7 Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health Post Lockdown

For lots of people, the prospect of coming out of lockdown is exciting! It feels like an age since we were able to go out to see friends and family without having to worry about face masks, hand sanitiser and keeping an unnatural amount of distance away from our loved ones.

For some of us though, another big change in our routine after we’ve just got used to this new kind of normal may bring about anxiety. Will things ever really be the same again? Is it safe enough to ease restrictions? Can I remember how to socialise?! If my children are an example to go by… well, let’s just say I’ve had to re-teach them what’s socially acceptable again!

So, I’ve put together 7 tips for looking after your mental health post lockdown.

1. Control what you can and let go of what you can’t

This is a general rule for life but especially important to remember as lockdown restrictions ease. In times of change, things can easily become overwhelming. Accepting that there are some things you can control and some things you can’t, can help you deal with the craziness of life.

However, don’t let yourself get over-controlling, that can be equally as destructive! Try focusing on the things that are certain and go from there.

2. Pace yourself

Just because the restrictions are lifting doesn’t mean you have to throw yourself back out there. Take your time. If you don’t feel comfortable seeing everyone right away, then don’t. They will understand. Ease yourself back into socialising.

Build up your socialising gradually and if you struggle, set yourself small challenges to overcome. There’s no rush, just as long as you are moving in the right direction. It’s important not to burn yourself out by taking on too much, too quickly.

3. Speak to your manager at work

Since the pandemic started, work life has looked very different for many people. Experts think this will impact the workforce going forwards. Talking to you manager about your work concerns could mean you can make more of a transition back to work rather than going in full time immediately.

When your manager is aware of your concerns, they can help to accommodate you and build your confidence. As mental health has become more widely spoken about in recent years, work establishments are becoming more aware that staff work well when they are happy! Most should, therefore, be understanding and sympathetic.

4. Vary your routine gradually

As I mentioned above, many of us will have adopted a new routine to see us through lockdown. Rather than changing your routine straight away, work on varying your routine. Make small changes so that it isn’t a shock to your system when you begin to do more. Letting yourself get into a state of overwhelm will push back your progress so take baby steps.

5. Remember your boundaries

This might be especially tricky as we get excited to do the things we haven’t been able to for so long. We may even have forgotten our boundaries as we’re somewhat out of practise! In order to avoid overwhelm though, we have to remember our boundaries. Don’t say yes to everything right away and make sure you’re giving yourself what you need in terms of self-care. Again, take it slow and see how you feel rather than going ahead and booking too much in!

6. Focus on the present

Practise mindfulness. There’s no need to look to the future, just take one day at a time. If there’s one thing the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that we can’t look to the future with any certainty. Rather than getting anxious about that, try focusing on living in the moment.

There will be both challenges and opportunities as we come out of lockdown. Search out the positives that can be gained from this and focus on them!

7. Talk to people you trust

If you are struggling, one of the best things you can do is talk to someone. This could be a close friend or family member, or a professional person such as a counsellor. I always feel better after a chat with a friend.

Talking through your concerns can help you to understand exactly what you are anxious about in order to put your thoughts and feelings in order. From there, you can begin to implement strategies to help you thrive when the time comes.

Finally, it’s so important to remember that you are not alone. Many people will be experiencing anxiety due to the changing guidelines. I hope that these tips help you to maintain good mental health as the lockdown restrictions ease.

To read more on my thoughts on Covid, head to this blog post here.

The Importance of Equal Friendships

Do you ever struggle with friendships? Do you feel like you’re constantly putting all the effort in but getting very little back? Or perhaps you feel constantly frustrated with a friend?

When I was going through my CBT years ago I learned all about the importance of equal friendships. I’ll share what I learned below, as it made such a huge difference in how I view friendships now, which has made them a lot healthier.

Do you feel like you’re above your friend?

We often hear phrases about people being above, or below others. What does this mean? If an individual feels above another person, often they feel they are better, or in a more advantagious position to them. They may have feelings of boastfulness, or feel pity upon the other person.

However, when a person feels below someone else, they don’t feel as good, or good enough for that person. They idolise them, put them on a pedestal, and often they can do no wrong. The person may feel belittled, and often ‘small’ in comparison.

It takes an honest person to admit if they feel either above, or below someone else.

When it comes to friendships, where do you stand?

So, thinking about being above or below a friend may seem odd… but think about the people in your life. Pick a few of them, then go through them one at a time.

Ask yourself truly, how do you feel? Do you feel like you’re above them? Maybe you have qualities that you admire more than theirs? Or perhaps you feel that your job/ accommodation etc is better than theirs? Do you feel like you’re achieving really well, but they aren’t? Be honest with yourself. No one is judging you here, and the only way through this is to really be accountable for how you feel. No one else needs to know.

Likewise, do you feel below your friend? Have you put them on a pedestal? Do you look at what they have and feel envy? Do you feel worthless compared to them?

It’s really important to think about where you stand within your friendship. Acknowledge where you are. Only then can you start to move forward onto healthier friendships.

Do you ever think about how they may feel?

Mind reading is the worst thing to do. But often, we find ourselves doing it anyway. So, once you have reflected on how you feel, think about them. Do you get the feeling that they see themselves as above you? Do you think that they look down on you? Often when you are talking to them, do you feel a burden?

Or, do you think that they feel below you? Are you always trying to halt what you say so that they don’t become envious, or feel down because in your mind, they have put you above themselves.

Why unequal friendships fail

I know this blog post is difficult to read, with all the above and below references. But the jist of it is; if you have an unequal friendship, (regardless of who is doing the thinking), it will fail.

This is a difficult pill to swallow but unfortunately, too many negative emotions take place, or negative connotations. These feelings can range from bitterness, to resentment, envy and jealousy.

If you feel below a friend, you will always be scrambling to be better and will feel envy, jealously, and be a bit needier. If you feel above a friend, the opposite will happen. You will almost resent them being around you, as you don’t feel they bring your life added value. The same would happen if you believe your friend has either of these feelings and thoughts.

What should you do about unequal friendships?

If you feel like a friendship of yours is unequal, I would seriously consider the future of it. It isn’t healthy to keep chasing a friend, nor is it fair if a friend has to keep chasing you.

Try to have some time apart from the friend, but don’t burn bridges or close doors completely. Just try and spend some time on the friendships that are equal. However, if you do struggle, then try and keep some things light and laid back. As in time, you can find that as life goes on, friendships can absolutely level out again.

No one wants to be in an unequal friendship. Trust me, I have been there. When you see yourself as equal to others, and they see the same way, then the magic of friendship truly happens. If however, there is imbalance and inequality, the friendship will suffer tremendously. Work on yourself. Work on your self-esteem if you find yourself feeling below others. If however you feel above your friends, then take some time to yourself to truly reflect on what is important in life, and if it is fair to string people along.

Once you start to work on yourself, and what YOU can control in your life, you gain a lot of self-awareness. Once you feel equal to others, then a friendship flows naturally, with mutual respect, kindness and love. Those are the truly special friendships.

Don’t lose hope entirely, as I said above, take some time to focus on the healthier friendships in your life. But more important, to focus on YOU. Doors don’t have to be sealed shut, locked and key thrown away. Leave them ajar… until the levels can even out once more to be healthier for you both.

I hope that this article has helped give you an insight into unequal friendships. Read more about friendships here, and here.

What to do When Friendships Change

The hard thing with friendships is that they don’t come with an expiry date. They don’t even come with a best before date. That means that it can be extremely hard to tell when a friendship has run its course and to know when your efforts are no longer deserved. Below we will explore what you can do when friendships change.

Firstly we need to think about why a friendship may have changed. Often a lot of the people wondering about their friendship will be feeling confused, hurt and sometimes even heartbroken if it is been a long-term friendship. There are many reasons as to why a friendship may have run its course, or certainly why it may have changed.

People Change, So Friendships Change

To start with, it’s really important to recognise the fact that people change. We change constantly. Sometimes, this can be for the best, and sometimes this may create a rift between a friendship. Perhaps one person has matured, or one person may have experienced a change in life circumstances and this has had a reflection on the way they are behaving or treating others.

People change, and life changes for a whole host of reasons. It’s sad when it happens, but unfortunately in life, change comes and there is nothing you can do about it. So when you are reflecting on your friendship, and wondering why it has changed, ask yourself- what has changed in your friends life? Or your life? Have they changed as a person? Do they still have the same ethics and morales as before? Has the circle around them changed?

Sometimes, the only change is their behaviour with you. This can be caused by a number of things, it could be that they see themselves as on a different level to you (either above or below) and this creates a very unhealthy friendship. It could be that they have found something that you have said or done, whether intentional or not, upsetting or annoying. They may not have been able to communicate this to you for whatever reason, but you are left wondering what you have done and the void between you both just gets greater and greater. Unfortunately, if they haven’t been decent or mature enough to discuss this with you, it is likely that they don’t want to salvage a friendship and are happy to part ways.

Another reason for your friendship changing could be because they see you as competition. Some people are naturally very insecure about their own life and so, they view friendships as a competition. They want to be the one with the better relationship, the better job and have the better situation in life. If you have something that they view as better as them, they won’t like this. Unfortunately, this is linked to where they situate themselves in accordance to you. They see you as beneath them, so if you have something in your life that they view as above them, they will be holding this against you. The worst thing is, you will have no idea! You are probably sat there right now, dwelling on the friendship, wondering what on earth you have done wrong. The answer is nothing! They are just sucking on a very bitter pill.

How have you treated your friend?

It’s so sad when a friendship changes its dynamic and when someone you love and care about becomes very distant towards you. But the one thing you have to ask yourself, is how have you treated your friend? Can you hold your head high, knowing that you have been kind, decent, caring and loving towards them? If you are struggling to pinpoint where it went wrong, or why they have changed their behaviour, chances are it has nothing to do with you.

If you can walk away from this knowing that you did the best you possibly could, that you were a decent friend to them… then try and hold onto that. I know it’s hard, I know how much this must hurt right now. But, hold onto that feeling knowing YOU did absolutely everything you could for them and that you stayed true to yourself.

Stop chasing

This is the fundamental rule. STOP CHASING. If you’d like to know more about why it’s not healthy to chase friendships, read my blog post here. Your friendship has changed… the person on the other side isn’t being the same with you. Chasing them is only going to make this worse. It will irritate them, annoy them. As time goes on, the rift gets deeper the more you chase. Save yourself dignity and grace. If you know you’ve been kind and good to them, walk away and don’t chase. If you think or know you have said something upsetting, or done something then apologise ONCE and walk away if their hostile behaviour continues.

I had a friendship recently that changed. She meant the absolute world to me. I honestly never thought it would change, but then again, it wasn’t the first time with this friend. We had been on and off as much as Ross and Rachel in Friends. I knew I had been the absolute best I could be, sent gifts in the post, sent messages and offered to call whenever she needed. I got literally nada back. Now… I KNEW in my heart that I had been my kind self, I had been the friend I had always been with her. It wasn’t appreciated, wanted or returned. So, I walked away. I recognised that the more I tried to talk to her, the more hostile and cold she was being toward me. It was time to stop chasing and to let things be. Trust me, I know how hard this is. But it’s the right thing to do.

Don’t end up regretting the now

Right NOW, as much as it hurts and as much as you feel lost, confused, hurt and heartbroken, it is important to stay true to the kind person you are. Don’t end up regretting the now. Don’t end up saying or doing something you will regret. When it comes to social media, hide them from your feed rather than unfriend them and don’t search or look at their posts or stories. On Instagram you can mute them, on Facebook you can unfollow. This will save you from deleting them and doing something very permanent.

Don’t end up saying something you don’t mean. You obviously really care for your friend, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now. I still care for my friend… I probably always will and so as much as I am hurt, disappointed, let down and cross at their behaviour, I am not going to say something that I will regret. In this situation, it’s not an eye for an eye. It’s a swallow the feeling of ‘Well, if I just say this for closure…‘ and just allow your own emotions and feelings to pass.

You never know what life has in store for you. You never know if and when that friend may come back to you, more willing to make an effort. No you shouldn’t be walked all over, and of course have healthy boundaries if and when this does happen again. But I think that’s the magic of life, you just never know when your paths may cross again and when they may get back in touch, with a different attitude then they have right now with you. That’s why, unless it is absolutely necessary and they are a toxic, hateful person, don’t burn bridges! You never know when your friend may come back into your life naturally.

Saying that, it’s easy to wish them back. I do it almost everyday… but I miss and feel things deeply. I am missing my friend, but I also know that she has every right to have who she wants in her life right now. If I am not someone she wants actively in her life at this moment in time, then she has every right to decide that for herself. I am not going to force something, believe me, I have tried that in the past and it became apparent very soon that it just ends up making matters worse. It’s best to allow the feelings to happen in your head and heart, to let them be and to work on your own self-care, self love and self esteem. Your friend may, or may not, return into your life one day. But in the mean time, don’t sit around and dwell.

Focus on what and who you have in your life

Who do you have in your life right now? What positives in your life do you have? Focus on them. Despite a long term friendship changing dynamics for me, I know I have a circle of beautiful friends I have put my attention onto. They are the ones that will get my random calls, texts and jokes. They are the ones I will see as soon as I physically can. I also have an awesome family, husband and children, plus I have a lot of work on that I need to put my attention into.

If you are looking to make new friends, then go out and seek the opportunities. Talk on your local Facebook groups, start a hobby where you can unite with like-minded folk and put yourself out into the world. Just because one person can’t recognise and appreciate your friendship, it doesn’t mean everyone else can’t.

Keep busy. Your mind will naturally gravitate towards this. Friendships ending hurt. They hurt as much as losing a loved one, or a relationship ending. It’s a loss at the end of the day. So you are well within your rights to feel this pain, to cry and to feel sorry for yourself. But time is a great healer. So while you wait for it to pass, keep busy. Don’t go looking on their social media accounts, don’t message them. Message someone else, join positive social media forums that are linked to your interests, call another friend. Start a home project or craft project. Volunteer somewhere. Keep yourself busy, and soon that hurt will reduce each day. You will soon realise your true worth, and be able to move on from the friendship.

There is nothing wrong with you

There isn’t anything wrong with you. Friendships do break down, they do get distant. It doesn’t mean you’re a horrible person. It just means that the person has served their purpose in your life, and for whatever reason, the door closes. But as they say, there is another opening up.

Wish your friend well, send them virtual distant love and well wishes and say goodbye in your head. It may, or may not be forever. But be the lovely soul that you are and wish them well, then move on with your life. It’s sad but you have to find a better friendship that is more suited to where you’re now at in your life.

Write down what you want from a friendship, write down what you deserve from a friendship. My betting is, that neither of those answers aligns with the friendship that has changed. Now go out and seek one that fits with your description more, or maybe you already have it. Spend your time nurturing those friendships instead. That is what I have done, and it’s been so good for me. I feel closer to those friends, more grateful. I wish my friend well, and I guess I will always miss her in my life. But I also know when it’s time to move on and to stop chasing someone that doesn’t want to be chased anymore. I can recognise that for her, I am not someone she wants in her life currently. As much as it hurts, as confusing as it is, the best thing I can do for her and myself is to walk away with the memories of good times… and focus on great times with others in my future.

Now it’s time for you to do the same…

If you found this blog post helpful, perhaps you’d like to read this blog post based on the friendship game everyone should be playing.

How Can I Stop Mental Health Taking Over My Life?

This is a question I often used to ask myself. I could feel the weight of anxiety swamping me. Suddenly each evening I felt the dreaded Sunday night feeling… there was no break from it all. Everything made me anxious. “How can I stop mental health taking over my life?” After years I managed to put tools and methods in place which helped answer this question. I will go through these below.

1. Learning to let go…

Learning to let go is really difficult. It’s taking that great leap into the unknown, trying to forget all the questions that are currently swarming and buzzing in your brain. Everything inside you wants to hold onto the anxiety and worry over a situation, because it gives you that ounce of control that feels lacking in other areas of your life.

But this is where your brain is lying to you. It thinks that things will become out of control if you let go of the control of this worry. It’s wrong. When you let go, you become more in control. More in control of your thoughts, your feelings, your future. You become more mindful. Sometimes, it helps to write a letter, or brain dump your thoughts on to paper then screw it up and take a big breath. Then try to redirect your thoughts back to the moment.

Be gentle with yourself and allow those negative thoughts and feelings to flow through you. Be with it. Then, focus on self care and creating positive mantras to combat these thoughts and feelings. Then once the situation, thoughts and feelings are in the past, learn to keep them there and stop going over the same issues in your brain. The next tip will help you to focus on the present moment.

2. Try mindfulness.

Learning about mindfulness was a game changer for me. It was fascinating to find out how the brain works and why we go through the thought processes that we go through.

It helps you to stop dwelling on the past, helping your brain to cease going over and over everything that drags you down and causes you to feel regretful and other negative emotions. It also helps to stop you from speeding your thoughts into the future, worrying about things that may or may not even come. Mindfulness helps you to learn to let go.

Mindfulness focuses on the present moment. Which is perfect for those suffering with mental health illnesses such as anxiety or depression. To begin your mindfulness journey, I highly recommend this book on Amazon.

3. Take up a hobby.

This may sound a bit odd… but actually taking up a hobby, something you enjoy will help give you some good distractions in life. It gives you focus on something that boosts joy in your life.

If you currently don’t have a hobby, or don’t know how to start, then do some research or try dipping your toes into a few new things. It could be to do with sports, running, cycling. You could get creative; like sewing, cross stitch or knitting. Why not try making models? Or paint by numbers? It could be as simple as colouring in books. Anything that allows you some peace, and something for you.

Having something positive to focus on will make the world of difference.

4. Escapism.

When your life feels too much, try some escapism. Grab a book in a genre that you love and get lost inside the pages. Binge watch a TV series which is uplifting, and allows you to forget your own worries and stresses for a few hours each day. Try watching some uplifting films.

Escapism is a great way to just forget for a little bit. And sometimes that’s all you need for anxiety to not take over your whole life.

5. Spend time with family and friends.

Spend time doing something relaxing, or fun and adventurous with family and friends. It will also give you a chance to turn to them and talk through some of your worries and anxieties. Let them support you, but also ask questions back about their life and see if you can do something kind for them in return. This will also help with the overwhelming anxious thoughts and feelings.

By being surrounded by those you love, it will help to boost your endorphins and shrink those unwanted thoughts and feelings. Don’t bottle things up either- they are there because they love you.

If you have any toxic friendships which are actually making your anxieties or feelings worse, then reflect on them and consider whether they are still worth having.

6. Focus on self care.

The final tip I have for you to help mental health from not taking over your life, is to practise as much self care as possible. This means drinking plenty of water, eating healthily and getting in exercise. It also means allowing yourself time each day to do something for you, whether that’s spending time doing your new hobby, taking a bath or phoning a friend. Do one thing a day that helps to refill your own cup.

By fuelling your body with the right foods, you are getting all the right nutrients as well as showing yourself that you are worthy of this self care. Keep in touch with people and talk about your feelings, and don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.

I hope that these 6 tips have helped you to not feel so overwhelmed. There are plenty of things you can do to help train your brain from negative thinking patterns to positive ones. Just like physical health, we all have mental health. It is a part of our lives but we can stop it from taking over by making sure we take care of it and focus on the good in life.

What do you do to help fill your cup? How do you add positivity into your life? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

How Doing Acts of Kindness Can Reduce Anxiety

We all know that by doing acts of kindness, you are doing something good in the world. Also, in doing the act of kindness, it should be a selfless act, without expectancy of anything in return. However, did you know that by doing these acts of kindness, it can help to reduce your anxiety? Below, we will explore this topic.

You can raise your confidence

By being kind to others, it will naturally give you a feel-good boost, even when you aren’t expecting anything in return. Random acts of kindness are a nice thing to do, they are kind, thoughtful and selfless. All of these are great traits to have as an individual.

By regularly completing these acts of kindness, even without anyone else knowing, you will recognise these beautiful traits in yourself and it will help to raise your self-esteem and boost your confidence. You are kind, you are thoughtful. By doing these acts, you are proving this to yourself- even when it didn’t need proving!

It forms a healthy distraction….

When you suffer with anxiety, it can be hard to focus on anything other than the intrusive anxiety riddled thoughts. By getting busy doing something kind for others, you are giving your brain something else to focus on. This will be an easy transition for your brain as we naturally like to please others, so by actively seeking this we are pleasing ourselves.

Distractions are hard to come by, and often we can get distracted by things which are not a healthy distraction, such as drinking. By doing something kind, something active for others, it is a healthy distraction. One that will bring both you and them joy.

Focus on the good, and reduce the noise of the bad….

By putting your attention on something good, it will help train your brain to focus on these things. Our brains get used to habits, and if you have a habit of dwelling on negative things, then you will end up being drawn to all the bad stuff in life. However, if you train your brain to focus on the good, this will help you with your battle with anxiety and depression.

It will slowly but surely help reduce the noise of the bad. Think about it this way; by looking at life with kind eyes and a kind heart, you will be more in tune with picking this up around you too. Life will over time become lighter, and you will wake up looking forward to all the good that surrounds us.

I hope that this blog has inspired you to do some random acts of kindness. Adding light to others lives will help you to feel less anxious overtime, recognising that life doesn’t have to be full of dread and worry all the time. It can be filled with hope and kindness.

If you are struggling with anxiety, check out my blog post here.

If you would like to do one thing to help yourself each day, then try this.

The View I’ll Forever Miss

“It’s just a house” I kept telling myself. A building. Bricks and mortar. I was being my usual silly sentimental self. Only it’s not just a house is it, our childhood homes mean more to us than that. It was the view I’ll forever miss.

Have you ever been attached to a building before?

This could be any building, a school, a cinema, a home…. I have. I always get so so attached to them. Like my high school, which has since been knocked down and rebuilt, I think fondly to the old buildings.

Or a cinema me and my husband used to work at. It was quirky, old and had character. It was where we met. Where we shared our first kiss. Where ultimately we fell in love with the building, then each other.

My home. A home my family lived in since I was 9 years old… home. I have the most incredible attachment to this place. It’s where I grew up, where I got my first boyfriend, had sleepovers with my friends, had my own children grow up. But most of all, it was home, where my family was. The people who I adored the most. And the memories there are so so precious.

Time to let go…

It wasn’t so long ago, when my parents told me they were going to move. Yes, closer to me, but none the less this meant leaving this family home. The one I had grown so fond of.

When I think of ‘home’, I don’t think of where I am living now with my little family, I think of that home. I picture me and my family, big and small sitting around in the living room, the fire blazing and keeping us warm and cosy, Saturday night TV on, the kids running around riot and us eating, drinking and playing games. I picture being sat around the table, Mum serving us up a Sunday roast. I picture going to bed, in my room there. I picture the kids splashing in the paddling pool outside, running up and down the garden hill.

When I’d had my last family weekend there, it was incredibly sad. It was sad to know that I would never really ever go ‘home’ again.

Never.

That View Though…

Have you ever seen a view so beautiful you have to capture it with your phone camera? This home had one, overlooking fields and the sun would set behind it and create just the most incredible views.

Whenever I felt down, or life had me feeling like I was in a conundrum, I would always go and stand on this familiar spot, looking out to this view. I would take deep breathes, and know that life was just gonna be ok. Home made that ok. That view made it ok.

Now, I’ll never see that view again. But it’s etched into my brain, my memory. A view which calmed me. Which grounded me. Which stunned me. A view with a thousand feelings.

An empty shell

On the day my parents moved out, I went back to the house. Technically it was an empty shell, but as I walked through the caucus, I felt love and warmth. I saw memories flash before my eyes as I saw child me, teen me and adult me walking the rooms and living those memories one last time.

I looked at the little details, told my children of the things that happened in those rooms. Laughed at the toilet and bathrooms for always being the room people could never unlock once they were in there, and felt the panic all over again that you were trapped.

I walked through…

The bedrooms were empty, but this wasn’t unusual as we would often swap rooms through the years so I had seen them empty before. But the living room and kitchen had never been empty.

I stood in them, taking it all in. The family rooms.

These were the rooms we would laugh the most in. Good food, good company and great memories.

The carpets looked worn out, we had loved and lived the life out of them. The kitchen looked strange.

I locked up and left. As I drove down the driveway, the house slowly disappeared out of sight. The tears fell.

The View I’ll Forever Miss

The view over the hills. The view of my family in the kitchen laughing whilst trying to suck up a creme caramel. The view of the fire crackling and the heat coming off, warming us on a cold winters night. The view of the bonfire and fireworks lighting the sky in the garden. The view of the tree etched with ‘4G’s’. The view of the hallway which always creeped me out. The view of the quant shed in the edging of the garden. The view of my Dad’s messy office. The view of the hills on the garden. The view of my cosy bedroom there.

But that view…. the one of the house peeking out of the trees. Sitting on a beautiful driveway, behind the gate.

That’s the view I’ll forever miss.

Suffering with anxiety? Try these tips here.

Do this one thing a day to help with your mindset.

The Power of Autumn: 5 Tips for this Time of Year

Autumn has always been one of my favourite times of year. There is something so cosy, and comforting. I also love the depth of the beautiful colours, then watching the trees shed their leaves and let go. It feels like its a good time to let go too, to let go of anything from the year that hasn’t served me well. There is a definite Power of Autumn. Below I will go into the 5 tips for this time of year.

1. Take Inspiration From Nature

As I’ve just mentioned, take inspiration from nature and allow yourself to let go of things that haven’t served you well. This could be toxic relationships and friendships, worries that haven’t surfaced. It could be limiting beliefs, regret or self-doubt. Negative feelings are natural in life, but just like everything else, they should ebb and flow.

Autumn is a great time to draw inspiration from the trees which shed their leaves: they no longer serve a purpose. Let go yourself.

2. Get Cosy & Practise Self-Care

As the nights get darker, it is the perfect time to cosy up at home in the evenings. This is a great opportunity to capture slots of time to allocate to self-care. This could be as simple as watching your favourite movie, cosied up with some popcorn.

It could be a home pamper.

Whatever re-fills your cup, get cosy and practise self-care.

3. Believe in the magic

Have you ever noticed the faces of children this time of year? They are full of wonder, of magic and they glow. For them, Santa is coming. How can we encapsulate this as an adult?

Believe in the magic.

No, I don’t mean the same magic as the children. But the magic of life. If you let opportunities arise in your life to be magical, to be adventurous then you can have that same glow, that same wonder reflected in your face.

This could be creating traditions and routines where you get to go and do something which really embraces life. Go pumpkin picking, then carve a funny face out of it. Go jumping in piles of leaves and let your inner child roam free. Tell spooky stories in the lead up to Halloween. Book onto a fireworks display and watch in amazement. There is magic in the air, even as an adult, you just have to seek it.

4. Embrace it all

This time of year really is the best. The colours of nature inspire and soothe. The smell of pumpkin spice fills the air. Everyone just looks cosy, content. The shops fill with Christmas items and suddenly there is hope. Magic. Wonder.

Instead of resisting it all, embrace it all. Embrace the seasons and what they bring individually. Make seasonal pies. Decorate your house for Autumn. Go for nature walks. Watch relevant films for this time of year. Indulge in it.

I once saw a post which said that you only get 18 summer with your children, and that this year is one of those.

What if we thought about this more generically?

We don’t know how long we have left on this Earth. Why waste time? Indulge in the pumpkins, Christmas lights and Elf on the Shelf memes. Life is too short to let it all pass us by.

5. Keep on top of your health

This is the season to make sure you are getting enough vitamins. Ward off the seasonal colds and flus by putting preparation in place to keep yourself as fit and healthy as possible. Take Vitamin D, as naturally our bodies lack this in the winter months. Book in for your flu jab.

Practise self-care, build exercise into your routine and keep your immune boosted with fresh fruit and vegetables.

The Power of Autumn

Autumn oozes hope. That is its power. I hope that the tips above have helped you for this time of year.

Be open minded, embrace what comes your way and make sure you take care of yourself. Go with the flow of life, the changes of the season. Don’t forget to let go…

Duvet Days: Here’s to Lazy Weekends

Staying in can be amazing, especially when you make The Lazy Weekend List. The best thing about this list is you can put anything you want on it to pass the time, why not make it a social gathering too? Let me help you by suggesting my top activities for the perfect lazy weekend list.

The Solo Lazy List

If you are planning to spend the weekend by yourself, then here is a few thoughts to get you inspired for what you might want to do.

  1. Read a book, as in a whole book from start to finish. You could challenge yourself with the task of completing an entire book over the weekend. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long novel like War and Peace or The Shining, but maybe something shorter like Animal Farm by George Orwell, which is a fantastic Novella and easily achievable to finish in one sitting.
  2. Another idea is to have a long, hot, relaxing bath and let the bubbles submerge you in a tranquil atmosphere. Maybe even read that book while you’re in there.
  3. Let’s face it, we all have guilty pleasure films and TV shows that we don’t like people to know we love, so why not sit down, get comfy and stick your favourite tacky film on.
  4. The last thing I will suggest but is far from the last thing on a very big list is to write. You could start a journal writing down your thoughts, feelings and events that happen on a day to day basis. If you’re not one for wanting to write a journal then maybe start a short story, it could be about anything you want. Once completed, you could even submit it online with the vast number of websites that love receiving stories. Furthermore, you could even start writing your own blog and turning it into a new weekend routine.

The Group Lazy List 

If spending the weekend by yourself isn’t your thing or you live with other people then fear not, there are just as many things to do as a group to keep you entertained.

  1. Binge a box set and see if you can complete it in an entire weekend, here are a few franchises that are possible to watch back to back.
  • Harry potter
  • Star Wars
  • Lord of the rings and the Hobbit
  • X-men

These are just a few ideas that you may want to challenge yourself and the group to try and watch in a weekend.

2. While the films are playing you could pig out through the day, starting with an extravagant breakfast followed by brunch, then topping up with a lunch filled with some of your favourite snacks, and then ending with a banquet fit for a royal family.

3. One last idea you may want to do while binging on movies and stuffing your face is to build a forte. Get all the duvets, blankets and pillows you can get your hands-on and start constructing your comfy kingdom. Just the idea of being inside that forte of comfort eating food and watching Harry Potter (or whatever you choose to watch), sounds like heaven.

We all need lazy weekends once in a while, even if the weather isn’t all grey clouds and downpours outside.

If you do end up having a lazy weekend, then tell me what you got up to or add some of your own suggestion in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say.    

Are you after ways to boost your soul? Why not read my blog post here.

Need some ways to get motivated? Check out my blog post all about motivation!