Look after yourself first, and everything else will fall into place.

img_3471

I’ve just ordered what looks to be a fantastic memoir about a lawyer in New York who had a psychotic breakdown, convinced himself his life was being filmed as part of a TV show, and his subsequent journey through mental health rehabilitation (Gorilla and the Bird):

Book Trailer & Media

Why would I order such a book you might ask? Wouldn’t my usual taste for unsolved murder mysteries and espionage be enough? Well, I was incredibly moved by an excerpt from this mans memoir, as it was a startling reminder of how close I had become to being in the same position. When you’re experiencing various stressors in life and not taking control of anything, you very rapidly find yourself going from ‘busy’ to ‘on the brink of crazy’, and only significant changes to your lifestyle will get you back on track.

While I haven’t read the full memoir yet, I did gain an insight into this mans descent into what can only be described as hell on earth. Trying to reason with yourself when you’re not mentally healthy is hard enough, let alone trying to explain how you’re feeling to family and friends. All you want to do is hide in bed in a dark room, close your eyes and never have to face the world again. Every single thing – whether it’s cooking a meal, going for a drive or walking into an appointment, gives you anxiety and seems like a mammoth effort. I remember trying to stay calm in the middle of a shopping centre, focusing on moving one leg at a time until I was out in the fresh air. When you’re in the beginning stages of a panic attack, every single sound is amplified and makes the whole experience 10 times worse. Imagine you’re inside a water bottle, being tossed around a violent ocean… you’re dizzy, disorientated and terrified. Yep, I never want to go back to the dark place I was in for months – but what I do know is that change is possible, and you can regain your footing on the earth.

Hoping you all have a great week and find something to smile about 🙂

img_2745

Getting back on track when you just want to hide.

img_2734

Sometimes in life everything just gets a bit too much. Work commitments start building up, the usual family disagreements start frustrating you, and catching up with friends is the last thing on your mind. You just want to run into a secluded forest, set up a little tee-pee and spend the rest of your days wandering the river bank looking for flowers. Am I right, or am I right?

This last week I’ve had an excruciating neck injury which has prevented me from doing the simplest of tasks without stabbing pain. I’ve held back tears, said yes to things I knew would hurt, and smiled through the pain. Being unable to move your neck is certainly a slap in the face when you realise all the thing you’d taken for granted in the past, like bending over to pat your dog, or nodding in agreement with someone during a conversation. I’ve literally felt completely useless and quite honestly, like crying in bed with a heat pack all day long. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to be responsible for anything or held accountable for things, and I certainly haven’t felt like functioning in the real world. To put it simply, I’ve wanted to fast forward through the pain and recovery of this injury and get back to living my life. But things don’t always go to plan do they?

So how do we get back on track when shit hits the fan? How do we get up and go in the morning, put on a brave face and tackle the day to day duties of Life As An Adult (that thing we were all warned of in our more youthful times)? To be honest I’m still looking for that answer, that light bulb moment where everything falls into a place and I’m suddenly one of those super-humans who can conquer any adversity with class and charisma. What I do know however, is that we gotta keep trying. Sure – take some time out if you need it. Take a day off work, listen to what your body needs and don’t fight your gut instincts. But at the end of the day, pick yourself up again and remember that there is always sunshine after the rain. Storms will pass, skies will clear and you will smile again with authenticity 🙂

img_2740

When ignoring the effects of food is no longer an option.

img_0505

I think I can speak for the majority of people when I say a new relationship means a new clothing size as well (and no, I don’t mean a size down). It’s been about 6 months now and I can reluctantly reveal I’m now 7 kilograms heavier than when I first met my lovely boyfriend. Now I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed all the breakfast outings (who doesn’t love bacon and hollandaise), and I’m not saying I haven’t loved having someone to order pizza with, but what I haven’t particularly liked is not having any clothes that fit! Thankfully my boyfriend is not the vain type and actually likes me for me, but being a New Year and all I think its time to shape up. Who’s with me?

I’ve recently discovered Deliciously Ella’s recipe blog and am feeling TOTALLY inspired to get back in the kitchen and cook healthy, lip-smacking meals. Like this one for example:

https://deliciouslyella.com/2017/11/13/loaded-mexican-style-sweet-potato-skins/

Who wouldn’t enjoy homemade guacamole and sour cream dumped on a mound of mouth-watering sweet potato? What I’m most looking forward to though (aside from trimming down) is the effect that healthy cooking will have on my mental health. We all know what it’s like to feel lethargic and run down, which in turn leads to a cycle of snacking on rubbish food (My pitfall is Pringles … once you pop you can’t stop!), which in turn leads to you feeling more shitty. When will we learn? Trust me, I get it. Sometimes we work in environments where the naughty snacks are literally everywhere. You go to make a cup of tea, and somebody’s left a packet of biscuits beside the kettle. How dare they! What we need to practise more is SELF CONTROL! (That thing proper adults do). Crazy right?

So here I am making a commitment to myself to start sourcing fresh, healthy recipes I can enjoy with my boyfriend. Nothing beats cooking a meal from scratch and knowing exactly what’s gone into it. Nothing beats feeling healthy, energised and dare I say it, sexy! Feel free to send me links to your favourite healthy recipes, I’m all in and stay tuned 🙂

P.S Check out the buddha_bowls page on Instagram (pic below). Amazing!

img_1644

Keep it simple, stupid.

img_0836

Many of you would have heard this statement here and there throughout life, applied to a whole variety of situations. But have you ever stopped for a second to think about what it actually means? Apparently the original ‘KISS’ acronym was used as a principal in the U.S. Army for reducing complicated systems to more simple designs. Makes sense right? So instead of getting bogged down in the pointless worries we face in our day to day lives – how about we start keeping it simple, stupid.

Yesterday I had what we like to refer to in the Western World as a ‘sickie’ (although I prefer to say ‘mental health day’). To be fair, I was actually hitting a wall with flu symptoms and complete exhaustion, and spent most of the day going between my bed and the couch for naps with my puppy. Sometimes a day off from all obligations and people is a complete saviour, not only for your physical health but just as importantly for your state of mind. Today I’m feeling a thousand times better, but I’ve still kept it simple. A short walk on the beach followed by a coffee while I watered the plants, and now I’m sitting here writing in a cool breeze. In hindsight though, letting myself get to that point of exhaustion where I needed to call in sick was not healthy, and that’s because I wasn’t keeping it simple at all.

Last week in between working a shift based roster, I was also house-sitting for 2 dogs, attended my first yoga class in a few years, had a pretty painful acupuncture session, was trying to cook healthy and keep up to date with the TV show I was hooked on, all while trying to be ‘present’ in my relationship for a boyfriend who is only home 2 weeks a month. To put it simply, I was wrecked. I was mentally drained, physically aching, and could have quite easily slept for a week. So is it any wonder that come Sunday night at work, I went through a box of tissues and no joke sneezed at least 200 times? Why do we continue to drive ourselves into the ground with over-commitments and an unhealthy obsession with technology, when we should be focused on lifestyle choices that keep us nourished and energised?

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Family
  • Relationships
  • Healthy eating
  • Learning new things
  • Travel
  • Creativity

These are the things that matter to me, and I’m making a promise to myself to remember just one thing…

Keep it simple, stupid.

img_1278

Photo credits – theportraitpr0ject & ubudhood

Stop thinking that taking time for YOU is selfish!

img_0833

This year I’ve gotten off to those ‘New Year resolutions’ a little late in the piece, but as they say it’s better late than never. Typically you spend the first day or 2 hungover, followed by a day of regret and disappointment at yourself. Then work takes off again, obligations, this person needs to be dropped here and so on until you realise it’s already a week into the New Year and you haven’t stopped to take a moment to yourself! My moment of epiphany happened this morning, when I was walking around making breakfast and could literally feel myself getting more and more worked up. I was annoyed about things happening at work, wishing I could have a day off, annoyed at the sound of my Pop mowing the yard, wishing I could see my boyfriend. Blah blah blah… Then something inside of me snapped, and I said ‘Fuck it, I’m taking some time out’. And that’s what I did.

Fast forward 2 hours and I’m in a completely zen frame of mind. After meditating and stretching on a yoga mat with the scent of lavender oil softly wafting through my diffuser, I sprinkled eucalyptus oil through a hot shower and washed my hair (go on, give me something better than the feeling of a fresh shower and clean hair). I then made a coffee and pulled out a gratitude diary (gifted to me a Christmas by an aunt who knows me well), and proceeded to write down the things I was grateful for today. What a simple, easy exercise to pull you back into a good head space! There’s nothing quite like taking a minute to write down what it is you’re grateful for, to put things in perspective. Oh how ridiculous those things I was worrying about were!

So please, do yourself a favour and take some time out for yourself. It is absolutely not selfish, because you need to be your BEST self to your family, friends and colleagues. How can we expect to be good partners, siblings, children and parents if we can’t even look after ourselves? Make this year the year you stop running yourself into the ground with chores and responsibilities, before collapsing into bed at the end of the day completed exhausted. Take half an hour to walk your dog on the beach. Take 20 minutes to treat yourself to a candlelit shower, or stretching in a cool breeze. For heaven’s sake, take an hour to have a nap if that’s what you really need!

Just do you.

You won’t regret it.

img_0838

Photo credits – bohodestiny & spell_byronbay

 

 

Remember, you’re exactly where you need to be right now.

IMG_4848

I saw someone post this quote on Instagram today, and I thought how perfect it was for how I’m currently feeling.

You are right where you need to be.

Sometimes I wish I could tattoo this to my forehead when I’m getting carried away in my thoughts, reminiscing on past times or wishing away the time looking forward to some future event. Mindfulness is key to maintaining your sanity in this fast-paced world, where our thoughts are constantly bombarded with worries, emotions, fears, guilt trips, dreams, memories and more. I woke up a little melancholy today, July the 8th in sunny Queensland, where Winter means shorts and a T-shirt with a cool breeze on your back. The Lucky Country right? So I allowed myself 15 minutes of snooze time in bed to wallow in my sadness, before getting up and committing to embracing this day.

I’m honestly believing more and more that happiness can be a choice, a small pledge within yourself to simply power through with a positive attitude. Sure, I’m feeling down about a couple of things – but in the grand scheme of life, am I going to care about them in a years time? Absolutely not. It’s hard to maintain that attitude 24/7 of course, but constantly checking in with yourself especially when you’re feeling glum can help shed a little perspective on the situation. I spent the morning wandering through the Botanic Gardens, simply enjoying the peace of nature, birds singing, sun on my neck and nowhere to be. Getting outdoors is a wonderful mood booster for the soul. Trust me, I know sometimes when you’re feeling completely lethargic, comfortable in your track suit pants and socks, and the last thing you feel like doing is donning some active wear and joggers. But just push yourself to try it… 9 times out of 10 you’ll come home feeling more energetic and clear-headed.

I’ve got a friend who comes to town every 2 months and we always have a little catch up, something that has been an unexpected delight. You see the friend is actually the partner of one of my closest friends, and up until we started catching up on our own the relationship had always been a little more reserved, or courteous I suppose. Now that we’ve established our own friendship though outside of the barriers of knowing each other through someone else, it’s been a lovely little addition to my circle. Anyway the point of me writing about him, is not only to emphasise that good company can often come from unexpected places, but that letting people in can broaden your perspectives as well. On one of his visits we went to Cape Hillsborough, a beach area famous for attracting kangaroos right on the brink of dawn. As we sat on the sand watching the first rays of sunlight pierce the ocean, he told me to just listen to all the types of birds singing. I honestly hadn’t even noticed the birds until he said that – to me they had become background noise. But upon tuning in to the calls of nature, I was totally surprised at just how many different sounds we could hear.

Mindfulness – it’s about appreciating the moment, getting lost in the moment and being grateful for this moment.

IMG_4852

Photo credits – arthurlitau & folksouls

 

Down days keep us sane, so let us have them…

IMG_4309

This picture is the perfect example of how I felt today… LEAVE ME THE F@*K ALONE. We all have days like this, where we just can’t do human interaction. We can’t go to work, we can’t get out of our pyjamas, we can’t cook a healthy meal so we order pizza and drink coffee in bed, snuggling the fur babies and pretending we don’t have responsibilities. Of course, we could actually do all of those things if we forced ourselves – but would we be any better for it? I’m convinced there’s a reason for down days, in that they give us a chance to rest, regroup and connect with ourselves. After all, we usually emerge the next day feeling fresh and ready to tackle the world again, so what’s the harm?

I was meant to be working for my 6th day in a row today, but was absolutely exhausted last night – both mentally and physically. Battling a constant runny nose and allergies, headaches and neck tension, it got to 2am and I thought ‘I can’t do this’. There’s nothing quite like the relief of calling into work sick… you actually feel a weight lift off your chest and suddenly the world is your oyster. What am I going to do today!? The world is so much more colourful when you’re actually meant to be at work, it’s like this guilty pleasure you’re indulging in. And you know what – everyone does it because we actually need it. Humans are not designed to sit in an office all day staring at a computer screen drumming away. It’s not natural, and it’s certainly not the reason we’re here (in my opinion anyway).

On down days I also tend to avoid all social interaction with friends, which is why I simply could not answer phone calls today (sorry to the friend who called – it’s not you, it’s me). The LAST thing I feel like doing on my day off is having small chat! I want to read my book, indulge in bad food and spend most of the day horizontal with socks on. If it’s an emergency – sure, I’ll be there. But other than that, please leave me alone and let me have some me time. It’s so precious! I will be such a better person tomorrow because of my ONE DAY OFF, so be gone with the judgement and take a leaf from my book 🙂

IMG_4307

Photo credits – maison.chloeyeur & paintandhaven