The new week ahead

This blog is dedicated to the loved ones in my life and to anyone else who has been struggling this week… I’m going to be giving you some practical tips on how to make the new week ahead a good one!

The first step to this isolation is accepting its hard and is only going to get harder. We’re told by therapists to get out the house, keep ourselves busy, get in the fresh air, and now all of a sudden we’re being forced to stay inside our four walls. Whether you have a mental illness or not and as much as we try to stay happy and positive…without a doubt these weeks are going to be hard.

Now as much as I am keeping happy and positive I want to be as honest as possible, and despite feeling okay, every night this week I’ve almost lost control….and I’ve not had to hold back a panic attack for years now. But understand that every feeling you have right now is a normal human reaction. Whether that’s fear, worry, sadness, panic or you’re actually feeling okay.

Once accepting that its okay to feel every emotion in these next coming weeks, you can begin to reset your mindset to a positive one!

Now I thought I’d write a blog today as Sunday is the perfect time to reset and plan for the week ahead, in this case another week in isolation (but on a positive note, another week closer to being free again!) Lets go….

1). Using Sunday

I’ve always loved Sundays as they feel like a day for resetting, a day for relaxing and preparation, getting up late, having a big breakfast, having a pamper and getting organised for the week ahead. A good Sunday makes for a good Monday. Use today for Self care. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be productive today, use this day to reflect on the draining week we’ve had and treat yourself to a good bubble bath and a big bout of Netflix (or Disney plus, which I still haven’t got yet!)

2). Hold back on the Netflix this week!

As tempting as it is to just sit around all day, this will only make things worse! (Netflix days are for Sundays). Save your films for the evening or even a Tuesday afternoon, make sure you can look forward to a film night or a binge of your favourite series, because by doing it all day everyday you will only get bored, frustrated and feel a lot more lonely.

3). Get dressed in a morning

As simple as it sounds, getting dressed when in isolation is so effective. Now I’m not saying put a full face of makeup on and your best outfit (trackies will do), but by getting out of your PJs, not only will your body feel fresh but so will your mind. We have to keep our routines as normal as possible!

4). Write a To-Do List

Woman Meditating in Lotus Pose

The one negative day I had this week was the day I didn’t do a To-Do list. Once again, so simple but so effective when stuck in the house all day. Keeping a routine is the key to Isolation. Write one before you go to bed and tick off when you complete things the next day, this way you’re busy, in a routine and ticking jobs off a list gives you a sense of satisfaction, achievement and motivation…If you’re struggling on things to do, here’s one of my previous To-Do lists this week-

Breakfast

Morning Yoga

40 minutes Circuit session

Lunch

Afternoon walk

Do some colouring/read/write

Eat…Watch some Netflix/Facetime, for the rest of the evening!

5). Holding back the worry

As hard as it is to not worry in this period of time, worrying only makes things worse. We have to accept that this situation is completely out of our control and therefore we cannot worry. Take everything day to day and don’t panic about the future. Also talk to people, most people are feeling exactly the same and this always makes me feel better.

So the main tips for this new week ahead are a good self care Sunday, keeping in a routine everyday, setting some new goals for the week ahead and accepting that this period of time is going to be hard. But we can get through this together! Don’t worry, don’t panic, keep busy, keep happy and keep talking.

Please feel free to drop me an email or message and have an amazing week!

Some of my favourite things….

I hope everyone is doing well, today I thought we could all do with something positive and completely unrelated to what’s going on at the moment….so I’m going to share with you some of my favourite Instagram accounts and you tube accounts etc that help me to feel good and positive!! So if you’re interested please keep reading….😁

My favourite Instagram account for both positivity and boosting body confidence is- @chessieking

I think it’s important that we use social media for the right reasons, scrolling down your Instagram feed should make you feel amazing, not the opposite. Chessies posts show the unfiltered side of Instagram and the realism of women’s bodies!

Favourite Yoga sessions online- “Yoga with Adriene”

As you know I love yoga, it’s so good for both the mind and the body and hardly takes any time. My favourite you tube channel for Yoga is “Yoga with Adriene”. It’s easy to follow and gives you different sessions depending on your needs. Some are 20 minutes and some are 45 minutes, the time span is completely up to you! She has also uploaded a couple of simple meditation sessions too if you’re new to it all!

My favourite podcast- Frankie Bridge, Open Mind

Sometimes I love a podcast to just take me away from reality for a while and this one is such an easy listen. A different celebrity talks with Frankie each week about their mental health struggles and what gets them through, with completely MH unrelated things too! It’s really light hearted and always worth the listen!

The last book I bought…Ferne Cotton “Calm”

I haven’t actually read this book yet but its on its way to me now! Ferne has published three different books (and I’ve heard they’re good), “Happy”, “Calm” and “Quiet”, I thought “Calm” would suit me best at the moment so that’s the one I went for! They’re only 3 pounds each on Amazon so definitely worth the try. I will try to review once I’ve started to read it!

I hope you find some happiness in these things as much as I do….and I hope you’re all staying happy and healthy. Please feel free to drop me an email at any point- louise@oakfamily.plus.com or drop me a Dm on Instagram- @louise.oak ☀️❤️

Surviving Isolation- continued…

My previous blog states some tips on how we can survive Isolation in the next upcoming weeks, as promised here’s some more tips to keep you calm and happy!

See the source image

Tip 6- Stay away from the media

As much as the news and media try to inform us about this situation and how best to deal with it, the media are good at increasing our panic and anxieties. Waking up and listening to the negative news will only lead your mind into worry….no one wants to start their day like this. The less media you interact with in the day, the less this crisis will be on your mind.

Tip 7- Exercise

Exercise is my biggest saviour in times of stress, it releases happy chemicals and makes you feel amazing. By resetting your breathing in exercise it helps to reduce anxious feelings and takes your mind off things for a while. If possible try to exercise outside, the fresh air is exactly what you need. There are plenty of circuit/HIIT workouts online as well as yoga sessions and meditation. Even if you just go for a walk once a day you’ll instantly feel better.

Tip 8- Self care

I don’t know about anyone else but I often find myself punishing myself, working out when I’m too tired, keeping myself busy when all I want to do is nothing. Now we have all this free time its the perfect time to start looking after yourself. Run yourself a bath, have a pamper day, eat junk food or watch Netflix all day. You finally have the time to treat yourself……no stresses!

Tip 9- Keep talking

We’re all in this weird and confusing period of time together and the best way to get through this is by talking. If you’re worried about the future or this isolation is making you feel low, please talk to someone. Drop me a DM on my Instagram @louise.oak for a chat!

So keep positive, keep busy, keep building your little empires and keep happy!

See the source image

Surviving this period of isolation

As a society we are currently facing an epidemic, it’s all anyone can talk about and the current situation is only going to get worse. It’s a scary time for anyone right now but what really worries me is those suffering with mental illness.

Anxiety is a disorder that can usually be controlled but in this time of uncertainty, panic will be at its worst.

For those with OCD, this is their worst case scenario. The world is in panic about germs and compulsions will be in overdrive.

In a situation like this we have to accept that we have no control however, what we can do is make the most of our time in this Isolation period that we might soon have to face…..So I have devised a few tips to keep you busy and happy over the next upcoming weeks!

Tip 1- Write a list (as soon as you’ve read this blog)

What things do you like doing indoors and what have you always wanted to do? Stick it on your wall and see what you fancy each day. This might be a pamper/movie day, a home workout (set some goals to get fit at home), reorganise your wardrobe (because who doesn’t love feeling organised?), do some yoga or meditation or even start an online course. Make these weeks useful for you and your self improvement!

Also make a list of the films/programmes you were waiting to binge on Netflix (You have all the time in the world now!)

Tip 2- Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice used to make you fully aware of your body, creating consciousness of you as a being. By making yourself fully aware of your body and how it feels, it helps you to take back control, especially when in a state of stress or panic. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will explain and teach you about the practice. Go have a look and thank me later!

Tip 3- Make your house a home

It’s important than when spending time in the same four walls that its a place you really want to be. Make your bedroom a haven of peace. Light some candles, buy some fresh flowers, put up some fairy lights, frame your favourite quote and make sure it’s TIDY! By doing this you will find time there so much easier, making it as relaxing and peaceful as possible.

Tip 4- Ring/facetime people

Technology makes it so easy now that in Isolation its so easy to speak to people. In times like this we all need each other to take our minds off it so ring your friends and family. That friend you’ve been too busy for? Ring them. That friend you’ve not seen for years? Ring them. Catch up on all the times you’ve been too busy. Talking makes everything better!

Tip 5- Don’t think about the long run

Right now when everything is so uncertain and rapidly changing, it’s important that you don’t panic about the future (as hard as it is). We have to take each day as it comes and not worry about things we cannot predict. Worrying about how long this epidemic will be will only make things harder. We only have today to think about so lets make every new day a good one!

I hope you enjoyed these first 5 tips, I will be back with more in the next couple of days. For now, look after yourself, be positive, be happy and keep smiling!

A Friday blog…

Writing was there in my darkest times when it was only thing I felt I had control over. Sometimes we feel out of control, whether that’s because things are changing in ours lives, something’s changed that you didn’t expect to or maybe it’s just your anxieties. The only reason we ever worry, panic or stress is when we feel we’ve lost control and are no longing driving our car of life. But that is the key to calming your life…taking back control.

After years of letting panic and anxiety control my life I started to understand how to override it and take back my wheel.

Take this tip-

As soon as you begin to feel out of control whether that is through your mind or your body….

STOP

THINK

PROCESS

MOVE ON

Stop- what is it that is controlling you/ what’s happened today?

Think- Identify the “controller”

Process- can you control the controller?- if so do what needs to be done/ if not the controller needs to be removed

Move on- you can’t worry about what can’t be controlled

5 minutes is all it takes to take back control.

Our mind is so quick at processing things sometimes it misses our concious thoughts and controls us in others way through panic/stress symptoms/anxiety. As soon as you begin to feel different take a moment of reflection and refocus your mind…when you take back control, you can do great things.

I’m taking control this weekend. Who’s with me?