The journey to loving your body

Woman Wearing Red Bikini

This is a big one for me, my journey with my body is one of the journeys that has made me who I am today.

I think when it comes to image we too often look for acceptance in the way others see us, through compliments, achievements, a number on the scales or how good people think we look, but this is all wrong. True love with your body comes from within, it comes from YOU. It’s a journey we must embark on alone, stumble through on our own but discover its beauty on our own (as hard as it is at times!)

I’ve struggled with accepting my body for a long time, over analysing little things, thinking parts of me should look better or different…. so what made me finally say this is enough?

After battles with my body confidence day in day out, I started to realise that things needed to change and that the only person who really judged my body was myself. Here I’ve devised some tips on how to love your body-

1- Perspective- perspective is everything. Rather than seeing your body as a feature of your appearance, see it as a shelter, its not just an object to be adored but a machine that keeps us breathing, loving, creating and more than ever right now we are relying on our bodies to fight off diseases. We often forget how amazing our bodies are and we must be thankful for them.

2-The bigger picture– when all is said and done our bodies are not what are remembered, they grow old and beauty fades but the real things that matter stay. Love, laughter, memories, happiness and the soul that’s within. I have to tell myself that the happiest times of my life weren’t defined by the way I looked but the people I was with and the way it made me feel. You won’t be remembered by the weight on your scales but the love you showed and the life you led.

3-Own your insecurities– we all have little things we might want to change but every part of your body is what makes you unique and the right person will love those parts one day. We’re different for a reason, the body you have is quite often what someone else wants and what they have will be what another person wants too. In the competitive world we live in we’re always searching for more but forget about the beauty that’s already there. When you begin to love your insecurities they start to become your best assets.

4- Stop comparing yourself- When we scroll through Instagram or any source of social media we often forget that this is NOT REAL…it’s simply a snippet of someone’s life..quite often filtered, angled correctly, photoshopped and portrayed to be more exciting than it is. What Instagram doesn’t show is the persons mental state behind the camera, they’re comparing themselves just as much as you and find it hard to keep up in such a competitive world. The biggest step to loving yourself is to simply stop comparing!

5-Use your body– Rather than dwelling on our perfectly imperfect bodies, remember how amazing and capable they are. Go for a run, go for a walk, use your body to it’s full potential and be thankful for its abilities! This is a great way of creating a really good relationship with our bodies.

6- Speak kindly to your body– I always thought it was a bit weird speaking to your own body but trust me…it feels so good! Speaking to your body in positive and kind ways (like you might to someone else) is spoken so highly of in the body positivity world. We forget to be kind to ourselves and thank our bodies for all the amazing things it does. Tomorrow when you get up, thank your body, look yourself in the mirror and speak kind words, something like “Wow you look amazing today!”. Now one thing that sounds even crazier is hugging yourself. But trust me…we need to hug ourselves from time to time because we are our own biggest enemy at times!

So in a nutshell…Thank your body, it’s an amazing machine, embrace every part of your body, know that you are unique and beautiful, stop comparing yourself to others and most importantly speak kindly to yourself!

Despite being happy with my body now I’m going to be honest I still have days where I feel unconfident…but we all bloat, we all have scars and our bodies are different for a reason. Love who you are because there is only one of you and life is far too short to not eat that piece of cake!

Self love is the greatest love you can have, it’s a love that already exists, you just have to find it. Once it’s there it will never let you down! Are you ready to embark on the journey of finding self love or are you already there?💞

I hope you can find some help in these tips and I really hope people can start to embrace their bodies because we are all beautiful in our own little ways..the right person will love your insecurities and you should too!❤️

Have an amazing weekend guys. Stay safe, stay happy and keep loving!☀️

Keeping being you!🙌🏻❤️

My tips on how to seek a happier life☀️

Happy Saturday everyone, hope you’re all doing well! I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write this week and I have so many drafts that I’m yet to finish…but I wanted something simple today so what better than a list!

Now I don’t claim to have the perfect life…because the perfect life doesn’t exist. But what I am so lucky to admit is that I AM HAPPY. I’m in a good place and I have so much to be thankful for.

Happiness is something we all want to achieve but sometimes life gets in the way and things aren’t always easy. However, my biggest problem when reaching happiness is my own mind. Why can’t we just let ourselves be happy?

Here’s a few tips of my tips on how to lead a happier life-

1. Let go and give in- I find that when I get to a period of happiness in my life, I start to question why it’s so good (a side effect of anxiety). I overthink, worry that something will take it away or I ponder as to why I deserve it. STOP. Let go. Let yourself be happy. You deserve it! As soon as you free yourself from your own negative thoughts…happiness tends to stay.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others– This is difficult in the social media world that we live in but trust me, once you stop comparing yourself you’ll feel completely free. It’s funny how the people you compare yourself to are the ones who are struggling just as you are. Once I stopped comparing both my body and my life to others I found a new love for myself. I realised the pure beauty in the fact that there is only one of me in this world…that’s something so powerful! Doing YOU will be the easiest thing you ever do and if someone doesn’t love you for you, they’re not the right person❤️ TIP- If I start to doubt myself I delete Instagram. It’s amazing how refreshed you feel!

3. Reflect- I talk about reflection a lot in my blogs because I believe so much in its power. We often forget how far we’ve come, the things we’ve achieved and actually how great we are. Modern life is so fast pace and full of pressure, just allow yourself 5 minutes to reflect on things. Reflect on how amazing you’re dealing with things and get rid of anything that’s worrying you. Giving yourself some credit really contributes to a happier YOU!

4. Discover what makes you happy in life– This is something I really dived into last year. I found myself on my own, so decided it was time to find out what really makes me happy, even in the littlest things. Try new things, discover new ideas, step out of your comfort zone and scare yourself on a daily basis. Once you find the little things that make you happy, implement them into your everyday life. That way everyday has a little joy! What you do in your life is your choice and we often forget that we have control over it. Make everyday a happy one for you. It’s the simple things that make life so wonderful💞

5. “Be the change you want to see in the world”- Now it’s so easy to sit back and discuss or worry about the worlds problems but who’s stopping you from changing it? We are born with no less worth than anyone else, if you want to help the environment, be a kind person, change someone’s life or go and save the world…DO IT. Nothing is stopping you. We have one life and YOU could make the world a better place🌍

6. My life motto“If it’s meant to be, it will be”- I follow by this in everything I do, don’t worry about the past or the future, what’s meant to be will be and that is true. I believe everything happens for a reason so once we’ve done our best in a situation and it’s no longer in our control, we have to let it go. Don’t overthink the experiences that are taking you to your right path. Trust the process. 🙏🏻

7.Find the good when things are bad– As imperfect as our lives can be at times it’s important to count our blessings. When you wake up in the morning, ask yourself what you’re grateful for…I assure you you’ll have a better day!

From me to you..Learn who you are as a person and exactly what makes you happy. Know your worth, let go of judgment and fall in love with yourself…this takes time but when you truly love yourself, everything else falls into place. You have one life and it’s a complete blessing. Stay happy and every bad day will become that little bit easier!😌

But please remember…happiness is a journey and not a destination! Life isn’t easy and not everyday will be good but you can find something good in everyday and find the happiness in you!🥰

Have a great week guys and I’ll be coming back with some more tips on a happy life very soon! Please remember you’re worth more than you know and a lot of people love you!❤️

Count those blessings!

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Happy Easter!🐣

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you’re all well and enjoying the sun. I thought it would be nice to post a blog today as I love Easter and despite the current pandemic I will be making sure today is as special as any other year!

Now I’m sure we all know what The Easter story’s all about so why would I write a blog today?

Well… I thought with Easter being all about new beginnings it would be the perfect time to write something for you all.

By new beginnings I don’t mean you have to change things in your life overnight, it’s just about 2 little words. Reflect and Reset. We tend to only really reflect when new year comes but this is where we go wrong. By making room for 5 minutes of reflection in your life each day, you will feel transformed.

After all that’s happened in the past couple of months, Easter is the perfect time to reflect and reset. Ask yourself these questions:

-How are you really feeling (Mentally/physically/emotionally?)

-Have you achieved any goals in the year so far (if so give yourself some credit😌)

-Are you where you’d like to be?

There’s absolutely nothing holding you back from being who you want to be. My goal right now is to just be happy (whatever it takes), I think that’s a great goal to keep all year round.

After reflecting its time to reset….

Find your ground. What makes you calm? What brings you back to a place of complete serenity?

Reset your mind. Reset your focus. Reset your goals and Just BREATHE. Reset your goals to bring you a step closer to complete happiness. Ask yourself these questions-

-What is it that makes me happy? Can I implement these things in my life from now on?

-How can I change my mindset (from negative to positive)/ How can I reset my body so it feels good again? This might just be a day of no exercise but stretching or a long relaxing bath

-What are my new/ongoing goals

New beginnings mean chance for new hope and fresh starts. Everyday is.

It’s important to reflect on where you are mentally and physically and reset anything that doesn’t feel right. For example, you might be feeling negative this week or maybe your body is a bit fatigued (our body can tell us a lot about what’s going on in our heads) so you just need a day to reset!

So as you enjoy the day that’s all about new beginnings, allow yourself some time to reflect on the year so far and take both the positives and negatives from this. We’ve been through a huge transition in the past few weeks so need to reflect and make sure we’re doing okay. Easter is the perfect chance for this. New beginnings, new mindsets, new goals and a happier you!

Now I’m going to enjoy some chocolate and a day completely relaxing and being with my family. I hope you all have an amazing day and a great week. HAPPY EASTER ALL!💞 God bless.

Taking some time out

Happy hump day! Hope you’re all doing okay. Today has been the perfect day for writing and what better time for a little inspiration than in the middle of the week!☀️

I didn’t know what to write about this week and always rely on something I’ve experienced in the week or something I’ve seen….so here’s my inspiration this week!

Taken from Instagram- @ALIHEMSLEY

In this lockdown as you know I’m trying to be as busy as possible which is great but sometimes that’s the problem. I keep seeing things on social media saying “Who are you going to be when you leave lockdown?” “How are you making the most of your free time, are you learning a language, are you getting even fitter?”

But let’s take a step back and realise what’s actually going on…

We’ve stopped working and the world still revolves🌍

We’ve stopped sending emails and the world still goes on⭐️

We’ve stopped rushing around, buying unnecessary things and the world has never looked better🌳

You need to stop feeling pressured by the world and by yourself!

We think we know what stopping is. Going to the pub after work, sleeping in til 10 or going out for lunch. But this isn’t stopping. You are having the opportunity as we speak to really STOP. Focus on your body and your mind for the first time in a long time, whilst having no pressure at all. It’s rare that you will find this time again. You’re ready to rejuvenate, the world is telling you.

Today’s the first day I’ve realised that I haven’t fully stopped yet. It’s the third week of lockdown and although being busy is good for my mind, I’m still putting pressure on myself, to workout everyday, organise things, eat healthy, keep in touch with people and do online courses. But I forget that one of the most important things to do right now is to simply stop.

Although I’m not on the frontline, this period of time is still draining, I’m sleeping less, getting anxious more and worrying about the future. So it’s time for me to recognise this and take a break. Your mind is just as important as your body😌

Now by relaxing I don’t necessarily mean go and binge on Netflix all day (that doesn’t do anyone any good) but really find what relaxes your mind and body.

For me this is-

-Yoga

-Reading

-Walking or running

-Sunbathing/having a drink in the garden🍷

-Having a bubble bath/pamper

-Meditation

Keep yourself busy and occupied during this time but also allow this time to recharge before life gets crazy again! And don’t feel guilty for doing it. We don’t look after our minds and bodies enough❤️

Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a positive and amazing week and listen to your bodies!😊

A positive blog you didn’t know you needed😌

Happy Friday everyone. I’d just like to start off by saying thank you so much to every one of you who has read a blog/s. Your support means a lot to me and knowing that these blogs are helping people just makes me feel even more motivated on my bad days too!

I’m not going to lie, I’ve had some bad days this week, I’ve still kept busy and happy but can’t seem to shake off some of the bad thoughts in my head…but I know this is completely normal right now. They like to appear when things in our lives are out of our control.

So I thought to start off a great weekend I could help not just myself but also you guys by writing a blog that’s just full of positivity (hence the title!) Hope you all enjoy….

It really is true^^

I’ve decided today that I need a reset of mind, from negative to positive just in time for the weekend. So as soon as I post this blog I’m going to follow my own advice. Here’s my tips for you (and myself)…..

1- Write down all the positive things that have happened this week-

Even if it’s as simple as you sorted through some draws. We often punish ourselves to do more and be better but forget what we have already achieved, this is a great way of feeling good about yourself and the week that has just passed!

2- Write down 10 things you’re grateful for-

It sounds cringe I know but there’s a reason this technique is used, it works. I often have to step back from my insecurities and realise that I have everything I need in my life, this is a great way of appreciating all the good things you take for granted. This list should help you get up on the bad days!

3- Positive affirmations-

Again, it sounds cringe but they really do work. My biggest fight is with my own body confidence but this is because we often forget to speak to ourselves with respect. We tell others how amazing they are and how great they look but never to ourselves. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you look great, our minds and bodies are phenomenal and we often forget to thank them for all the amazing things they do. Here’s some affirmations to tell yourself today and everyday.

-You are confident and strong

-You are enough and there is only one of you

-Look at how far you’ve come

-You’re doing amazing today!

-My favourite morning affirmation- “Today is going to be a great day”

“You look beautiful today” don’t forget it!

It really is true that there is only ONE OF YOU! We are unique in our own ways and have our own purposes on earth. So look after yourself!🌍

4- Changing the way you think-

It sounds easy but it takes practice. Here’s how it works….next time you have a negative thought, change it to a positive one, no matter how hard it seems.

For example- “Another day in isolation” changed to “Another day closer to everything being normal again”

I hope these tips have helped anyone that needs it, I know I needed it today. So wake up tomorrow, tell yourself “This is going to be an amazing weekend” and try to enjoy the little things without overthinking!

So from me to you guys, Happy Friday. We survived another week!🍾❤️

Dedicated to a special person in my life that always boosts my confidence💞

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?