Anxiety, Depression and How They Affect Housework

Anxiety and depression can make the simplest of tasks difficult to manage. In certain circumstances, some people battle with getting out of bed each day. In others, some find themselves cleaning their homes from head to toe each day and have OCD compulsions. Anxiety and depression affect the housework, how often we do it and how we manage it.

If you are going through a really difficult depressive or anxious time, then I would urge to seek help from a professional, such as your GP. If you find that you are in a slump, try these 8 tips on how to get out of it.

Housework Can and Will Wait

When you find yourself going through a particularly difficult time, don’t feel guilty about the housework. It can and will wait for you to get better. The most important thing is to focus on yourself and your mental health and wellbeing.

Seek professional help and focus on getting yourself better first. When you feel that you are able to tackle more each day, start off slow. Bring in the troops without embarrassment or guilt too. See if you have some friends or family there to help with elements. If someone offers, than accept it. It’s not shameful to accept help, it’s likely that if you were feeling yourself, that you would also offer help to those that needed it.

Don’t take on too much too soon. We don’t need to Marie Kondo our house straight away, but even just keeping on top of the dishes and kitchen side will help. Eventually, you can build up to creating a cleaning schedule.

Anxiety, Depression and How They Affect Housework

Cleaning Schedules Work Wonders

The best way to organise cleaning and keeping on top of housework, would be to create a cleaning schedule. You could do it to fit your current lifestyle and responsibilities. For example, if you work long hours on certain days, try to schedule your cleaning for your days off.

I follow The Organised Mum Method, which is a great method of keeping on top of cleaning. Team TOMM splits the housework into 2 levels; level 1 are basic jobs that just need to be done quickly (spending no more than 15 minutes) such as making beds, or making sure floors are clean and level 2 jobs. Level 2 jobs are to take no more than half an hour and are divided into rooms depending on the day, so for example, Monday is living room day.

Then there is a Friday focus where you get to spend half an hour on a Friday doing a deeper clean on a room and this works on an 8 week rotation. So for example, if it was on the bedroom, you could have a clear out of your wardrobe. Her website explains things in great detail, and her book is available on Amazon. It is the best, most manageable cleaning schedule I have come across.

If You Find Yourself Cleaning Too Much, Stop!

It’s easy when you are struggling to throw your energies into activities in a bid to cover up your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes people with anxiety and depression can develop OCD tendencies and want their home to be clean and tidy constantly, or they may feel stressed if it isn’t.

Instead of cleaning constantly, try putting your energies into some self-care or a hobby instead. Take up running, baking, cycling, cooking, sewing or any type of crafts. You will find yourself feeling accomplished without the smell of bleach permanently etched in your nostrils. By adopting a cleaning schedule, you can still keep on top of what needs doing, but without over doing it.

If You Find Yourself Cleaning Too Much, Stop!

Hiring A Cleaner.

At times things can just simply get too much. Then the thought of becoming behind on the housework can make you feel even worse, especially when you have a family. If it is an option, a good alternative to battling against the scrubbing, is to hire a cleaner. Obviously, this isn’t an option for everyone.

Even if you hired one for 2 hours every fortnight, they can help do the deeper bits which you may find difficult to get on top of. There is nothing wrong in reaching out for help in any situation. So if the housework is getting on top of you and you want to focus on your recovery, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the constant list of jobs; then see if you can pass this job onto a cleaner.

Hinch Yourself Happy is a best selling book by Mrs Hinch. Mrs Hinch was known for struggling with anxiety before she found cleaning became therapeutic for her.

If you are struggling to clean and keep on top of the housework, remember that the most important thing is you’re recovery and boosting your mental health. The housework can and will wait. However, when you are feeling more on top of everything, try a cleaning schedule- but remember not to end up cleaning too much. As a final note, if you can afford a cleaner, even if it’s fortnightly, try delegating this life chore so you can spend more time on self care!

If you’re unsure of how to begin tackling anxiety, check out my blog post here.

This blog post may contain affiliate links. If opened and you order anything, it will not cost you anything extra, however I will receive a small commission which helps with the running of this blog. Thank you for your continued support.

What Makes You Laugh? Why You Need To Be Laughing Every Day!

Laughter is a hugely underrated activity. A lot of us may do this often, but often a lot of us lose the ability to laugh when mental health issues are weighing down on us. At times, anxiety and depression can leave you gasping for air, let alone expelling excess air in a belly roaring laugh. So, what makes you laugh? And why is it important to try and do this each and everyday?

We All Have Different Laughter Triggers.

We all find different things funny. Write a list of your laughter triggers. Here’s mine:

  • My amazing boys. My children often do or say hilarious things.
  • Ant and Dec. Two of the funniest people to grace my TV presence. I love watching I’m a Celeb and Saturday Night Takeaway.
  • Toilet Humour. Yes, I still have toilet humour.
  • You’ve Been Framed. A TV classic!
  • My family. These are the people that make me laugh the most.
  • Friends. I love having a laughing fit with a friend.
  • Old memories. A trip down memory lane, focusing on the funny moments that reel off in my brain, like real life clips that belong on You’ve Been Framed, always does the trick.
  • Being stupidly tired. Does anyone else get to that tired giggly state?

Friends is the ultimate TV show that makes me laugh.

Try a funny book- Very British Problems has great reviews!

Surround Yourself With The Right People.

People that spark joy and laughter are the best people to be around. Life is too short to be around those that are only interested in idle gossip and drama.

Make sure your circle of friends are the type that aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves and the ones that you often smile and laugh around. If they’re not, make sure you are finding company that loves a giggle too!

If you’re unsure of your friendships- read my blog post on how to tell if your friendships are healthy.

Laugh Each and Every Day.

It’s important to make laughter part of your every day life. Laughter releases happy endorphins, whilst reducing the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and dopamine.

It provides a positive release of emotions, leaving you lighter and happier. It is good for you. But we, as adults, don’t do it enough.

Children laugh over 400 times a day, where as us adults laugh a lot less. Yet, we are the ones that need it the most. Try to find the laughter and humour in every day life. Look at your list, make sure you’re fitting one of these activities into your life each day.

Maybe it’s going on YouTube to watch funny videos? Or going for a drink with a friend?

Laughter connects us all, it takes away from the stresses and strains of every day life and gives us a work out with our stomach muscles! Get more laughter in your life.

You need to be laughing each and every day!

When Was The Last Time You Laughed?

If it wasn’t today, then make it your mission to have a laugh at something today! Try something from your list of laughter triggers, or go on YouTube to find a funny video compilation. Allow yourself time each and everyday to have a giggle.

Soon, you will feel the benefits of this simple, yet effective, human response.

You could also check out my blog post and get some ideas on how to boost your happiness.

What is a laughter trigger for you? Pop a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

This blog post may contain affiliate links. If you click on these and you order an item, you will not be charged extra, however I will get a small commission to help with the running of this blog. Thank you.

The Friendship Timeline Theory That Changed My Attitude.

As I have mentioned in a previous blog post, when I explained the game of ‘Friendship Tennis’ I went through counselling with my local NHS mental health service. I knew I needed to seek a little guidance and help to boost myself and get me out of the dark hole I had found myself in. This was when I found out about the friendship timeline theory that changed my attitude.

One of the reassuring themes that we discussed was my overwhelming habit of feeling negative about myself and not feeling good enough.

Friendships were the reason I felt bad about myself.

Or so I thought, anyway. But I felt bad about myself because I wasn’t investing in myself enough. Thankfully, with my counsellor, I began working on my self-esteem and building it back up by doing things for myself.

Building up my self esteem is ultimately what made me feel better about myself, my life and those in it. More of that another time! If you need to boost your self esteem- this book on Amazon is amazing.

At the time though, I was always dwelling on the past. It’s an extremely common thing to do when you have anxieties. In particular, I was dwelling on those that had left my life. I was constantly blaming myself for the friendships that had departed. I was constantly questioning what was wrong with me.

It all changed when I learnt about timelines and friendships.

I once questioned my counsellor on why people leave. It was then that he gave me advice that I have taken away and never forgotten. It has completely changed my view on life and friendships. I will explain the theory below.

In life, we have a timeline. This runs linear. But what if our friendships don’t run linear? Also, imagine all of the hundreds of people that will cross our path in life. Do we really imagine that we can carry them forwards, for the rest of our lives along side us?

Friendships can’t last the entirety of our lives. There are far too many people to meet, that will weave in and out of our lives. Friendships also don’t have to run in a straight line. Some friendships come and go and come back at a later date again. Some come and then go, on with their own pathway in life.

Some friends are for a season, a reason or a lifetime.

This is a well known saying that I have heard hundreds of time. But now more than ever it makes sense. Not everyone can always be a part of your life. Some are there for a season. Some suit your current lifestyle and situation, but will not always. For example, I had a lovely group of friends at university but I haven’t remained in touch with all of them. But the ones I have, are extremely special to me.

Some people are there for a reason. They could be there to teach you something, show you want you don’t want in a friendship, or teach you about yourself. For example, a recent friend of mine I thought the absolute world of, however, after some time she became distant and then just stopped talking altogether and went on her own way. I was so upset when it initially happened, but I learnt a lot from the friendship.

I learnt not to afraid to be myself, not to cover up the good things in my life just to stop a friend getting envious. I also learnt a big lesson- if someone is talking negatively about friends of theirs, there is a good chance that is how they speak about you too. That is something I watch out for now.

Then there are lifetime friends.

Life time friends are the one that stick around for the long haul. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t weave in and out of your life. My best friend and I have been through times where we’ve been so close, then haven’t spoken as we’ve both been busy with our own lives, seeing each other all of the time to now catching up where we can. But because she is a lifetime friend, I know she’s there if I need her.

You can go weeks, months, even years not talking to these lifetime friends. When you do eventually talk, it feels like no time has past. So just because a friend is being distant with you now, if they are meant to be in your life in the long haul, they will weave in and out.

If you wanted to learn more about friendships, check out this book on Amazon.

Some friends are there for a season, a reason or a lifetime.

The correlation between friends and the effort made.

Another thing that I learnt, is you need to realistically look at how close a friend is currently and expect a certain level of effort based on that.

It doesn’t mean they will always be at that point, but take note for now;

  • If a friend isn’t a close friend, you don’t need to be talking or seeing them regularly at all. They don’t fit into your life as easily as maybe they once did. Make sure you are playing the tennis game. Effort should work both ways, but don’t expect it to be too regular.
  • If they are fairly close, but not a best friend or a daily part of your life, you will speak fairly regularly but don’t have to catch up too often in person.
  • If they are close and fit into your life perfectly at this moment in time, you will probably be speaking most days and meeting up a couple of times a month. These are your close friends for now but who knows where they will be on the friendship line in the future?

I hope that this has helped you to realise that a persons effort should be based on where they’re at in your life. I hope it has shown you that just because a friend isn’t close with you currently, that might just be for now, but in the future you may be closer.

If they have departed and are on their own pathway in life, then wish them well but know that they have served their purpose, season or reason.

Don’t forget- watch out for the toxic friendships and make sure that you are being treated right too.

This blog post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase an item, you will be charged nothing extra, however I will receive a small commission which helps towards the running of this blog, thank you.

14 Ideas on How to Make Your Spirit Feel Free.

Summer time always reminds me of freedom. There is something so mood boosting about the sun shining, warmer weather and the longer days. My children are off school, we are currently not being ruled by the routine of everyday mundane life.

At the time of writing, the last of the summer holidays are looming and soon Autumn will be upon us. It got me thinking- what else makes my spirit feel free? If you are feeling tied down by everyday life, if you are feeling overwhelmed, why not try one of my ideas below and see how you feel after?

14 Ideas on How to Make Your Spirit Feel Free.
  1. A trip to the sea side. Being on the beach, with the sand sprinkling in between my toes and watching the waves crash into the sea; a moment of pure bliss and relaxation. It makes me realise that the World is huge and my problems are small. It makes me feel calm, content. It brings me back to my youth and the many trips to the beach I had. It makes me feel free. Why not take a day off and take a road trip to the beach? Build sandcastles, paddle in the sea and go explore the rock pools.
  2. Singing in the car. I love to sing along to music loudly on a car journey. I’m no good at singing, but it still allows me to feel free. Try it next time you’re in the car- sing loudly without a care in the world. Really feel the music.
  3. Having a lazy day. Having the odd lazy day reminds me how important it is to take time for myself. I never feel like I have time for it, but I do it anyway. It’s important to make time for yourself. I feel the freedom from the chains of the chores. It feels good. Allow yourself a lazy day from time to time and feel free from the everyday routine.
  4. Having a de-clutter. Sometimes I feel like material possessions and clutter can tie us down. So every so often, I love to have a de-clutter and give it away to charity. The home benefits from having a regular declutter, but your mind will too. For anyone wanting an easy and do-able cleaning system- try The Organised Mum Method– it really works!
  5. Reminder of my childhood days. I love to sit in my parent’s garden in a particular spot and look out to the fields that have been the backdrop to my childhood home. It reminds me of my childhood days, its brings me comfort but also it reminds me of how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved over the years and it boosts my confidence. Is there a place you can go that will remind you of your childhood days?
  6. Playing at the park with my children. I love to head to the local park with my children and watch them play and explore. It’s a beautiful feeling when you’re pushing your child on the swing and watching their face gleefully light up. It’s a stark reminder that playtime doesn’t have to end just because you’re an adult. In fact, now more than ever we should allowing ourselves time each week to have fun. If you have children, make it a habit to visit your local park. If you don’t, find something fun to do with friends like paint balling or going to a mud run with inflatables.
  7. Exploring the woods or a new area. Going on a walk some where new exploring, or delving into the dark woods entwined by the tree branches above, often makes me feel alive. It reminds me that there is so much of this beautiful world that I am yet to explore and see, my children love it too and on the whole it’s just good for the soul. When was the last time you explored somewhere new? Go to the woods this weekend and take a note of all the wildlife around you.
  8. Strange comforts. I have a habit every night of taking my fluffy socks off in bed and then I love feeling the cold and softness of my bedsheets on my skin. To go from the fluffy warmth, to the soft coolness of the sheets is a comfort I get every night. Some may think it’s odd, but to have our own strange comforts- that’s true freedom. Have you got a strange comfort that boosts your mood?
  9. Baking. When, I bake and it is successful, I have such a euphoric feeling. I love to bake, but sometimes it doesn’t always go amazing, so when it does I do feel like I have really achieved something and I absolutely love to have my own hobbies and interests. Have you got a hobby that you enjoy? Why not try baking your favourite cake this week? Try this, Baking with Kim-Joy book here to give you some cute and creative bakes to make you smile.
  10. Being ahead/ on top of jobs. Whenever I am ahead of my job list, or at least on top of them and I am feeling in control, I feel very accomplished and free to then invest my spare time into me. Which is a very freeing feeling. Do you make an effort to make lists? Make sure to make them achievable so that you can feel this way too.
  11. Paddling feet in the paddling pool. This brings me back to childhood days too, so I love to pop my feet in a paddling pool and feel the coolness of the water wash over my toes and ankles. Go for a paddle in the sea or in a paddling pool. Feel the water, really feel it and breathe.
  12. Shopping. I love a bit of retail therapy. It’s not often that I am able to actually do it guilt free, so whenever I do it really does boost my spirits. Go on a little shopping trip and treat yourself to something nice.
  13. Whenever my anxieties leave me alone. Even if it is only for a moment, whenever I feel that I am not anxious in any way at all, that is the ultimate freeing feeling. To not be bound by those negative thoughts and feelings and being filled with self doubt and anxious thoughts. To feel care free, that makes my spirit feel alive. Is there anything you do in particular to keep your anxiety in check? Do it today. To help on the times where you feel in a slump, check out my blog post here.
  14. Drinking with friends. Love and laughter are often two of the most needed things in life. So whenever I am able to catch up with a good friend over a drink, have a light hearted evening and a laugh, it really does make me feel great. Arrange an evening out with your friends to celebrate and drink to life.

On the whole, I do enjoy having my daily and weekly routine. It helps me to keep everything in order, from what I need to be doing for my children and their school life, to what work I need to get done to when’s best to eat and go to bed.

But, from time to time, it is essential to get out of the mundane everyday life. To do something that will boost my spirit and make me feel lightness and freedom.

To read more fun ideas, check out my blog post here on 12 fun ideas to help boost happiness.

I love to explore new places, such as woods and ruins.

What makes your spirit feel free? Is there anything on the list above that you love to do too? Why not give a few a go, or try and complete the list by October and see how you feel.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on these and make a purchase, it will not cost you any extra but I will get a small commission from the sale to help with the running of this blog. Thank you.

Why I Don’t Think The Bad Days Will Ever Go Away.

When I was in the midst of my anxiety, I was always searching for cures and a way that I can get 100% better again and feel my old self. It became evident, after while, that everywhere I looked there was always the same result; there is no cure for anxiety.

I felt lost and unsure of the future.

Finding out there was no cure disheartened me initially, because I felt so unbelievably hopeless. I felt like I was never going get better and that I was always going to feel the way I did. How I felt was awful, I was full of dread, of anxiety, full of worrying thoughts and feeling consumed by negative thoughts and feelings all of the time. I had really low self-esteem and I just felt hopeless.

Just hopeless.

Time is a great healer.

Thankfully, over time I realised that although there wasn’t a cure, that you can definitely learn to live with anxiety and you can absolutely have more days then bad.

You just have to keep going. You have to keep positive. There are so many coping techniques and strategies you can use in everyday life to help you feel better. I did CBT a couple of times too, which helped massively and change my way of thinking. I’ve also read a few books which I will post below here:

  • Dare; The new way to end anxiety and panic attacks. This book helped me so much as it taught me a lot about how the mind works and why we feel the physical anxiety symptoms that we do. I would highly recommend this book as it really did help with my knowledge and understanding of anxiety and it teachers you some great techniques to help tackle those difficult situations.
  • Overcoming Low Self-Esteem. This book was great at tackling the self critical voice that I always seemed to have, I was being too hard on myself and felt so low and unworthy. With the help of this book and the tasks it gets you to do, I slowly started to build my self esteem back up. Again, I really recommend this book.
  • Mental Health daily tracker. Why not get yourself a simple book like this where you can track how you feel day to day and then over time you will see how far you’ve come, what you’ve survived and you may begin to discover some patterns in the way you’re feeling and I think this is always great as you can then progress with this knowledge and find the triggers if there is a pattern.

I’d found helpful tools and techniques to battle the anxiety.

I had discovered over the years that there were many books, podcasts, websites, mental health charities and people I could turn to. There were so many ways I could help manage the anxiety.

Over the years, I grew stronger. I started to feel a bit more ‘me’ again, although I realise now that I will never be the same person I once was, perhaps this is a blessing now. Anxiety has taught me kindness and I have become more compassionate towards others. I have become strong. I have had to deal with so many situations over the years that have made me feel down, hopeless, scared, anxious. I have overcome every single one.

But where there is no cure, there is no end to anxiety.

I have learnt so much, I have remained strong along the way. But, where there is no cure, there is never really going to be an end to the anxiety that I will suffer. There will always be bad days, they will never go away.

Sometimes an old trigger will set off a bad day, sometimes a toxic friendship will press my buttons and send me backwards again, sometimes I can blame hormones. But other times, there is no explanation on why I’m having a particularly anxious day.

The bad days are part of the journey of life.

Without bad days, you would never really appreciate the good ones. This has certainly been the case for myself. On the days when anxiety leaves me alone, I never ever take those moments of clarity and peace for granted. So everyday when the anxiety monster turns up, I am more grateful for the good in my life.

I’ve had to learn to ride the waves of anxiety. To accept the good with the bad. To endure the bad days with the best smile I can give it, even if it isn’t much of one at all.

So, if you are suffering with anxiety and wondering whether the bad days will go away entirely, I have to be honest and say no. But that shouldn’t make you hopeless. It should give you the drive to make the good ones even better, the gratefulness of what is good and great in your life when it occurs, the realness that this is life. It’s as simple as that; life truly is a rollercoaster. We have to take the ups and the downs.

Bad days are ok. Bad weeks are ok. But make sure that you are taking care of yourself, being kind and holding onto the hope that life is good and just because things are bad on certain days or months, that you will overcome these again.

The bad days will always be a part of life.

If you want to know more about my journey with anxiety, read my first blog post here.

Or if you want to know how to begin tackling anxiety, read some handy tips here.

Don’t forget to reach out if you need to, open up to family, a friend, a boss or a stranger. The Samaritans can be reached on 116 123.

This blog post may contain affiliate links. If clicked and an item is brought, you will not be charged any extra, but I will receive a small commission that helps to go towards the running of this blog. Thank you for all of your support.

Us Against Ourselves; Let’s Work Together On This Journey.

I started writing this blog over a year ago now with the intentions of sharing my journey with anxiety. Within that year and a half, I have learnt so much about mental health. It’s been a hell of a journey. But, I feel that there is more I can do.

My Journey With Anxiety

I started suffering with anxiety properly five years ago, but looking back, I can now see that I probably had anxiety tendencies from a young age- I was just labelled a ‘natural worrier’. The five years I have suffered, I have been through the local NHS counselling three times. The last time being within this past year and being the most effective- so firstly, I would recommend CBT therapy to anyone. Through my journey, I remained positive, and hopeful that although I knew there would be no cure, that I could learn to deal with this monster and take control back of my life.

Find out more about Me Against Anxiety here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days but I do feel that I am in a much better place than I was five years ago, or even a year ago.

I now write for two mental health charities and I am constantly researching and learning about all things mental health. I am invested in my mental wellbeing and I am determined to keep this positive journey going.

I Want You To Join Me On This Journey

One thing I have learned on this journey, is to be open and talk to people. The more we remain silent, the more the anxiety or depression wins. It leaves us feeling ashamed, alone and hopeless; making our symptoms worse. Talking about it shuts the monster up. It allows us to voice ourselves again. To be ourselves, and not the anxious us. We can speak out, be brave and turn to others for support.

I want you to join me on this journey. I’m no expert- I still have a lot to learn. But why don’t we learn together? With a positive support system. I want a safe place for people to be able to talk about their mental health, to be open and and feel positive that no one will judge you for what you have to say. It can be a place to rant about anxiety and a bad day, but also a place to share positive stories and helpful hints and tips on tackling this.

It will be a place to help boost and lift each other. To help combat anxiety.

Join My Facebook Group; Us Against Anxiety

I have launched a Facebook group called ‘Us Against Ourselves’ so that you can join and have that safe positive online space. There will be challenges and tips for everyone on a regular basis.

You can access the link here.

Soon I will be launching an exciting email course full of handy tips and challenges for you to follow. This will be announced in the group at a later date and on here, of course.

For more help on anxiety- check out how to begin tackling anxiety.

Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks Fast is a great book to start with researching anxiety.

Anxiety Rebalance is another book you can purchase to start on a positive journey.

10 Ways To Help Keep Anxiety At Bay This Christmas

The festive season can be the most wonderful time of the year. But it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. From the financial strain of buying presents, attending events and social gatherings and treating your loved ones, to the social anxieties the festive season and all of the parties brings. It certainly requires some strength from within. So, how do you keep anxiety at bay this Christmas?

  1. Say no if you need to. If an event or party is giving you more grief than what it’s worth, then just say no. I don’t mean shutting yourself away from the rest of the World and pushing people away, but really question the situation that is making you worry; is it worth it? This time of the year there are always events and situations that we push ourselves to be in and yet really we gain nothing from it but our own torture and upset. Learn to gracefully say no but don’t worry about letting people down, you do need to look after number one.
  2. Don’t put yourself under financial strain. If you can’t afford to do or buy something, then just don’t do it or buy it. People will understand if they are genuine people in your life. As for children, they far more appreciate the presence of a parent rather than the presents.
  3. Make time for yourself. It is so essential to press pause on plans and life to take care of yourself, especially this time of the year. If you fancy binge watching that Netflix show you’ve had on your list for months, or fancy a luscious bath or just want to curl up on your bed and read a book then please do that. Set a date with yourself for yourself.
  4. Keep a balance with food. Yes indulge, it is Christmas time after all! And don’t feel bad about it- this festive period and the indulgant food only comes round once a year so go for it. But, keep a balance- keep eating those healthy veggies and fruit because the vitamins and goodness from them really will help boost your mental health. Also, make sure you keep hydrated and drink plenty.
  5. If you’re currently in treatment for CBT or counselling, then do keep up with your treatment and sessions. Although it is a manic time of year, it is vital to keep yourself and your mental health as a priority and the more you do the techniques you’re taught, the easier life will become. You may even find the techniques help with the situations you’re dealt with this time of year.
  6. Don’t stress the small stuff. If you are busting a gut and feeling drained to try and get every little thing done for everyone, then just stop. Stop stressing; your friends and family will not judge you at all and will still love you dearly.  Sometimes, you just have to breathe and let it all just be. Everything will fall into place. If you constantly stress about the small things then the holidays will fly by and you won’t have enjoyed a single moment of it.
  7. The simple things in life will bring you the most joy. You’ll soon realise that actually, it’s the small, simple things in life that will create happiness for you. That little walk down the road, looking at the twinkling Christmas lights in the houses you past, or the smell of the festive drink from the coffee shop. Look for the small subtle things in each day and the magic of Christmas will soon shine through.
  8. Create reminders. I find that this time of year requires endless lists of everything you have to remember. From sending those Christmas cards, swapping presents, attending social events and school events. When I’m stressed, I end up almost going into survival instinct mode, where I just focus on what I have to do there and then to get by. This can be detrimental when it comes to forgetting things. So, as soon as something pops into your head, set a reminder on your phone for when you need it to go off. These reminders have saved my butt several times over the past few weeks.
  9. Seek comfort in your close ones. You’ll find that friends and family are also feeling the strain of this time of the year, so grab a coffee with them and have a rant and a rave. Offloading and bonding over it all with those you love will give you that warm cosy feeling that this time of year is all about.
  10. Remember it will all soon be over. As hard as the holidays are, they fly by. And actually for me, it is my favourite time of the year, despite how overwhelming they can be. That’s why I am going to be letting go of what doesn’t matter and holding on to those small, simple and subtle moments that this wonderful time of year brings. I am going to be festive, fun and find the happiness in the little moments. I am not going to let this overwhelm me and try to people please so much that I forget myself; so remember- it doesn’t last long. Blink and it’ll all soon be over.

What do you dread about this time of year? What do you look forward to? Have you got any Holiday mental health boosting tips to share? Pop a comment in the box, I would love to hear from you.

warm-and-cozy-1975215_1920.jpg

I will not be blogging over the Christmas holidays, as I will be spending every last minute with my family and just having a well deserved break from it all. However, I will be back at the end of next month with a new post for you all. In the mean time, do follow us on social media; the links are above, for more mini doses of Me Against Myself. Thank you. Until next time, I wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Anxious Free New Year!

18 Mood Boosting Ideas.

When you feel down, and the weight of your world is weighing on your shoulders heavily, it’s hard to find ways to get out of the slump. I did write a blog post on ways to get out of a slump, but sometimes it’s down to yourself and your own personality, likes and needs that help you.

Have you ever spent time writing a list of the things that bring you joy and cheer you up? I challenge you to do that this week. Make the list look nice, positive and place it somewhere you have easy access to. Then next time you feel low, do something off the list.

What’s on my list? What ideas can you take from this?

  1. Anything Ant and Dec; e.g. Their Youtube channel- watching old videos always cheers me up.
  2. Chocolate; there is nothing more stress busting then chomping down on an indulgent chocolate bar.
  3. Planning occasions through the year such as birthdays and Christmas. I love the way my year flows from family member’s birthdays, to Easter, to Halloween and Christmas- my absolutely favourite time of the year. So, whenever I feel really down I try to count down to one of the next exciting dates and start to plan for it.
  4. Sunshine. Getting out in the sunshine and soaking in the rays is a great way to relax.
  5. A nice walk. I always put this on the list blog posts I do- but really- nothing beats getting out in nature. It’s good for grounding. In particular, a walk on the beach is one of the best walks to do.
  6. A de- cluttered house. I have to be in the mood to do this, but when I have a good clear out and tidy up, I always feel so good afterwards.
  7. Shopping. Bit of retail therapy anyone? I love getting a new outfit that fits nicely and boosts my confidence.
  8. Quality family time. The best people in my life are my family. Whenever I am feeling at my lowest, I know I need to surround myself with their presence. I’m lucky to have a great family unit myself, a supportive husband but also two incredible children who always have me smiling and feeling grateful. There is something so peaceful as well, when it comes to visiting my parent’s home and the house I grew up in. I love to sit in their garden peacefully.
  9. Cuddles. Who doesn’t need a good squeeze from time to time? Whether it’s with a human or a cuddly pet, go get a hug.
  10. Playing games. I grew up with two brothers who are big gamers- they still are. So, naturally I got into this too. I still love to play the odd game and lately we’ve been getting the old Nintendo 64 out and playing with the boys. It is escapism at it’s best. Pokemon has always been a favourite of mine, and I’m not ashamed of admitting that.
  11. Wearing PJs. Whenever I need a bit of comfort, I pop on one of my many PJ sets and snuggle up on the sofa.
  12. Indulging in good TV series. Bingeing on a good TV show on Netflix is one of the best ways to escape ‘real life’ and get absorbed in someone else’s. This never fails to cheer me up. Obviously I have to have balance in my life, so I don’t constantly do this but when you need cheering up- a good show or film will do the trick.
  13. Writing lists. I always write lists to stay organised but I really, sadly, enjoy writing them. There’s something so rewarding in crossing off the tasks I’ve accomplished and see how well I’ve done each day. Writing them is therapeutic too. Sometimes, it’s nice to treat myself to some new stationary too.
  14. Friends. Spending time with friends is important to me. I am so grateful for the friends that pop over for play dates, that go for a coffee, lunch or dinner and drinks. I have a circle of supportive, lovely friends and they mean the world to me. It’s not always been easy- I had to figure out what friendships were healthy. But, once I did, I’ve felt a lot better having a positive circle around me and whenever I need to, I can grab a coffee with a friend to chat.
  15. Upbeat music. I love sticking on a motivational playlist. If I can’t decide on what to listen to, I either listen to music lists from my past, or I choose a popular one off Spotify and they’re always great.
  16. A belly- roaring laugh. It doesn’t matter how you get there- but it’s so important every so often to make sure you have a big laugh. The type that hurts your stomach muscles and gets your eyes watering.
  17. Mindfulness. Studying mindfulness has taught me a lot to do with the brain and how our minds work. I now realise that it’s okay not to be okay. Negative feelings like sadness are normal. We should feel them as much as we feel happiness. Knowing this, makes those sad moments a lot easier.
  18. A good sleep. Since I’ve had children, I appreciate it whenever I get a good decent, full nights sleep. Even if I don’t, any sleep always helps. Whenever I am feeling really anxious or down about something, I try to go to sleep for the night before I react to something. This helps so much. And nothing is ever as bad the next morning.

Looking at the above list, there are quite a few things that cheer me up and I have some great ideas on days where I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m aware that on those days, I probably want to sit and do nothing. There is nothing wrong with having a lazy day, or having a quiet day to myself to focus on resting, but when you’re in a slump, sometimes it’s best to just pick an activity at random and throw yourself into it. You’ll find by the end of it, your mood has lifted. If you still don’t feel boosted, try another couple from the list.

I’ve always let my happiness fall into the hands of others. Looking at the list above, how many do I rely on other people for? 3. Seeing friends, family and having a cuddle- even then a pet can be a replacement. I always thought I had to have others around me to be happy, or for my leisure time to be worthwhile. I was wrong. I need as much time with myself as I need with other people. I know my likes and dislikes and I know what I enjoy doing. So, it’s a great relief to see that actually, there’s over 10 activities I can do alone that will boost my mood.

I urge you as a challenge, to write down your own list of what makes you happy. Aim for 10 and then add to it whenever you think of something new, or even discover something new. Then whenever you need a mood boost, either select one at random or purposefully. Go do it. Indulge in time for yourself and make sure you are doing a handful of these activities EVERY WEEK. It’s amazing what you can squeeze into a few spare minutes of everyday. Instead of meeting up with those that drain you, fill up your own tank with the activities that re-fill you rather than drain you.

Let me know how you get on in the comments below, I would love to hear from you.

This post may contain affiliate links. If clicked and an item is ordered, it will not cost you anymore, however it will give me a small commission to help with the running of this blog.

The Sports Game You Should Be Playing With Your Friends

I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post how I had learnt a lot about friendships and how to tell if they’re healthy or not. I did a lot of soul searching over the past year and I have learnt a lot about friendships. One of the lessons I was taught by someone still stands out like a sore thumb. It’s one I have to remind myself about daily. The lesson is all about playing a certain sports game with your friends, and not a physical game.

What game should you be playing with your friends?

The game that needs to be played requires give and take, back and forth. It’s a tennis game, or any game that requires hitting a ball back and forth equally. Not hogging the ball and tackling like rugby.

The point of playing this game is that everything ends up being fair and equal. For too long I was putting my all into every friendship, always making and effort, and felt like I was chasing a lot. I never knew who was being genuine, who really wanted to talk, to meet up or to have me as an active part of their life and it was exhausting.

I was being drained. I felt like I was sending most messages first, arranging most meet ups and never feeling good enough. I couldn’t keep on going like this, it was taking up so much of my free time and energy and I was never having enough time for myself.

The rules of the game.

I was encouraged by someone I trusted to start playing this game. If I hit the ball out, I had to wait for it to return. By sending ball after ball, I was just draining my energy and resources. They needed to be replenished.

I needed to focus on myself, I also needed to figure out who was worth all this. By following the rules of the game and making sure there was give and take in each friendship, it allowed me to do this.

So, if I text or called a friend, I had to wait for a reply and not repeat the messages- I could only repeat messages and send multiple ones if I knew that I was at a comfortable stage with that friend. So for example, I have a couple of best friends that I’ve known for 18 years almost. We are at a comfortable point in our friendship, so it doesn’t matter if myself, or they send multiple texts.

This needed to be the case when asking a friend to meet up. The effort needed to go both ways.

How tennis changed my outlook.

I realised that I was putting in far more for others than I was getting back. But then, in other friendships I was so thankful that I could see that it was all equal.

It taught me patience. But most of all, it really showed me who my true friends were and that actually, it may have felt like I was doing all the chasing, but this was only in a couple of the friendships. Most of them, thankfully, were give and take. It was nice to get the texts and someone ask to meet up, knowing I hadn’t chased. It felt good. It made me realise that they were decent friends and wanted to talk and catch up.

And the ones that didn’t. Well, it was sad to begin with, but there was only a couple of people that fell through the net, so to speak, and I wasn’t that close with them anyway. I was done chasing, I was done draining myself.

Now whenever I am having a conversation, a catch up, I know that it is mutually wanted. Don’t get me wrong, there are still days when I feel like I’ve chased a bit, but I remind myself of the tennis game. I remind myself that if I was the one to throw the ball back, they must return it. Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes I take a while back. But it should always be left to them if the ball is in their court. Sometimes people take a step away from the court to have a break, that’s absolutely fine, then they return full of energy. Sometimes, they get fed up with the game. And they step away.

That’s difficult. Maybe they will return one day, maybe they won’t. But if the ball was last in their court, that is entirely up to them. You have done your all. Let it be.

I encourage you to play tennis with your friends.

You will then see who is worth all of that effort, who is worthy of your time and who isn’t. Your friendships become healthier, boundaries are built and self respect is learnt. What advice would you give a friend that’s doing all the running? Give yourself the same advice- play tennis and you will see healthier friendships form rather than focusing on the one sided ones.

What will be will be. And those that are meant to be in your life, will always hit that ball back, even if it takes a while sometimes.

Here are some quotes that help with my anxiety.

Rescue Remedy is great help in high anxiety situations.

Try and do this for the next month and see how you get on. Leave a comment below as I would love to hear your experience.

This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase an item, it will not cost you anymore, but I will get a small commission which helps to pay for the running of this blog.