Tag: coping

The Benefits of being a Blogger

Today I took full advantage of being a blogger and able to work wherever I want and spent the day with my friend so that we could catch up. (In between her doing housework and getting her youngest from nursery I was able to work from the comfort of her sofa!).

We decided to fill her paddling pool up for the kids to go in after school and cool off, and to treat them all to a takeaway pizza and chips.

I’ve not felt so relaxed in ages, I really enjoyed watching Dinky play with her children. His confidence has come on so much. When my friend and I first met he would be too anxious to join in with their games and would nervously be tugging on me to either go home or for me to have to be by his side.

But today, he proved how much he has come along by happily joining in with their play and literally only coming to me for food and drinks. As you can see, they had a great time!


Nothing makes me happier than seeing a Dinky enjoying himself. For years we really struggled with his interaction and now he seems to have conquered that. I’m one happy Mumma indeed.

So, to sum up my day, I managed to:
1. Catch up with a great friend of mine.

2. Enjoy watching Dinky play and interact with other children.

3. Work from where and when I felt like it.

I’m totally getting used to this whole being your own boss thing!

How can you become a full-time blogger?

If you want to know how you can be your own boss, check out my post here on How to become a full-time blogger. I’ve also got a great giveaway ending 30/06 there too, so head over and enter!

Just because depression isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Depression is something that the majority of us will suffer with at some point in our lives. Whether we realize it or not. It comes in different ways for all of us. Some of us just think we’re feeling a little low. Some of us feel like life isn’t worth living anymore.

My experience.

When I first went in about my mental health, the Doctor wasn’t sure whether I was confusing depression with anxiety. Now I look back on it, maybe at the time I was, but I’ve definitely had an element of depression.

I battled for a very long time with my mental health, and I was stubborn enough to not accept the help and let the Doctor prescribe me medication. I was scared I’d be on it for life and become addicted.

A colleague of mine at the time managed to convince me to try it because I’d got to the point where I was nervous about even answering the phone. I was pushing everyone that cares about me away by not talking about my feelings because I felt like it’d just be a burden on them. They did everything I did, worked hard, looked after the children etc. So why couldn’t I do that?

My plan of action.

I finally took the plunge and went to the Doctor asking for medication. I was already on propranolol for my anxiety but that didn’t touch my mood. When I finally gave in I just sat there and sobbed, rambling onto the Doctor about everything that’s built up for me. I felt stupid. So many people in the world are going through so much worse than I am.

I did, however, feel better for just letting it out. The Doctor prescribed me a low dose of sertraline, as what I was feeling clearly wasn’t just my anxiety.

I went back after 2 weeks for a review of my mood. To be honest, in that short space of time I didn’t really see an improvement, apart from the fact that it had helped my anxiety issues slightly!

Within a month of that, I felt like a totally new person. I was no longer crying every day or breaking down over the smallest of things. My patience had improved when it comes to Dinky and his challenging behaviors. Most importantly, I was actually able to smile again.

How do I get a diagnosis for depression?

It’s not something that the Doctor will just diagnose straight away, especially if you’ve not had any past history of mental health. The Doctor will likely prescribe you some antidepressants and ask you come back after a few weeks to check your mood. The Doctor may even refer you to see a mental health worker if you really don’t want to take medication for your depression.

I’m not saying medication is the way forward to cure depression because it isn’t the case for some people. I’m just saying it helped me and still is. I hope to come off of my medication soon.

If you feel like you may be suffering from depression, please go and see your Doctor. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. In fact, it means the opposite. You’ve got the strength to go and tell someone that actually, you’re really not doing okay and need some help. There is nothing wrong with that. Just because depression isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Useful links

Here are some links to find out more about depression, take a mood test, and how you can get the best help for you.

Moodzone

NHS Choices

How To Cope With Anxiety

Please remember that you’re never alone in this. I believe that you can get through this.

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Thank you to Rachel over at Coffee, Cake, Kids for tagging me in this post thread to take part!

As we have all seen on the news lately there’s been awful terrorist attacks in Manchester and London and I think that we all need to appreciate how lucky we are to have been safe from these terrible events. My heart goes out to all of the families and friends of the victims of these attacks.

This is why when Rachel tagged me in this, I thought it was a great time to reflect on 10 things that make me happy. Even when life seems a bit shitty, and it feels like the whole world is on your shoulders, I think we should all take the time to think about things that we are grateful for. So here is my 10 things that make me happy!

1. Blogging

This one may seem incredibly obvious but over the last few months, blogging has become a big part of my life again. I have met some of the loveliest people through blogging and had so many great opportunities too. I’ve had the chance to review items that I would never even have thought about trying and some that I’ve loved for many years too. I’ve also managed to start monetizing my blog, and I am now writing full time. That’s something I didn’t think I’d be able to do for years.

2. Dinky’s Smile

As you may already know, Dinky has autism. Since about the age of two, we have noticed and have been trying to get an official diagnosis so that we can get him the best help possible to help him thrive in life. I know for a fact he finds every single day a struggle, he knows that he isn’t like some of the other children at his school. Every morning we really find it hard to get him to school happily, it’s very rare that he goes in without any sort of panic attack. So those times where I do get to see my boy’s amazing smile, I absolutely love it. It melts my heart to know that at that moment he’s not worrying about anything and that I made that smile happen.

3. Mr. Pie

This is going to be corny as hell but I honestly don’t know where I’d be without him. He has supported me through the worst anxiety of my life, through stresses of home and work and also he is still supporting me as I’m taking the leap and becoming a full-time writer. He makes me smile daily, he’s my best friend and my soul mate. He is an incredible step-father to Dinky and they both adore each other (even though I know they wind each other up sometimes too). I doubt Mr. Pie will read this but I love you!

4. Vodka

Come on, you had to know this one was coming? It’s not an essential part of my life, but when I’ve had a rough day there’s nothing I love more than kicking back with a nice cold vodka and lemonade (or two) (okay three).

5. Gaming

GEEK ALERT!! I have loved gaming pretty much my entire life, but for around 8 years (oh my, that’s a bit bad!) I have loved World of Warcraft. I have also met some of the best people I know on the game, including my best blogging buddy Zara from Mojo Blogs who was pregnant at the same time that I was, and they were born literally days apart! I’ve gone back and forth with the game, playing whenever I can. I’ll never be as into it as I used to be before I had Dinky, but I still enjoy logging on and letting it take me away for a few hours.

6. Movies

Mr. Pie is a massive film fanatic, and since we have been together he has shown me literally hundreds of films and still manages to name and describe films I’ve never even heard of. I love it when we watch a movie together, it’s our time to chill out together, get cozy and watch a good film. Plus, there’s nothing better than lying there with your loved one after a long day!

7. The plan that myself and Mr. Pie have for life

We’ve been together for almost four years now and we’re constantly getting comments about marriage and more children. As much as we’d love to jump straight in and have all of these, we’re trying to do things the right way for us. We want to buy ourselves a nice home, build up some money and then go ahead and get married and have children. I just love the fact that we can both shrug off the comments because we know what our aim is and we will get there.

8. Cooking

I’ll admit, some days I really can’t be bothered to make much of an effort in our meal plans, but I do actually really enjoy cooking. Whenever I see one of those recipe videos floating around Facebook I can’t help but watch it, and then modify it in my head. When it actually comes to cooking, I love being creative and even changing the recipes up as I go along, and one thing I love even more is seeing Mr. Pie’s face when he tries my food. Any compliment from him is a big one in my eyes considering he is a chef.

9. Our car

We haven’t had much luck with cars over the last three years, but I have loved each and every one of them. At the moment we have my Dad’s old Freelander and I absolutely adore it. It looks beefy, it drives incredibly and it’s also something that makes Dinky smile. Even though the car isn’t an absolute necessity for us, I certainly do miss having one when we don’t. Having that freedom there to just jump in the car and go somewhere is amazing, and of course, it makes life 10x easier with shopping and school runs!

10. My life

It took me ages to think about this final one because I wanted to make it a good one. I was sat there thinking about what I appreciate and I realized that I hadn’t even listed the most important one, the whole reason I started writing this post, I’m grateful and happy with my life. I may have 3458345 things to groan about certain things that are going on in my life, but in general, I have a great life, an amazing partner, an incredibly loving, intelligent and funny son, supportive family, food on the table and a roof over my head.

I nominate Katie Shacklock over at The Perfect Juggler to give us her top 10 things that make her happy!

 

 

 

 




Little Steps Towards Making the World a Better Place

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It’s easy to think that the world is all doom and gloom. When we wake up, we turn on the television or radio and open up the morning’s papers, only to be greeted by story after story of all of the terrible things going on in the world. War, attacks, robberies, natural disasters. The list goes on. But just because what we read, hear and see from the news is mainly negative doesn’t mean that the world is an awful place. When it comes down to it, shock and horror sell. That’s why it’s plastered across headlines and front pages. But for every bad thing happening in the world, there are plenty more undocumented good things happening. It’s time for you to contribute to these positive occurrences. Here are a few ways you can go about making the world a better place.

 

Give to Charity

This is one of the easiest ways to start helping those less fortunate than yourself. Giving to charity takes little to no time and makes all of the difference to the recipient of your donation. You can choose to donate regularly, signing up to a direct debit donation. Alternatively, you can just put your spare change in the charity buckets left out on store till desks or shook by volunteers in the streets. If you have a little more time on your hands, you might want to engage in a fundraising activity. Take No birds bash as inspiration: these two men are traveling to the most remote and rural parts of Australia to raise money for Variety children’s charity. While bonding and seeing places that they’ve never seen before, they’re helping out disadvantaged kids. If you have the time and energy, you could engage with similar events. Alternatively, if you find you have no spare time around work, you can donate to others’ charity ventures. A final option to bear in mind is leaving a charity donation in your will. This is a little morbid to think about, but how positive is it that you can continue to help others even once you have passed?

 

Small Acts of Kindness

 

Engage in small acts of kindness every day. Even if you just make one person smile and feel good about themselves, you’ve made the world a brighter place. These small gestures won’t cost you much or take up much of your time, but they make all the difference to the person on the receiving end of things. If you see a homeless individual rooting through a bin for food, offer to buy them lunch or a drink. Give your small change to a busker. Help someone in the train station up the stairs with their suitcase. Offer a helping hand to someone trying to get their pram onto a bus and offer your seat to the pregnant, elderly and disabled. Even something as simple as smiling at strangers in the street when you pass them could make all the difference to someone having a tough time.

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Consume Ethically

 

The products that we buy are so disconnected from their sources that it’s easy to ignore or forget where they come from. When possible, try to consume ethically. Whether you’re buying food, clothes or beauty products. Consider the process that has resulted in them getting from their roots to your basket. Food wise, try out a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. This is great for you, animals and the environment. If you don’t think you’re ready to commit to meat or dairy free living, any little will help. Whether that’s trying out a pescatarian diet, engaging with meat-free Mondays or even just opting for a vegetarian option over a meat-based option when dining out in a restaurant. Buy free range where possible and opt for organic, fair trade coffees and chocolates to ensure fair living conditions for the people who have grown and produced your food. When it comes to clothing, question whether the price on the label matches your perceived worth of the goods. Low price products are often imported from countries where workers aren’t paid a living wage, may be exploited and might have low standard working conditions. Try to invest in clothing that has a fair trade source, free of human exploitation for a clear conscience. When it comes to beauty products, think of the environment. Choose brands which don’t engage with animal testing and avoid non-organic products. These often contain chemicals which are harsh on your skin and pollute waters after use.

How To Cope With A Newly Discovered Food Intolerance

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A food intolerance can really put a dampener on your fun. The discomfort and bloating can have a significant effect on your quality of life, and some people find that they have to stop eating some of their favourite foods as a result. A food intolerance is generally caused by your body developing a difficulty when it comes to digesting certain types of food, and can even cause irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. While it isn’t an allergy and isn’t fatal, it does take some special care to manage the symptoms.

 

Start to explore dietary alternatives

With a food intolerance, it’s recommended to try to remove that food from your diet almost completely, at least to start with. This means you might want to find some alternatives, especially if your intolerance is a prolific food type, such as lactose or gluten. Supermarkets and cafes are starting to really get on board with alternative foods these days, so there’s never been a better time to discover an intolerance (if there was ever a good time). You never know, paying more attention to your diet could even have some positive effects on your wellbeing. Explore your local supermarket “free from” shelves, and give your local hippy cafes a visit to find some of their smart alternative ideas. If you’re a keen cook, finding alternatives for your home cooking is a new way to experiment with undiscovered ingredients or world cuisines.

 

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Give your digestion a helping hand

Food intolerances can really take their toll on your digestive system, and you will probably experience some bloating and discomfort as a result, particularly if you’re also suffering from IBS. Using dietary supplements and probiotics can really give your digestion a boost and reduce some of the symptoms of flare-ups. The best probiotics for IBS can also work to help reduce symptoms of food intolerances, such as the gas, bloating, and pain, and just help to put your mind at ease. Even if you can’t cure it, treating the symptoms will give you some relief.

 

Don’t cut the food out altogether

It may come as a surprise, but once you’ve gone through the elimination process to discover once and for all which foodstuff is actually causing your problems, it is often recommended that you reintroduce that food to your diet, in tiny measurements. In some cases, this will enable your body to rebuild a tolerance to the food, so in time you’ll be able to go back to eating it in normal quantities again. This approach should only be undertaken very slowly and gently. Be sure to listen to your body, and not push it beyond comfortable limits – you could end up setting yourself back even further.
Dealing with a newly discovered food intolerance can be tricky, especially if it’s a foodstuff which is prolific, such as lactose or gluten. The symptoms such as discomfort and bloating which occur when you accidentally eat some can be alleviated by supplements and treatments, but avoidance is obviously the most successful means by which you can avoid flare-ups. Just remember, it’s not a death sentence, nor is it necessarily permanent.

How To Cope With Anxiety

I’m just going to put it bluntly, anxiety is shit. I have dealt with it daily for over 10 years. Most of the time it isn’t bad enough to rule over my day, but those days/nights where my anxiety is so intense that I can barely catch my breath are awful. I had my first one of those creep up on me after months of nothing last night. I got through it in an unusual way, so I’ve decided to compile a list of quick fixes and long term treatments you can do if you’re struggling with your anxiety!
Quick Fixes

  • Distraction

I always find that the first trick I turn to when I feel anxious is to distract myself, whether that be on my phone, a game, putting the TV on or simply going for a walk. Sometimes that is literally all you will need. A distraction long enough to make you forget about what you were anxious about in the first place. Often I’m not even sure why I feel anxious or what thought triggered my feelings, so I find doing something different will change my train of thought.

  • Shout it out

Sometimes I find that I mistake frustration for anxiety, or even that my frustration and stresses create the anxiety. If this is something you feel happens to you then my suggestion is to just let it out.

– Go and find a quiet place and shout out your frustration. 

– Maybe nominate a friend that you can call and just rant to (offer the same back to them for if they ever need it, of course)

– Crying always helps. Don’t be ashamed or too proud to cry. Of course if you feel like crying or you do cry very often, then what you’re feeling may not just be anxiety, so please visit your doctor (see long term treatment for more information)

Basically any way to let out some emotion will help. This is a tip I have picked up very recently and it works very quickly for me. It releases pent up stress that’s boiling inside and you will feel better and fast.

  • Talk it out with someone you trust

I know it may feel hard to talk about how you’re feeling, and it’s difficult to even know where to begin but talking it out with someone I trust helps me feel like I’m not so alone. Even if the person I have told doesn’t have anxiety themself, at least they understand why I’m acting a little strange or why I’m more fidgety than normal. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised how understanding most people are.

So if you feel like you can talk to someone about it then do it, it will help!

  • Deep breathing

This trick is probably the oldest one in the book, but it’s a tried, tested and true way of alleviating anxiety symptoms. Simply sit up straight and breathe 8 seconds in through your nose and 5 seconds out through your mouth. Carry this on until you feel calm again.

  • Keep your feet on the ground.

I often find that when I’m feeling anxious my head spins and I almost feel like I’m not in my own body any more. Putting at least one foot on the ground helps your body regain balance and work out where you are. This technique is called “grounding” and is also used for people who are suffering with symptoms of vertigo.

  • Ride it out.

A few years ago a therapist told me something that I’ve always tried to remember when I’m feeling anxious. What goes up must come down. This means that your anxiety will only get so high and then it will slowly drop and go away. If you’re able to ride it out, then ride it out because I promise you, every time after that it will get easier.
Long term treatments

  • Change what you put in your body

    In every way possible, look after yourself! Eat as healthily as you can. Being overweight and eating the wrong food can often give you symptoms that mimic anxiety, which would in turn make you worse. Cut out alcohol (or cut down at least). Quit smoking, not just for your anxiety but for your general health too.

    • Exercise

    As I mentioned earlier, sometimes a walk can distract you from a panic attack. Not only that, exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Also, of course exercising will keep you fit and healthy.

    • Talk to your GP

    For a very long time I’d avoid speaking to my GP about my anxiety because I was worried that they would just shove me onto medication and I didn’t want to take anything. After now working in a GP surgery and seeing and speaking to my colleagues about anxiety I have learnt that there are so many different ways of treating/dealing with it. You can:

    – Get your Doctor to refer you for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)

    – Your GP can also help advise and monitor your lifestyle, ask what help is available.

    – Your GP can also recommend self help websites.

    – Medication. I used to have this massive stigma in my mind about taking medication for my anxiety. I was convinced I didn’t need it and that they just cover up the problem rather than solving it and I didn’t want that. I do now fully support medication for anxiety because once I had heard and seen how it helps people, I knew I needed to try it. 

    It was hand on heart the best decision I have ever made regarding my health. The Doctor explained that it resets the chemical levels in your brain that cause you to feel the way you do. I’ve now been on medication for 6 months and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. My anxiety still creeps up on me, but nothing like it used to.

    There are many different types that the Doctor can prescribe you, so go and speak to your GP.

    Also, don’t forget to…

    I really hope that my tips can help someone. I know only too well how horrible it is crawling through the internet trying to find help. Do you have anything else that you do when you’re anxious? I’d love to know!

    Much love xxx