Things I quit to improve my mental health

Most blog posts on mental health, promote what we SHOULD be doing to create a healthy balance, but have you ever wondered what we could STOP doing to help ourselves? Small simple lifestyle changes can have a BIG impact on our overall health.

Here are some tips on things that I stopped doing to improve my holistic wellbeing.

Late bedtime

Sleep is so incredibly important, I see it as a type of meditation. It’s the time when our mind rests and resets. It rejuvenates us. I used to go to bed at anytime I wanted usually past midnight. The morning would roll around so quick and I would feel exhausted and irritated throughout the day. Creating an actual bedtime was paramount for me, it’s made me wake up fresher. I aim to be in bed before 10.00pm. This doesn’t necessarily mean asleep by then, but just in bed by that time. Read a book, write in a journal or just have some quiet time to think to yourself. (Little tip, when winding down ready for a good nights sleep don’t use technology). This leads on to the next bit of advice…

Social media usage

Don’t set a bedtime and then go to bed and sit on your phone or watch TV the light that our phones and TVs produce make us more alert and awake, making falling asleep much harder. Social media is addicting, we all do it, we all scroll through our social accounts. It can be great but theres another side that can leave you comparing yourself to people online. Comparison steals happiness and can produce a lot of unwanted emotions. Limit social media usage and watch how it changes your life for the better!

Alcohol

Now your probably getting to this bit and thinking she wants me to give up all my fun 😄. Not at all, I understand alcohol is a part of peoples lives, it’s a minority of people these days that actually don’t drink. All I advise is if your going to drink, do if moderately look at your consumption, alcohol is a well known depressant. If your not feeing your best self, take away the alcohol for a few days/weeks and just see how you feel without. I personally gave up alcohol completely a few years ago and I can’t think of one negative, towards doing so.

Coffee/Caffeine intake

Caffeine is a stimulant, that can cause anxiety. It has negative impacts on your health. Just be aware of how much you are consuming. I don’t drink coffee at all, but there is caffeine hidden in lots of different drinks and foods so just be aware.

Moaning, complaining and gossiping

What you give out into the world, you get back. By complaining and moaning about things you are actually attracting more of those feelings and situations towards you. Be aware of your words and what you talk about. No matter what sort of day you have had always look for the positives and remember theres ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Talk more about what your grateful for, and watch how your mindset will change. You will see your life in a different perspective.

Junk food and exercise

I feel these go hand in hand, now don’t get me wrong I am no where near a health fanatic or a clean eating machine. This is a point that I need to improve more on. But I am aware of what foods and their amount that I put into my body. I also ensure I do some kind of exercise everyday as I know just how important endorphins are for our wellbeing and how good they actually make you feel.

Now for a tip on what YOU should DO

Go outdoors

Being outdoors gives you all sorts of benefits, it’s something I need to do every single day to feel the best I can. It’s so beneficial to me feeling good that I had to share with you! I make sure I go on a walk somewhere in nature everyday. This is part of my self care, it’s what makes me feel good about myself. It’s a stress reliever for me, it helps to clear my mind and think more clearly. Try getting outdoors everyday for 5 days and see you feel.

Remember these tips are designed to help you. Don’t pressure yourself, I just want to be able to share some things that have helped me and may help you too.

You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a change so why not just give one or two a try and see how it works. ☺️

Thank you for reading!

Tips on how to stay organised

Routine and organisation makes life a whole lot easier, especially if you have children. Here are a few helpful tips that I have found to be really useful when it comes to adulting and mumlife 🙌🏻 Hope they help you!

• Daily to do lists – tick of as you complete

• Write appointments down as soon as you get them and stick on fridge

• Have a calendar hung up somewhere you will see it everyday. (Mines next to the fridge ha)

• Create morning and bedtime routines

• Pack bags the night before

• Create a meal plan on a Sunday for your week ahead

• Put your phone down (excessive phone use decreases productivity and wastes time)

• Attempt one task at a time, stop multi tasking all jobs at once

• Declutter and organise your home/room for a clear mind

• Have a place for everything in your home

• Have a chore list – daily chores that need doing to keep your space organised

• If possible have direct debits come out the same day. This allows you to budget easier, knowing how much you have left once all bills are taken out at the same time.

Is there anything you do that keeps your life organised? Id love to try them out 😀

Self care ideas

We are all so busy in our lives and taking care of others, that we often forget we need to care for ourselves too. So following on from an earlier post talking about the importance of self care. Here are some self care ideas, see if you can try and fit just one of them into your day today! You deserve it ❤️

  • DO NOTHING!
  • Take a walk
  • Read a book/magazine
  • Take a long bubble bath
  • Clean or reorganize a room
  • Go for a pedicure
  • Meditate
  • Turn your phone of and watch your favourite movie without any distractions
  • Paint
  • Tidy or declutter – I swear by this, it declutters the mind
  • Face mask
  • Have the courage to say NO to people
  • Put yourself first
  • Listen to positive affirmations (youtube)
  • Paint your nails
  • Write a bucket list
  • Write in your journal
  • Sit in a peaceful place outdoors
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Play with a pet
  • Do yoga
  • Gardening – plant something new
  • Go for a spa day
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Get a massage
  • Colour – I love my adult colouring book, it allows my thoughts to detangle. I find myself in a clearer head space afterwards. Try it! ☺️
  • Stay in your PJs all day
  • Listen to a positive/uplifting podcast
  • Light your favourite candles
  • Online shop – treat yourself!

Is there anything else that you do to take care of yourself? ☺️

Gratitude Journals for children

Gratitude journaling is something that only takes a few minutes per day but can have a big positive impact on your ls and your childrens holistic development, mental health and overall wellbeing.

A gratitude journal is simply something you do to keep track of all the good things your thankful for in life. Usually kept in a book form, you write what you are thankful for that day and what the best bit of the day was etc. No matter what your day looked like, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. It’s incredibly easy to start, simply buy a notebook, a pen and start writing daily, about the positives and goodness in your days. The more you focus on the goodness in your life it enables you to gain a different perspective. I whisper thank you to myself continually throughout the day, as soon as I wake in the morning I say thank you out loud and at night I gather all my thankful thoughts and write them down in my book.

Gratitude journals are for everyone! Adults and children of all ages. I started one over a year ago and seeing first hand how powerful this simple tool is to enhance your happiness I decided Luca should try one out too. We do ours after a bath at bedtime, Luca is winding down and able to focus on his thoughts. I find this time very special for both of us, it’s a meaningful bonding time where we are together without any distractions and are able to think about our day clearly. I’m able to get a better insight to Luca’s day and his thoughts. The gratitude journal is full of benefits for us all, but I especially think it’s great for children to start as early as possible because:

• They become more present and mindful

• Improves attitude and builds character

• Become more self aware

• Reduces stress & worries

• Opens communication

• Gives them a different perspective on life

• Develop a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for even the littlest things in life

• Improve emotional well being

• Acknowledging and appreciating the simple things in life

• Allows parents to understand their children on a different level

• Gives children a positive mind set

• Builds resilience

• Promotes life long skills they can carry on through adulthood

• Produces feelings of accomplishment and belonging

• Attracts more good things to come their way

Gratitude Journaling is a way to de stress, calm down, unwind and become mindful. Especially important if your busy and nonstop all day, you and your children need down time to just be in the moment to ground yourselves. Once you start to practise gratitude you will see opportunity to give thanks where ever you go. ☺️

A page out of Luca’s journal 🙏🏻

Reception to year 1 transition tips

How are all your littles doing settling back into school and their new classes? I felt this year was a big jump for Luca leaving early years 😢 and starting to learn the national curriculum. (I love everything about early years) Having worked within nursery/reception classes and higher years I myself was able to see the jump that Luca was about to make.

In Reception children learn in a play based, free flowing environment thats mainly child led, they may be guided from time to time by staff but ultimately they get to choose the areas they want to learn/play and with whom. Where as Year 1 tends to be more formal the national curriculum sets clear learning goals across all subject areas. The teaching is adult led and children have less choice in what they do. Children often miss the freedom they had being able to learn independently through play to now having to focus attention and sit down at a table for longer periods. So we wanted to support Luca with his transition as best we could and thought they could help someone else too. So below i’m sharing some tips that we implement that are proving to help ☺️

• Positivity – First of all above anything else is to always remain positive about new changes coming your child’s way. Luca himself was actually quite apprehensive about starting Year 1. The day he went to visit his new class he came home and said ” Mamma, they have no toys just tables and chairs”. In response I always gave and continue to give Luca a positive outlook on this new chapter for him.

• Limit extra curriculum activities – I didn’t want Luca to become overwhelmed by having to be somewhere doing something everyday of the week. I wanted him to be able to enjoy his own free time without having a busy schedule every evening after school when he’s already doing so much throughout his school day.

• Give your children free time – The biggest tip I can give thats really helped us so far is this – Allow your child to do what they like (within reason of course) when they get home. As soon as Luca gets home from school he says ” It’s my time to choose now isn’t it”. Luca gets free time between coming home and bedtime to be as child led as possible and to do his own thing. Usually choosing to play with his friends next door, build lego, go on the trampoline or swing set, play with his toys or just to watch a show, he’s able to choose how he spends his time just like in reception class. He has time to just be a kid and use his imagination. This has really helped Luca not feel constantly directed and gives him the freedom he wants and needs.

• Don’t start homework, spellings or reading books as soon as they get home from school – If you think just when you get home from work you need some downtime, your child needs the same. Imagine coming home from work to then be doing your job from home as soon as you get back, you would go a little stir crazy. It’s the same with our children give them a break to just be children without a work load. We don’t do any school related activities when Luca gets home, I want to give him a break even if it’s just for a couple of hours. We do reading books at bedtime along side our bedtime story and homework and spellings are done in increments throughout the evenings usually sometime after tea. I can usually tell when Luca has had enough and loosing concentration so we leave it for another day when he’s able to fully engage and give his best shot at it again.

Hope these little tips help you and your children settle into their new class ☺️🍎📚✏️🚸

Children don’t play like they used to…

Are we as a nation stressing ourselves and our children out by planning and cramming as many playdates, after school activities, and kids clubs into our week as we can?

Are we over scheduling our children’s lives full of things we think they should be doing ?

This is something I feel incredibly strong about within todays society. I personally think some parents can go into a competition frenzy of ‘ look how many activities my child does, my child does more than your child’. Parents are spread increasingly thin, they are always rushing, stressed, feeling over scheduled and are chaining themselves to a tiresome weekly routine, forgetting how children used to build their character and resilience through play.

We are starting our children at school at the tender age of 3 which is a whole different topic I won’t go into haha. But I just hope people don’t loose sight of how important it is for children to have the freedom to just play.

Gone are the days that we can allow our children to play as we once did. It’s crazy to think that at 24 I had what they call an ‘old fashioned childhood’. Full of making my own decisions, knocking on for my friends, making mud pies, playing knock a door run, building my own resilience, making dens, having freedom, climbing trees, having a full day ahead of me to explore and make my own games up, but knowing I should head back home when the streetlights came on. A bath and my tea would be waiting back at home for me, ready to go back out the next morning and do it all over again.

I often think back to those times as some of the best learning experiences of my life. I believe that the resilience I have as an adult today was created from those days being free as a child. I would have hated having my days filled up with all different activities/classes every day of the week missing out on playing with my friends. My parents promoted child initiated play, hobbies and activities into my life. They allowed me to get to an age where I developed my own interests and acted upon them at that stage. For example I developed a passion for horses so my dad paid for horse riding lessons every weekend. When he could see how much I thrived and loved being around horses he bought me my own horse. It wasn’t forced on me, It was me making a choice for myself as a child that thats what I wanted to spend my time doing. But what I see happening in society today is we are giving our children hobbies, we are enrolling them into all sorts of activities filling all our children’s free time up thinking they need to be kept busy at all times.

Can you imagine our children have a day at home with no plans and nothing to do, whatever will happen to our children if they are left to be bored and having to make their own games up…

Please don’t feel like a bad parent for not having your child enrolled in every club going. Some of my best childhood memories and lessons learnt come from the days where I had nothing but myself, the outdoors and my imagination.

We all parent different and I will never judge anyone else’s parenting. I’m to busy judging my own parenting style 😂. I want to get it right so badly as we all do, we all want to do the best for our children. But just think about how children used to learn through play. If your feeling stressed by your schedule maybe it’s time to change it. Now I know times have changed, I myself would not allow Luca to play out alone, so I ensure I do the things I did on my own as a child with him. I supervise from a distance, I allow him to take risks, go up to children and make friends, allow him to socialise without my interference, I ensure we get outdoors everyday, I allow him to climb a tree without my input promoting risk taking and allowing to learn for himself, I let Luca make mudpies, splash in puddles, play in dirt, pick bugs up, be around animals, ride his bike and run through fields. I allow Luca to have lots of free time, lots of child initiated play and activities where he chooses what he wants to do.

One thing I would love to change for children these days is for them to get outdoors more, learn more through nature rather than tv programmes. For them to put the ipads down and not be so over scheduled and to just allow children to be children. ❤️

What do you think?