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.

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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.

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.

10 Things you need to ignore to become happier

Life can be full of confusion, conflicts and chaos. Sometimes it is hard to sift through everything, especially when you suffer with anxiety, to see clearly. It got me thinking, what if we could sift through some of the rubbish. What if we could ignore certain aspects of life in order to become happier? Well, I’ve written a list of 10 things we should be ignoring in order to make this happen.

1. The media when it tries to scaremonger you. I studied media and journalism at university and so I know just how much certain news stories are sensationalised. I know all too well what makes a good news story and it isn’t one where nothing happens. The media can be good, but it can also be really bad when you suffer with anxiety. Just remember- take it with a pinch of salt. Don’t take to heart what is reported and make sure you get a balanced view of what you read.

If you’re interested in news and bias, this book has some great reviews.

2. Google and forums when you search your symptoms. Too many times I have panicked with symptoms, googled them and then panicked some more. Google is not a substitute for a doctor. If you are concerned about anything then the best thing to do is seek proper medical advice and stop using google or forums for this. Since I have stopped doing this, I never seem to panic about my symptoms, and I find me phoning the doctors less too. I seem to have really calmed down about everything medical- even when it comes to my children.

3. Jealous friends and aquantaces when giving advice. If you suspect a friend of being jealous of you, then take any advice they give with a pinch of salt. You should only be asking true friends which have your back through thick and thin for advice or you may end up in a worse situation then you already were in. Sometimes, we give ourselves the best advice too, so try that too. Be your own perfect nurturer and you will not be let down.

4. Silence. Silence is the worst when you are feeling lonely. At times it can be a pleasant retreat for me as a Mother- having silence grace my life from time to time can be a blessing and something my body needs. But when I am feeling lonely, silence needs to be banished so I always fill it with music in these circumstances. Music heals the soul.

Need a CD to help you feel good? Try this one.

5. What other people are doing. We are all different. We are all on different unique paths in our lives. As long as we are living the life we want, we shouldn’t compare. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Do This 1 Thing Each Day To Help Anxiety and you will soon see the light in your own life and realise that it doesn’t matter what others are doing- as long as you find happiness and meaning in your own life, than you are doing incredible. Never compare yourself. Just focus on yourself and things will feel lighter and happier.

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6. Ignore social media. This is similar to the last one in terms of having to ignore what other people are doing. But this is in a broader sense. It includes what people’s statuses and pictures seemingly show. You must remember that social media is a highlight reel. It only reveals what people want it to. Who really knows what goes on  behind closed doors? It’s an exaggeration of real life. And at times, it is even make believe. So take it lightly. And don’t fret over what pictures or statuses people put up.

7. Other people’s ‘likes’. It’s easy to get drawn into the social media craze. This modern day obsession with everything social media scares me at times. And I think it’s no coincidence that the rates of depression and anxiety are increasing. The pressure that social media creates is ridiculous. There are new worries and things to obsess over thanks to social media. One of those is comparison of ‘likes’.

I’ve been there- thinking how mad it is how someone can have a certain number when I’m pretty sure I don’t even know that amount of people. The main thing to remember, is that we are all different. Just like school days, there will always be people more popular than you, the same or less popular than you. We have all walked different paths and along those paths we have met different people. For me, I have been a stay at home mum the past 7 years now. So, the amount of people I have met along this unique journey of mine is far less than anyone that has had multiple jobs in this time. Other things to note, are these people may not be active in the person’s life, they may never have met in real life, they may be family or clients. They could come from anywhere- but the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t the likes you should concern yourself with.

You could have 100 likes but only 1 friend reaching out to you. Or 1 like and lots of friends reaching out to talk to you. Which would you prefer? I know which I do. I used to be confused, I used to want to try to compete at the likes game. But it’s ridiculous. It’s false, and it’s not the type of world I want to engage in. I want the real word. The real friends. I want to base my respect on someone, not on how many likes they have gotten, but how kind they are. I am lucky to have such wonderful friends that take the time to message me and see me, this makes me ultimately far happier than them liking my posts. Because that doesn’t last as long as bonding with a real friendship does.

Read more about social media on my Me Against Social Media post here.

8. Your phone. I think it’s great to ignore your phone, at times. When you’re with your friends or family then learn to put it down and take in life. You will end up connecting and bonding far more with the people in front of you than anyone on the other side of the phone at that time. Give people your full attention. I do tend to have my phone out on the side during dinner, but that’s only for one reason- incase my husband needs to call me if anything happens at home. Also, the odd photo is lovely to take to capture a moment- but don’t let it dominate your time out.

I love to put my phone away at other random times- of an evening, I tend to put it to one side so that I can indulge in the time with my children- especially when we play a board game and do stories before bed. Also, if I want to get creative, read or just binge on TV. I find it so important to switch off and take time for myself. The messages can and will wait until I am ready. I will always be there when people need me, but if a conversation can wait a few hours or till the morning than it does. I think having time away is essential for improving mental health.

9. Your doubts and fears. It is so easy when you suffer with anxiety to doubt yourself and everything you do constantly. But try to change this and your way of thinking. Start believing that you can do it and that you can achieve your goals and dreams. Then start putting steps into place.

This pack of Power Thought Cards are a great start to get you thinking positively.

10. The anxious demon that sits on your shoulders. Anxiety is a monster. One that sits on your shoulder and makes you second think and doubt everything. And it’s not just doubt and fears. It feeds off negativity and drains you of anything positive. You come away assessing every conversation you had whilst you were out, wondering if you came across annoying. You go to plan something exciting, then doubt if you can do it. There is so much that this anxious demon does and it is trying to quieten the real you. It’s time to ignore this anxious demon and take back your life. There is so much you can do to begin this. Try cycling through previous blog posts to get inspiration- like How to Begin Tackling Anxiety.

This book- DARE- was an incredible read and helped me so much.

 

I hope that this post has helped given you some ideas on what you should begin to ignore in life. Try to turn your attention to all of the positive things in life, maybe the sun was a bit brighter today, perhaps one of your favourite TV programmes has a new episode out or maybe you were able to feel pride in something you did. Whatever it is, let the positivity rise and ignore all these downfalls that modern life has to offer.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media (links are above) for more regular updates on my journey on overcoming anxiety.

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12 Fun Ideas To Help Boost Happiness

When you suffer with anxiety, it’s important to practise self care often. I keep saying to people lately that I’ve been ‘selfish’ as I’ve done something for myself. As a New Years resolution though, and since embarking on a journey of self improvement and boosting my mental health, my aim was to be more ‘selfish’. I was reminded lately on why I shouldn’t use that word. It is so vital to help boost mental health, keep us sane, find happiness in the small things in life, to do necessary things for ourselves. We are important. We need to look after number 1. Here are 12 fun ideas to help boost happiness.

1. Seeing Friends

For me a coffee with a friend is a perfect way to spend a morning. I feel so lucky to have people around me that I can grab a mocha with and chat about life. It definitely boosts my spirits. Why not book in with a friend to see them this week for a chat and cuppa?

2. Seeing Family

Nothing is more important than family and I am so lucky to have the family I do. A Sunday round my parents is always a sure fire way to calm the anxiety and make me feel at home. Have you got family that live local? Plan to spend a day or dinner with them.

3. Going On Walks

Get into nature, breathe in the fresh air and just go for a simple walk. It’s a great exercise choice and it helps to boost your mental health by bringing you closer to nature.

4. Watching  a TV series, Films or YouTube Videos

I’ll be the first to admit I love a Netflix binge. Some great TV series we’ve watched lately are; Sabrina, The Haunting of Hill House, You and Bandersnatch. We thought Bird Box was brilliant too and, of course, A Quiet Place. We are very much into our TV and films. But when I’m scrolling through Facebook before bed, I do very much appreciate the funny videos that are on there or on YouTube for a quick entertainment fix. What do you like to watch on TV?

5. Cross Stitch & Crafts

I love to get crafty. For me, my favourite hobbies are cross stitch and sewing; whether that’s making blankets with material or little felt decorations. It’s very satisfying making something from scratch. Have you got a hobby that you enjoy doing? Why not take one up?

6. Baking

One of my favourite hobbies is baking. I love it. I try to do different recipes each week.  It’s something that my family enjoys me doing too! Why not find some healthy recipes online for dinner or some treat recipes for cakes? Baking can be so therapeutic.

7. Self- Pampering

I love to paint my own nails. I used to have a lot more time and patience with it and would do all sorts of nail art, now, however as time is more precious I do tend to do simpler nails but by having freshly painted nails, it really does boost my mood.  Is there something you enjoy that is a bit of self-pampering? Why not treat yourself to a  bath bomb every month and indulge in a hot bubbly bath?

8. Games

I grew up with two brothers that were huge gamers and to some extent this did rub off on me too. However, it is a real rarity that I get to play games. And if I do, it is usually on my phone. However, the Sims and my DS are also great ways to unwind and I really should play on them more often. Do you enjoy games?

9. Retail Therapy

Of course, there is always retail therapy. Although we do strictly budget our money these days, there is something about browsing the shops that keeps me content. I do love a bit of online shopping too. So really, this is also a rare occurrence that I actually have money to spend but I do really enjoy a bit of a shop. How about browsing the shops on a sunny day and doing a bit of window shopping? Or treating yourself to a new top!

10. My Children

My children are everything to me. Some of my favourite ways to spend time with them is by going to the park, going to the beach and playing with them. Of an evening, to help us all wind down, we now get the board games out and play one before bath time. Even though it’s only ten minutes, it gives me that bonding time with them and also helps me to unwind too. We also do puzzles.

11. Getting Out and About

I love to get out to new places, visit zoos, aquariums and go to garden centres. It not only benefits myself, but my children love it too. Go somewhere new and see how you feel afterwards.

12. Organisation

Anyone that knows me, knows I love to be organised. I do this by browsing Pinterest, writing lists, planning Christmas WELL in advance, having a sort out and planning my next gardening or DIY project. I am a firm believe that being organised helps to declutter your mind too!

They say before dating, that you should get to know and fall in love with yourself before you fall in love with anyone else. I think even after dating, marriage, kids and even if you have an active social life; it’s so important to make time for yourself and have fun! These are 12 ways in which I boost my mental health. This week, make your own list. Then book some time in over the next few months to be able to complete some of these. I love to try and find balance in life, so not all of these are regular things but they are things I can book in to do. Some of these can be done with others too, so you can drop any guilt of isolating yourself. But at times I think alone time is so vital.

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Drop a comment to let me know the fun ways that you help to boost your mental health and happiness. Don’t forget to follow me on social media too (links are above).

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.

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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!

8 Tips To Help You Cope With Change

Recently I went through a big life change. Moving house.
Now, change has often been worrisome for me. But since I started suffering with anxiety, it is terrifying. It’s a leap into the unknown. It’s not feeling at home, comfortable, in charge. It goes against everything I try to daily enforce in my life to ensure calm and to feel “on top” of things. It’s brave.
I’ve been searching for a new home for a few years now. I knew as a family it would benefit us to move closer to my Son’s schools and also I felt like over the past couple of years we had outgrown our humble abode. Yet every time I loaded RightMove I was reluctant and I was picky. I knew whatever I chose, I had to be sure of because I knew how much the change would affect me. Then I found this place. And me and my husband viewed it, then I got this feeling. I just knew this was going to be our future. And so I took that leap.
Change terrifies me. It really unsettled me. I still don’t feel ‘at home’ now, but I know that will come with time. Here are some tips on how I have handled the change;
  1. Make lists. Making lists is something I do all of the time anyway, it keeps me feeling like I have a sense of control and I feel organised and my thoughts aren’t so cluttered and floating free. I’ve got a few lists on the go now but it’s been essential for me during this change. I have always been a list maker. I do it for everything, big and small; from Christmas shopping lists to what housework needs doing, tasks I need doing on my blog to places I want to visit with my children throughout the year. Having my lists handy over the past few weeks has been so helpful to me.
  2. Keep in as much of a ‘normal’ routine as possible. It soon became apparent to me that nothing was going to be normal as I knew it again. We had moved. Our routines would naturally change because of this, but still the first week was awful because I just wasn’t trying to get into a routine. When week 2 began, I knew that the most important thing to do, would be to create some sort of normality through routine. Which we did, and immediately I felt better. No, things will never be the same again as they were a month ago, but they can still be good. You do what you can from the old, but tweak it with the new.
  3. Accept help. In whatever way you need. I had a thousand things to do one day, but my husband ran me a bath and told me to go soak myself instead. I listened, and I am thankful for that pause and helping hand that I was given. My friends and family have been so supportive over the past few weeks and have been helping in the ways that they can. I also, I’m not ashamed to admit it, but have started counselling again. I have never taken anti-depressants, although I see nothing wrong with those and I believe they help so many people so should be used where they can help. So my way of getting help is by talking it through with someone trained to give me help, advice and techniques that I can use. These new techniques of calming my worries down have really been invaluable. I am thankful that I had help available to me.
  4. Indulge in yourself. In a time of change, it’s important to look after yourself. Watch that chick flick, go out with friends, read a book or take a bath. Have some time to yourself. Life is forever changing so it’s important to ground yourself from time to time and rediscover you. You can never feel guilty about looking after number one.
  5. Acceptance. Realise that nothing will be the same again. Autumn is a fantastic metaphor for this. Every year the trees shed their leaves, the breeze lifts them off the branches and they let go. What happens a few months later, new leaves grow. I have been using this metaphor a lot lately, it’s helped that my change has also come over Autumn. But I have to accept the change. Let go of what has been and look forward to a fresh start and what’s coming next. This applies to everything; friendships, relationships and happiness. Nothing is guaranteed to stay. But the best thing to do, is learn to let go, accept what is and what will be and be grateful for what is left.
  6. Take one day at a time. I was very naive when we moved and thought that by the next day, we would be cleaned up, unpacked, tidied with homely things put on the walls. 2 and a half weeks later and there’s still a list of ‘to-do’s. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. Things take time. I realise that now. I need to practise patience a lot more. To be honest as well, by taking it one day at a time, I am reflecting more on the journey and it can be quite exciting. Small steps.
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I found it so easy to get caught up in all of the stressful situations that moving and change brought me. I was stressing over everything. So many things went wrong and then naturally my mind was racing with negativity. Now, I am slowly getting there with settling down, I realise that every little thing does not need to be analysed and stressed over. If I can not fix a problem, I should not worry about it. Instead I should focus my energy in the tasks at hand. I’ve actually gotten pretty good at this now. And when I really need to worry, I use ‘Worry Time’ to do so.
  8. Be kind to yourself. It has been a rollercoaster couple of weeks. I have had so much thrown at me- as life goes, we all get it- and I wasn’t being too kind on myself. I’ve made mistakes over the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten snappy and on edge about things. But do you know what? That’s ok. I forgive myself. We all make mistakes. Nothing is dandy all of the time and we can’t always be perfect. All I can do is try my best. Now change is horrible and daunting for anybody, but as I find anxiety difficult at times, for my it’s the worst. Not only that, but moving has been listed as one of the top situations to cause stress and anxieties. So no wonder I’ve not felt myself! But now, I am being kind to myself. It’s been a couple of weeks and I am getting used to it all now, now it’s time to wipe the slate clean, have a fresh start and BE KIND to myself.

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Have you been through a change in your life lately? How did you cope with it? Have you got some tips you could share in the comment box? I would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow me on social media too, (links are above).

Thank you.

 

8 Steps On What To Do When You’re In A Slump

Sometimes life can leave you feeling a bit drained, like your glass is half empty and you can feel mentally exhausted. I’ve had my fair share of days like this. Days where all I have wanted to do is hide away from life and not face up to my day to day routines. Some days I feel like the World is against me. I feel those around me slipping away. I feel myself slipping into this anxiety swamp. So, what do I do when I’m in a slump, what should you do when you’re in a slump?

  • Take a long walk in nature. Breathe in the fresh crisp air and look at the beautiful nature around you. There is so much beauty in this world if we really open up to it.
  • Aromatherapy. The best essential oils for anxiety are Lavender, Camomile, Rose and Frankincense. You can also get some great essential oil packs on Amazon aimed directly at improving Mental Health.
  • Phone a friend or family member. Even if you don’t know how to explain how you feel, the company will help. Talk about anything even the weather. At times, socialising with anxiety can feel overwhelming, but it is also important to push through as it does help.
  • Watch some TV or a feel good movie. Personal favourites are The Greatest Showman and Stepbrothers. Escapism is a great way of feeling better and just putting a pause on life until you are more rested and ready to face everyday life again.
  • Eat healthily. Treat your body to some fruit and vegetables. Why not make some energy balls? Try to cook from scratch if you can. Reward your hard-working body with healthy and wholesome food.
  • Read a book. The DARE book is amazing and I can not recommend it enough. It really does help to gain an insight into how the brain works and help you to start facing anxiety. This will give you a mental boost and a sense of new hope.
  • Have a deep relaxing bath. Lush have a great range of environmentally friendly products. Here is a great bath bomb that will relax you and make you feel like a Goddess. 
  • Do some decluttering or cleaning. Decluttering your physical space does wonders to help declutter your mind. This book looks good, it’s definitely one I would want to read soon. 

I find that when I’m in a slump with my anxiety and mood, I just need to pick something and do it. But also, sometimes it’s ok to accept that I’m having a slump and just let it be for a bit. I never let myself dwell in my low mood for too long, but sometimes just laying on the bed and thinking things through, or sitting still with my thoughts isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It all makes me stronger in the end. But once I’ve sat with my thoughts and had a bad mood for a bit, it’s time to pick one of the activities and then the next and work my way through till I’m out of that slump.

I hope this blog post has helped you. If it has, it would mean so much if you could like or share it on social media. Also pop a comment in the box, I would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to follow me on social media too (links are above)

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