Top 10 Thursday – 10 Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Everyone, at some time or other has experienced a bout of stress or anxiety of some kind, and in today’s culture of being constantly busy, switched on and contactable the number of cases of stress and anxiety are rising. I have stress and anxiety related mental health issues and have started to learn some of the triggers but even knowing what can start anxiety and stress doesn’t help to stop the feelings from coming. Today I am sharing my top 10 ways to relieve stress and anxiety when they do happen.

  1. Listen to a podcast
  2. Read a book
  3. Practice mindfulness (Calm is a fab app that I use regularly)
  4. Have a bath with essential oils (I find lavender and basil to both help relax me)
  5. Sleep
  6. Switch off all electronic devices even for half an hour
  7. Do a jigsaw
  8. Get out a colouring book or sketch pad and doodle
  9. Go for a walk
  10. Clean (I like to hoover the floors or even do some ironing)

What are some of your favourite ways to relieve stress and anxiety? I’d be really interested to hear so leave me a comment!

Words On Wednesday

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I don’t really follow the news but one headline and news story really caught my eye – the death of Caroline Flack and it made me feel so sad, for her, her family and her friends.  I don’t want to start speculating about what happened but it really got me thinking about how we all act and carry out our day to day lives.

It is so easy for us to formulate negative thoughts and opinions about others by what we read, see and hear, and it is even easier for us to voice these thoughts and opinions via social media, emails, text messages and in day to day conversations, and it is really easy for us to agree with others when we hear their points of view.  We forget that the subject of these opinions is a human being who has thoughts, views and opinions of their own, along with a life we know nothing about, a story of their own to tell, fears and dreams loves and hates…

This negativity towards another human being is strongly seen in the media against famous people but so many of us have had negativity aimed at us, whether it is physical or emotional, written or spoken, and yet we still continue with sharing our own thoughts and opinions about others.

We need to start being kind, not just to ourselves but to each other, when someone speaks derogatorily about another we need to be the one to challenge those views rather than just agreeing.  We need to stop sharing stories about others that may or may not be true and we need to stop and think before we say anything.  There are 2 sides to each story and unless we can see both sides and understand the full picture then we really can not judge someone else.

Today’s culture means that we see things daily, and often things are shared on social media repetitively, especially sensationalised news items, and we believe them to be true, but we need to step back from this and think about the person involved in the story and the impact these stories have on their lives. The less we share these kinds of items or buy papers or magazines that print negativity the less we are feeding the beast that is so harmful to us all.

It would be brilliant if there was no kind of hate or negativity in the world and the only way we can do that is to be kind to each other.

Rest In Peace Caroline.

Be Anything You Want But Always Be Kind

 

Top Tip Tuesday

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I am pretty lucky that I don’t mind cleaning, and dare I say it, I do enjoy it on the whole but one of the things I really dislike cleaning is the bath or shower, no matter how much cleaning they never seem to be totally clean.  My top tips for today are things I have learned to make the job easier.

  • Clean the bath or shower after it has been used.  The heat and steam generated by having a bath or shower makes it easier for the dirt to come away from the surface, whether it is the bath or shower screen.
  • Use a window squeegee to remove water from tiles and shower screens, this helps to leave a sparkling finish with no watermarks.
  • Old toothbrushes are brilliant for hard to reach areas such as the shower door runners, around taps, the shower hose and showerhead.
  • Remove the showerhead and soak it in a solution of white vinegar to remove limescale.
  • Clean the plughole after every use of the shower or bath, this will stop any hair or other matter from building up and blocking the drain.

Do you have any tips for cleaning the bath or shower?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

 

Motivation Monday – Get it Done

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I am a huge procrastinator and love nothing more than putting off things until the last minute instead of getting them done and dusted as soon as I think about them.  This goes for chores, phone calls, emails and any other task that I should do.

But, I have started to get things done as soon as is possible which has made a huge difference in my life.  I used to feel pretty guilty for stalling on doing things, and the task would lurk at the back of my mind so I couldn’t fully enjoy whatever I was doing in place of getting that task completed (mostly reading a book or watching something on the tv).  I’d also get stressed out when I finally got around to doing that task and end up making a rush job of it.  Since I started to get into the mindset of getting things done I have started to feel less guilt, stress and worry, and also, surprisingly, I have gained motivation for doing other tasks that I had otherwise put off.

So, today’s motivation for you is to “Get It Done”, whatever that thing maybe!

What have you been putting off?  And what have you been doing instead?  I’d love to hear about how you procrastinate in the comments!

Top 10 Thursday – Favourite Mobile Phone Games

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Having a mobile phone is not just about being able to keep in touch with friends and family via calls or messaging. It’s about the apps you have, social media, news and weather streams and games.  My phone has so many different things on it to keep me entertained and I thought that today’s Top 10 should be about some of my favourite games.

  • BlockDoku – a game where you make lines and squares using given shapes.  This game is a really simple concept (similar to Tetris but instead of falling shapes that you have to try to make fall in the right place, you have a series of shapes that you place yourself)
  • Block! Triangle Puzzle! – a puzzle game where you have to fit the given shapes into a larger shape to fill it.
  • Candy Crush – a game where you switch different candies to gain points, special boosters and “save” ingredients.
  • Animal Crossing Pocket Camp – this is a game where you have to help other animals, make friends and create your own camp site.
  • ReDecor – An interior design game where you are set a brief and have to decorate the room accordingly (probably my number 1 game!)
  • Merge Magic – there are levels to complete by merging items, creating orbs and finishin in a certain timeframe and another part of the game where you can play in “the garden” and clear cursed land, create creatures and collect items.
  • Design Home – Anotehr interior design game where you choose furniture and other room items and decorate according to a brief or specified style or item range.
  • WordStacks – a word finding game where you have stacks of letters that make words associated with the “theme” of the level.
  • Words With Friends – play against other players in a game of scrabble.
  • Sand Balls – this game entails moving balls from one point to another by creating a path through sand, avoiding any obstructions and collecting other balls or keys along the way.

What are some of your favourite games to play on your phone?  I’m always on the look out for something new to play so let me know in the comments of any recommendations you have!!!!

Words On Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

I have had lots of success with obtaining things second hand, either for free or for cheap from places like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Ebay and have spent time perusing things for sale or free on local Facebook groups too (its a secret hobby of mine!) but I’m starting to see, more and more often, some things which, when selling an item, are big no-no’s.  Here are a few examples

  • “First to view will buy”.  Surely this is asking for a ton of people just coming to view then saying “nah, sorry, not really interested” and messing the seller around.
  • “Used but good condition”.  I have no problems with this statement if it is true but some of the items are so used they really should be taken to the skip.
  • “Might need a clean”.  Then looking at the accompanying photos and the item is disgustingly grubby.
  • “Pet and smoke-free home”.  All well and good when the attached pictures include a pet sitting in the background.
  • “A few scratches”.  Scratches?  It looks like it has been run over by a dumper truck!  (I was looking at mobile phones and it was clear the screen was totally smashed!)

While these things are big no-no’s they have taught me something when selling items online and here are some of my top-selling tips

  • Make sure the item is clean and in good condition – would you want to buy it?
  • Take clear photos of any damage or wear and tear.
  • Be honest – if you have pets or smoke then don’t advertise that it is from a smoke/pet free home.
  • Look at other similar items and price accordingly.
  • Take photos in natural light and include any accessories that you are selling with it.
  • Be clear and concise in your advert –  don’t waffle.
  • Respond to any messages about the item as soon as you are able.  There is nothing more frustrating for a prospective buyer to not get a response or get one that is late.

Have you ever sold or bought anything second-hand?  What have your experiences been like?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Sunday Funday – Guess Who’s Back?!!!

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I’m finally back online after a few weeks without internet!  My phone is fixed and I’m so glad to be blogging again!  These past few weeks without a fully functioning phone and internet have been crazy and made me realise how much I rely on the internet for even the smallest of things, from checking the weather, staying in contact with friends on WhatsApp or online to even checking in with my parents, reading blog posts, sharing photo and even gaming or designing things.  Being without any proper means of contact or “entertainment” has made me realise that, perhaps, I have a bit of an unhealthy relationship with my phone and the internet itself.

Being away from the internet made me think about how I use the internet and how things were in the past, before the internet.  I love blogging and really missed that, and I missed being able to use my design software that is internet-based to create any designs and I missed being able to find tv shows or films to watch on NetFlix, it amazes me that with so many different channels on Freeview that there is so little that is worth sitting and watching!

I would love to say that I had done something really productive with my time away from the internet, and I probably would have if the weather had been better, but I have been spending a lot of my time listening to all of the audiobooks I had downloaded, sorting out bills and finances, taking some extra long baths, doodling and taking naps!  I did have a visit from a guy to fix the windows in my house, they have been letting in an awful draft every time the wind blows or when it gets cold (which is pretty constant since its winter here!), seems that the windows hadn’t been fitted properly and the bit of frame that holds the glass in place hadn’t been secured or clipped into place properly so all of my heating was going out of the house.  Now it has been fixed I have noticed a huge difference in the warmth of the house, especially in the mornings and when I get home from work.

What have you all been up to?  What have I missed?  I’d love to know all about your last few weeks so let me know in the comments!  Also, leave me a link for a blog post of yours that you have been proud of this month!

How To Design A Home for a Healthy Mind

Home design is not just about aesthetics and beauty. For anyone struggling with mental health issues, design and maintenance can be powerful tools for creating a sanctuary for ruminating, depressed, or uneasy minds. How can you apply interior design and home maintenance principles towards promoting mental health? Here are three points to consider:

Dedicate Your Bedroom to Sleep

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It’s no secret that restorative sleep is a key ingredient to sound mental health. In order to dedicate your bedroom to truly restorative sleep, start with your mattress. If it’s no longer comfortable, replace it and take advantage of return policies until you find the right one for you. You should also use blackout curtains to keep any and all light out of your bedroom at night. As clinical sleep medicine and neurology specialist Dr. Brandon Peters explains, the human body’s natural circadian rhythm follow dark-light cycles, which is why we’re more active in the day and more inclined to rest at night. Embrace sleeping in the dark and your mind will thank you for it.

Of course, any sleep oasis would be incomplete without personal touches that bring you feelings of comfort and safety. You can see how it is possible to personalise a sleep oasis in our blog post on ‘A Look Around My Home – Bedroom’. Alongside personal effects like a Himalayan salt lamp and the string lights on the vanity mirror, the bedroom has minimum clutter. This is because visual clutter can seep into the mind and prompt mental rumination before bedtime. Go ahead and personalise your space for comfort and safety, but be mindful of keeping the clutter to a minimum.

Turn Your Bathroom Into a Home Spa

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Any bathroom can turn into a spa where you can relax and indulge in self-care. James Hale writing for Bustle even argues that the bathroom can become a point of stability for those with mental health issues, adding how the bathroom has become part of his night-time routine. He writes that it de-stresses the mind and lets the body know that it’s time for sleep. To this end, you can add a few touches that can turn it into a more relaxing space, such as warm lighting, lavender-scented candles, indoor plants, and natural wood or stone surfaces. You can even add features like a new and high-tech shower or bathtub that are designed to provide a relaxing experience.

Just remember that such improvements come with technical maintenance concerns. If you’re not so handy when it comes to plumbing and boiler connections, it could be easier on your mental health, and your bank account, if you just let the specialists do the work for you. Just make sure you are financially prepared for all outcomes, especially if something goes wrong. HomeServe details how common gas boiler and heating insurance plans can include other things as well such as plumbing and drainage coverage – all of which are needed to create a spa bathroom. It’s one way to keep your mind off these concerns and make more space for mental health. Which you can then replenish in your spa bathroom once everything is complete.

Create a Separate Home Office That Inspires Productivity

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Much like how you’ll sleep better with a dedicated bedroom, having a dedicated home office can help improve your productivity. This means separating your work area at home and doing nothing but work in that particular space. This is why all of the gorgeous home office design ideas on Architectural Digest —big or small— are solely dedicated to the purpose of work productivity. Although the ideal situation would be to assign an entire room in your house for this purpose, a corner of your home or a table will do for smaller flats. What’s important is that it’s a space where you’re as free as you can be from all distractions, and everything you need to do your work is within easy reach. This is true for every profession, from lawyers doing paperwork at home to full-time craftswomen and those who make and sell art for a living.

Home is where you should feel the safest and most comfortable. Keep these design tips in mind if you want to turn your home into a fortress for a healthy and happy mind.

Monday Motivation – Me Time

Me Time

Now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the New Year are over and things are starting to get back to some kind of normality it is time to start scheduling in some “me time”.

Whether it is half an hour, or a few hours here or there, having some time to yourself is a must.  Take some time when planning out your week to book some time to do something just for you.  This time could be used to catch up on a tv program, make a call to chat with a friend, a long bath, a coffee and catch up with a mate, a meander through the park or just time to sit and watch the world go by.  Taking time out of your busy schedule to do something you want to do or to treat yourself can do you the world of good, both mentally and physically.

I like to spend “me time” getting lost in a good book, snuggled up on the sofa with a hot cuppa and Roxy for company or spending time with my journal or sketchbook and just doodling away for half an hour.  I find that it can re-energise me and changes my mood to something a lot more positive.

So, when you are planning out your time for the day or week, schedule in some time to yourself!  What will you do in that time?  I’d love to know in the comments!