan a trip to a water park, play games in the pool, go snorkeling in the sea or go for a walk with a loved one. Good times and memories are what we treasure the most over time, not the size of our clothes.

5). Wear clothes you feel good in- Treat yourself to a new outfit or find a style you feel most comfortable in. If I feel bloated, I prefer to wear material that’s comfy and not too clingy, I also find it useful to wear bright colours, it helps to lift your mood and feel good. Find an outfit you feel amazing in and wear it on a bad day.

6). Surround yourself with people that love you and make you feel good- Being around those that love you helps to increase confidence and self esteem. Surround yourself with positive people that make you feel good, the right people will never want you to change. It’s also important to be around people that make you happy, smiling and laughing is the best form of therapy for the soul.

Remember this summer, look after yourself, don’t compare yourself to others, remember you are worthy, you don’t need to change and you deserve to have the most fun filled and happy summer possible!

Working from home- how to protect your mental health

It’s mental health awareness week (MHAW)!! A week that’s all about raising the awareness we need to reduce stigma and educate those who are unsure of mental illness and what it entails. I have been posting some short blogs over on the Love Your Mind Facebook page so please check those out if you haven’t already. The theme for MHAW this year is LONELINESS, something which we all experience from time to time, even more since the pandemic.

Now although I’m not specifically talking about loneliness today, I am looking at a topic which is very similar. Since having my own experiences and hearing from others about the impacts of working from home, It’s come to my attention that it can be lonely, isolating and be generally bad for our mental well-being. But this is the new world we live in, and it’s reality for a lot of us now. Being alone all day can be lonely, it can lead to us feeling low, unmotivated and a lot of the time leaves us being left with our own negative thoughts, which can spiral into depression.

I want to help those struggling and help to make your life at home that little bit brighter. So here’s my tips on how to look after your mental health whilst working from home-

1). Get dressed as normal- This is simple yet so effective. If you’ve been working from home for a while you’ll know how easy it is to slide down the slippery slope of rolling out of bed 10 minutes before work and working in your dressing gown. STOP. Our body and mind needs time to wake up and reset before a long day at work and how does your brain know it’s work time when you’re wearing the Christmas pyjamas you’ve just slept in for 8 hours?? Not only does it wake up your mind and body but when you look good you feel good. Give yourself a purpose to get up, what shall I wear today? Shall I try my new lipstick? if you look bright you feel bright!!! Plus, know one wants to smell of 8 hours sleep for the day.❤️

2). Plan even more breaks in the day- It’s really easy when working from home to forget that you need a proper lunch break. At the office you’d probably waste half an hour catching up with people throughout the day, remember you need these breaks at home too. Make yourself frequent drinks throughout the day, eat your lunch away from your laptop or spend your lunch break on a little walk. Our brains get tired and need breaks, the harder you work it the less productive it will be.

3). Move your body- Think of the steps you accrue naturally through the day, walking to the office from your car, walking to the shop at lunch time, walking up and down the office whilst you print/copy documents. These steps are lost when working from home, but your mind and body need that stimulation. The less we move, the more aches and pains we get and the more brain dead we feel. Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil at home, run up and down the stairs a few times, walk round the garden, do a few star jumps, or go to the gym after work. I always save my long runs for working from home days, it makes me feel revived and gives me a burst of energy for the evening. Not only is it good for our bodies but increasing your heart rate increases oxygen to the brain and helps you to stay focused. If you’re feeling brain dead and tired, get up for 5 minutes and get moving…thank me later!!

4). Stay in contact with people throughout the day- Got a question for one of your colleagues? Why not ring them instead of typing it in an email. You might not be at the office but it’s important to stay connected. Keep talking to people, communication is a great boost for our mental health. It helps us to feel less isolated and strengthens work relationships which are vital for a happy workplace. Also, why not ring a loved one on your lunch break? They’d probably love to hear from you. Whatever it is, keep socialising, that’s what humans are meant to do.❤️

5). Get out the house after work- Before the pandemic would you stay in your 4 walls for 5 days at a time? No of course you wouldn’t because it’s boring, lonely and makes us feel rubbish. So why do we do it when we work from home? Plan things out of the house after work. Even if it’s just your weekly supermarket shop, don’t save it til the weekend, get out after work and wind down from the day. Go for a walk with friends, get a coffee or even go to the cinema, if we don’t leave the place we have been working all day our minds will still be in work mode.🤍

6). Try to separate your office from your home space- This may not be possible for some people, but if you have the space, try to separate the place you work from the rest of the house. If you work in your bedroom, your mind will relate that room to work/stress/worries and you will therefore struggle to sleep at night. Let your brain know that the desk upstairs is for working and everywhere else is for resting/relaxing/sleeping. Also put your laptop away at the end of the day, out of sight, out of mind, that is tomorrow’s worry not tonight’s.🥰

I could carry on for ages but I don’t want you to get bored of reading so I’ll end the tips here for today. Thank you so much for reading to this point. Remember to look after yourself that little bit extra when working from home, you’ve got this.🙌🏻

P.s. In relation to MHAW I just want to let you know that I will continue to blog for as long as I can. I will never stop raising awarness of mental illness and want people to know that they are not alone in this fight. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me….lots of love x

How to have a healthy relationship with social media

Social media is amazing.. We have access to so many things and we are connected as a human race more than ever. So how come it makes so many of us feel DISconnected?

As much as I love social media, it has so many flaws. It causes constant comparison, unrealistic views of how life should look, our bodies should look and how relationships should look. I’ve battled with my views on it so many times. I’ve been through periods of completely removing social media from my life, yet had periods where social media has got me through a bad day. My relationship varies with it. I’m aware that I’m not the only one who feels this way and therefore I thought id share some tips on how to have social media but in a HEALTHY WAY.

1). Only follow accounts that make you feel good– Fill your Instagram page with positive, feel good posts. Social media can be positive and good for you, but only if you make it that way. I fill my feed with body positive accounts, motivational speakers and lots of cute rabbits. Remember your brain lives off the food you feed it. Do you want to feed your brain, comparison and ‘perfection’, or realism, honesty and positivity?

Here’s some of my favorite, positive Instagram accounts-

  • Chessieking
  • Karinairby
  • Busybee.carys
  • Steven
  • Thespeakmans

2). Unfollow people that are no longer in your life- It sounds stupid but you’d be surprised at how many people still ‘check up’ on their ex partners/ex friends. Without realizing this can be emotionally debilitating and lead to unhealthy comparison. Being emotionally attached to social media is where the problem lies. Cut those ties and concentrate on yourself, because that’s what truly matters. You won’t be able to move on from an ex boyfriend if they pop up on your Instagram feed every week.

3). Limit the amount of time you spend on social media- A couple of weeks ago I gave up social media and I couldn’t believe the difference it made to my life. I felt less anxious, more connected to myself and just better in general. It’s easy to get caught up in the habit of being on social media but we don’t realise the affect this actually has on us, so having regular breaks is a lot healthier and better for our overall wellbeing.

4). Remember not to believe everything you see on social media- Unfortunately Instagram and similar platforms are often just the ‘highlight’ reel of someone’s life. People will post their holidays, loved up couple photos, good angles and good days. What people don’t post is their 9-5 job, their disagreements in their relationship, their bad angles and their bad days. What you’re seeing is often the best of someone’s life. So don’t think that your life isn’t good enough. Try to think about the bigger picture when scrolling and remember that one tiny snapshot doesn’t tell us everything.

5). Be mindful of what makes you feel good and what doesn’t- It’s really good to be mindful and check in with yourself when consistently using social media. What made you feel rubbish and what lifted you? I tend to find that Tik Tok is a really cheerful platform for me and makes me feel uplifted, but Instagram can lead me to have negative thoughts and anxiety . Just be aware of this and remember if something makes you feel worse than you did before, it’s not worth having in your life. Also unfollow any accounts along the way that make you feel rubbish.

6). Step away from caring about followers/likes- The issue with social media is that it has created a dopamine fix for people (yes Instagram affects chemicals in our brain). Likes and positive comments create a quick fix of dopamine, a good feeling that we hope to replicate. This leads to obsession and a shear disappointment when this fix is no longer met. The less we care about it the better. The amount of followers you have or likes you receive does not define you and does not say anything about your worth. So have Instagram for reasons other than the likes and followers you receive, these things really don’t matter.

I hope these tips can help you to have a healthier relationship with social media. Remember it’s better to leave a positive mark on social media than using it as a tool to impress people. Thanks so much for reading, look after yourselves and remember you are more than enough.

How to combat that “Sunday anxiety”

Happy Sunday guys!! This weekend has flown yet again, but thank goodness the sun is shining. I wanted to drop in with a quick blog today about Sunday anxiety. Now this is something I seem to hear about more and more often. At first I thought it was just blues about Monday, but honestly Sunday anxiety is a real thing.

Anxiety on a Sunday can happen for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re dreading the work week ahead, maybe you don’t feel organised or maybe you’re anxious about things in your personal life…whatever it is Sunday’s can sometimes magnify all our worries.

This is because work can bring a lot of pressure and stress and it’s like you have to just switch the “relaxing” to “work” switch so quickly. On Sunday you’re one person and on Monday you’re another. It’s hard.

So here’s my tips on how to combat your Sunday anxiety this week.💪🏻

1). Plan something– Now I understand that Sunday is a really good day for self care and relaxation, but if you’re anything like me, your worries and anxieties thrive on those “chill days”. If you find Sunday’s hard, plan something fun as if it was a Saturday. Keep your mind occupied and get yourself out of the house. Maybe swap your chill day to Saturday and make your dinner date or theme park trip a Sunday thing.

2). Exercise– Again, Sunday is seemed to be a chill day, but there’s nothing better for a mind and body reset than a good workout. Have Monday as your rest day (as this creates so much less pressure for the start of the week), and do a fun and uplifting workout on a Sunday!! It will set you up for the week and leave you feeling splendid…you can thank me later for this one!

3). Get organised before the last minute– Getting your bag and lunch ready for work on a Sunday evening can feel like the weekend is over already…so don’t wait until the evening. Get your bag ready and organised Sunday morning and you can forget about it for the rest of the day. That way your evening won’t be interrupted worrying about what you need for work tomorrow.

4). Plan something for the week ahead– I’m not saying spend loads of money and do something extravagant but definitely plan something exciting for the week. This might simply be going out for tea one evening or nipping to the cinema on a Tuesday night. Just have something to look forward to that will take away a bit of work stress mid week. And if you detest Monday’s so badly then plan it for a Monday night! The week will be so much better for it!

5). Practice self care- A lot of stress about work can relate to how we feel about ourselves. Maybe you’re worrying you won’t hit targets at work this week or maybe you’re dreading the one to one meeting you have with your boss on Tuesday. Whatever it is, make sure you feel as confident and fierce as you can for the new week ahead. Practice speaking kindly to yourself, listen to a motivating podcast or maybe do some journaling, whatever makes you feel good about yourself and your abilities!❤️

Also just a side note. We all experience anxiety at times in our lives and a lot of us have lots of anxiety surrounding our work. Work isn’t always fun and monday mornings can be blue, but if you are experiencing severe dread everyday, remember you can always change jobs. Sometimes I think we have all been programmed to believe that everyone hates work, so much that we forget work can be enjoyable and should be as enjoyable as it can be. Never be afraid to leave a job that makes you depressed, low or unhappy. We work for the majority of our lives so make sure your job is good for your soul and your mind. No one finds there dream job overnight but it’s important we keep learning and growing until we find a job that is best fitted to us.🥰

Thanks so much for reading this weeks blog guys. I hope you all have a good Sunday and an amazing week!❤️Also, if you’re going through something right now, you’ve got this. Lately I’ve had to keep reminding myself that I have survived every bad day until now and I will survive every other. Please remember this for yourself. Lots of love and I’ll be back next week.🥰

How today’s society is fuelling eating disorders

Eating disorders affect around 1.25 million people in the UK and unfortunately this number is rising everyday. This year for eating disorder awareness week rather than giving tips and advice, I wanted to write in a more formal manner about my thoughts on eating disorders (ED’s) and why they are on the rise.

As you know on this blog page, I am extremely passionate when it comes to talking about ED’s and it’s something I continue to educate myself about. As much as it may just seem like an issue with food to some people, ED’s result in death more than any other mental illness in the world.

As much as ED’s are not necessarily caused by one single external factor, I believe that the factors we are creating in society today are fuelling these disorders even more.

The culprit, AKA, Social media-

As much as I love social media and think it’s an amazing asset to the modern world, it is so damaging to people’s minds and perceptions. Filters, angles, lighting, photoshop, the list is endless. All of these things listed create a misconception. Under one lighting you may have cellulite, yet under another lighting it disappears. Which one are you going to pick for social media? Of course the one in which you look better. But over time this choice of lighting turns to slight editing, more filters and before you know it you are trapped in the cycle of “Instagrammable photos”. We are victims of it all.

A good example of this is the new update on the iPhone. As you can see below. The first picture is one I took on my camera, unedited. My OWN iphone has suggested that I change it to this in the second photo👇🏻clear skin, brighter eyes, more “flawless”.🙄Even my phone is suggesting I should just “edit” as few things. And this is where the cycle begins. Social media makes us believe we need to change.

As a child I remember Instagram being a really nice platform. I would be able to stay in contact with other kids id met on holiday, I could post photos of me and my friends out at the weekend and I could post silly quotes about being heartbroken when I’d not even had a boyfriend yet (lol). But over time it evolved. People don’t post memories anymore. People post photos that they know will get likes. Photos of themselves in a bikini because a photo with their boyfriend won’t get as many likes. This is the world we live in. People now create fake lives online, posting only the good days and only the good angles, basing their worth off how many likes they receive.

With all of this comes comparison. Why don’t I look like her in a bikini? Why don’t I have as big muscles as him? How do they afford all these luxury holidays when I can’t afford food this week? We have created a monster. Comparison and unrealistic realities lead to self doubt, a knock in confidence and worst of all a misconception of what life, your body and relationships should look like.

Now I’m sitting here writing all this and I know that all of these things have affected me before. But right now I feel like they don’t bother me, and this might be the case for you. But without even realising…every click, every scroll and every image will be acknowledged subconsciously and can affect you without even realising.

Social media has led us to question our own bodies and has given us unrealistic standards of beauty.

You Tube

YouTube is one of my favourite platforms. I think it can be so positive and informative and it gets me through a lot of bad days. Some YouTube creators create content which is perfect for recovery. However in more recent years it seems to be more “food” based than ever. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all, I think it’s great that creators show how to have a positive relationship with food and it often really helps me, however it still needs to be addressed as a possible trigger point. In lockdown a lot of us spent time watching YouTube, I know I did, and it seemed the majority of these were food based. “The 10,000 calorie challenge”, “what I eat in a day”, “eating like a Victoria’s Secret model”, the list is endless. It seems YouTube and tik tok trends are hugely food based and unfortunately this is bound to have some sort of affect on its young viewers today.

Diet culture-

We are in 2022 yet we still haven’t moved away from diet culture. Britain is obsessed with new fad diets and what you can and can’t eat each week. We also haven’t moved away from eyeballing celebrities for weight change. We all know that as soon as someone gains 10 pounds it straight in hello magazine…yes even in this modern day!! One prime example was when Adele lost loads of weight. Papers, magazines and social media were more interested in her weight loss than the new music she had released. The photo shown on the right went viral, everyone wanting to know how to lose weight like Adele and everyone became obsessed with her “transformation”. The truth is, she was always beautiful, and her music is what should be making the papers, not how much weight she lost.

I know that there’s a lot of factors can lead to an eating disorder and not one factor is solely responsible, but I do personally feel today’s society is making the situation worse. Please just remind yourself that social media is not always real. It’s important to take breaks from the world sometimes and realise what really matters. Love yourself a little extra, speak positively to yourself and speak positively to those around you. Be mindful of what you post and be mindful of what is good for your soul and what isn’t. If anyone needs support for an eating disorder, here is a useful helpline that you can contact🥰-

BEAT eating disorders- 0808 801 0677

I also just want to make people aware of the signs of symptoms of an eating disorder-

Signs can also include-

-Feeling guilty after eating

-Obsession with weight- whether that’s yours or other people’s

– Feeling like you have to “earn” your food

– Obsessive calorie counting

– Starvation/ Binging

– Avoiding certain “bad” foods

– Anxiety around food

– Anxiety about eating in front of others

Remember it doesn’t matter what weight you are or how “ill” you feel. Everyone deserves to recover from an eating disorder and you are just as worthy as everyone else. I send my love to anyone struggling…the world is tough out there but you are tougher. Fuel your body and take on the world. Thanks so much for reading, love to you all.❤️

Random act of kindness week

Hey guys!! Happy Thursday. Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while, I’ve had some time away to recuperate and spend time with friends and family. Anyway I’m back this week with a blog all about “Random act of kindness week”. RAOK week is a week that encourages individuals to carry out an act of kindness, whether that is giving to charity or helping a friend with a project.

I wanted to acknowledge it on my blog page because kindness is such an important thing. By kindness, I don’t mean buying a present for a loved one. Kindness is in the small things, like smiling at a stranger down the street, calling a friend who is struggling, or offering to help someone when they are busy.

These small acts of kindness are the most powerful and we underestimate how important they can be. A small act of kindness may be the only nice thing in a persons day, and you could bring a small glimmer of light into someone’s dark day. Imagine if your small act of kindness this week changed someone’s life. What if we did that every day for the rest of our lives? The world would be a much better place.

So let’s start spreading some joy. Here’s some ways that you can spread the world with kindness this week-

1). Message an old friend- As a world, we’ve been through so much in the past couple of years and unfortunately a lot of people are still struggling, so keeping in touch is more important than ever before. Remember to appreciate the technology we have…we can practically message anyone within seconds. We watch each others Instagram stories yet don’t actually ask how someone is doing. What’s stopping you? Message an old friend and see how they’re doing. It might really make someone’s day (in fact I KNOW it will).❤️

2). Give to charity- Rather than just giving to any charity, spend time this week finding a charity that you would really really like to help. Maybe it’s one you are already aware of that is close to your heart, maybe it’s a small charity you haven’t heard of before, or maybe it’s a friends fundraiser on Facebook. Whatever it is, make sure you feel good about where your money is going…and remember it doesn’t have to be a lot.🥰

3). Compliment someone– I don’t mean force a compliment or make an effort to, but if you think someone looks nice or you like their outfit, tell them!!!! Don’t hold in your kind thoughts, spread them. On a day where I feel rubbish or down in myself, a compliment goes such a long way. But also remember, a compliment doesn’t have to be image related…tell someone they’re doing a great job, let someone know you really appreciate their exsistence or tell someone how far they’ve come.

4). Be kind in the smallest of ways– By this I mean instead of choosing to carry out a grand gesture this week, simply show it in the small ways. Be more patient when driving and let other cars pass first, say a little more when speaking to a shop assistant, make your co worker a coffee even when they haven’t asked, or say hello to the woman you run past on your morning run. However small, it could be powerful and will definitely be noticed.

5). Give your time to someone– It’s not always a grand gesture people need, it’s just time. Have you spent enough time with loved ones this week? Offer your time to someone you love this week, maybe it’s just a little walk or maybe it’s a trip to the cinema. Whatever it is, it will go a long way.❤️

Not only is it important to be kind to others, it’s also extremely important to be kind to yourself. Sometimes we get so caught up in helping others, we forget about ourselves. So here’s my tips on how to be kind to YOU this week too!-

1). Plan something you’ve always wanted to do– Once again, this doesn’t have to be something grand like a holiday abroad…maybe it’s just watching a film you’ve always wanted to see or maybe it’s a gym class you fancy trying out. Do something for you this week that you will enjoy. Bring some self love into your week.❤️

2). Compliment yourself- A lot of people struggle with this one but it’s so important. Instead of being hard on yourself like you always are, love yourself this week. Write down 10 things you love about yourself and try to speak kind words.

3). Forgive yourself- We often forgive other people a lot quicker than we forgive ourselves for things. Stop holding onto all the bad things, and let them go. You deserve peace within yourself. No human is perfect…remember you are doing your best. Be kind.❤️

Thanks so much for reading this weeks blog and remember to be kind!!❤️

How to deal with gaining weight (ED Recovery)

A big part of eating disorder recovery is gaining weight. Gaining weight in recovery is the body’s way of becoming nourished the way it needs to be. Although it’s a great step in recovery, it can be one of the hardest parts for the individual going through it.

I understand this struggle and thought I would give my tips on how to come to terms with and deal with gaining weight🥰-

1). Wear baggy clothes- Definitely don’t cover yourself up forever but for the time you are coming to terms with gaining some weight, wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Wearing baggy clothes gives you time to feel comfortable with yourself again.

2). Avoid looking in the mirror all the time– As hard as it is, really try to avoid analysing your body for long periods of time. Give yourself the time you need to get used to your new body but in a rational way. Don’t become obsessed with every inch of you, give yourself the time you need to really love your body. By looking in mirrors all day it keeps our brain reminded of all that we’re going through, don’t let your day be consumed by food and weight gain, fill your mind with other happy thoughts🥰

However, one thing I would recommend for eventually using the mirror again are these affirmation stickers👇🏻

Sometimes a little quote is all we need to remind ourselves that we are beautiful and enough. These ones shown above are from etsy, there’s loads of different options on there and all at a great price.❤️

3). Love yourself a little harder- When gaining weight it can test our relationship with ourselves even more. It can become harder to be nice to ourselves at times, but at this time more than any, we need all the self love we can get. Practice being kind to yourself, hug yourself, remind yourself of all the things your body has got you through and remember you are worthy. As well as affirmations and positive self talk, take more time for yourself too. Take things slowly, get more sleep, have more self care evenings and do what makes you happy. Love yourself a little extra through this period of change.🤍

4). Trust the process- Remember to trust the process. Our bodies change everyday for all different reasons. Some days you are bloated, some days you are not. Some days you hold water retention, some days your stretch marks are more visible. Take all of these things into account and accept whatever your body has to go through today. What your body looks like today, isn’t what your body will look like forever. Although our body changes each day, make sure you love it and accept it through each step, each process and each day. Our bodies are very clever and will settle at a weight they feel healthy and happy, till that day comes, love each step.

5). Stop looking at the past and be present It’s really easy to get stuck in the past, but it only ever makes things worse. Whilst going through this process try not to look at photos of yourself from the past. Whatever your weight has been in the past, it doesn’t matter. Be present. Be in the now and remember that every day is different and we are living for today. Be proud of where you are right now, because that’s truly what matters. Being healthy and happy in this very moment is what matters. Your past doesn’t need you anymore…but your future does!🤍

I hope these 5 tips can help at least one person struggling with weight gain right now. I know it’s hard, but it’s all worth it. Remember you are beautiful, amazing and worthy of everything you dream of. Thanks for reading, and keep smiling!🥰

My new year blog

I started writing an essay but decided short and sweet would do the job. I just wanted to make it clear that, you don’t have to change this new year. All the talk of ‘new years resolutions’ can bring so much anxiety, I know they do for me. But remember that setting small realistic goals throughout the year is what works…not making an extreme resolution that you might only stick to for a few weeks. I also hate that we even think we have to change, we’re all on different journeys, going at our own pace and are exactly where we need to be right now. Don’t think you should change your current progress because of the date on the calendar, move at your own pace.

Also, let’s be honest, not every year of our lives will be trips to Bali and job promotions. Accept every year for what it is and remember it is part of your beautiful journey and will be a helpful lead in your next chapter. Don’t mount to the pressures of ‘how good you year was’, just take each day as it comes.

Finally, I hope you all have an amazing new years eve, remember the first of January is just another day and it will be a great one!

Happy new year ALL!! I can’t wait for 2022 and all it may bring🥰🥂🙌🏻❤️

A quick Christmas message…

Just a quick check in before Christmas. I just want to thank everyone who has read my blogs this year, it means the world to me that people take time to read my writing. I hope that at least one of my blogs has resonated with you in some way this year. I also wanted to pop on here to say that over the holidays my email will be open to anyone, it’s not an easy time for everyone and I am fully aware that mental health doesn’t stop for Christmas. So please remember that this page is a safe place and is a place where you can talk without judgement.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and have a good one everyone! There will be one more blog before the end of the year so look out for that.

Best wishes, Louise.❤️

What to do when you’re having a panic attack

Your hearts racing out your chest but for no reason. Heat is rising through your body. You feel like the world is actually closing around you. In fact, this might be you dying.

If you’ve experienced those feelings, then you’ve had a panic attack. Panic attacks can rise out of nowhere and are often a way of our body outletting anxiety. The human body hasn’t caught up with modern day yet and therefore we still have our caveman “fight or flight” ready at all times. We are always ready with adrenaline to run away from a lion. But what if you’re just on the bus and this kicks in?

Here’s what to do when you’re having a panic attack-

Now first of all, I’m not a professional but with 10 years of suffering from panic attacks, I seemed to have worked out what works for me and what doesn’t.

1). Acknowledge what is going on- The first step is to remind your mind and body that everything IS okay and you are NOT dying. Despite the physical symptoms you are feeling, remember it’s just a panic attack. Remember that your mind and body are connected so tell your inner self there is no need for a reaction right now. This is step one.

2). Use an “ocean breath”– Now the supposed way to overcome a panic attack is to take deep breaths, but personally, this only leads to more panic and makes me feel light headed. The real way to help your breathing it to use an “ocean breath”. This is where you constrict the back of your throat and make a noise as if you are very quietly snoring. It’s something I learned in yoga and it really helps to bring my mind and body back to the ground. If you research “ocean breath” you will find lots of information on it. I hope this works for you too.

3). Distract your mind with something completely different- When having a panic attack it can be really easy to think about everything bad in the world that makes you panic. You catastrophise everything and think of anything and everything bad that could happen. It’s important that you stop this. Try to think about something different that you can get your mind into. Think about your favourite day out. Where would you go? What would the weather be like? Who would you go with? What would you eat in the day? Or something which I often do is think about what presents I’ll get people for Christmas. It’s random but it means I’m thinking deeply about something completely unrelated to panic. It’s a type of mindfulness and for me, it really helps.

4). Think rationally about your next steps– For me, one thing which would trigger my panic attacks was the tube. Being underground on a train and knowing I couldn’t just run off when I needed to was my worst nightmare. So I would think rationally about what was next.

Okay, so my next stop is ….. after that there are only 2 left. After that I will walk off and be in the fresh air. If things get really bad, I can get off the next stop and walk.

Another scenario. You are in a meeting and start having a panic attack.

So I have 15 minutes left. That’s okay. After that I can leave and get on with my day. If things get worse in the next 2 minutes, it’s okay because I can leave, I am in control. If anything bad did happen there are people here to help.

As hard as it is at the time, try to BE as RATIONAL as you possibly can. You will slowly find yourself feeling less panicked.

5). Look after yourself for the next 10 minutes– Remember your body has just gone through a lot. Get a glass of water, sit down and just compose yourself for a few minutes. Don’t waste your breath talking/explaining yourself. Don’t get your heart rate up again for no reason. Just take 5 minutes to sit and be calm. This is key.❤️

So there’s my 5 steps on how to cope with a panic attack. Please remember that there is not always a reason for a panic attack, it just happens. So don’t waste your time worrying about how and why it happened. Look after yourself and please try to go through my 5 steps. Also whoever is suffering with this right now, please understand that it gets better. It has done for me and it will do for you. Thanks for reading and lots of love.🤍