Rumination nation.

Rumination nation// I wanted to talk about rumination and those nasty thoughts that race around your head, and that at times it seems impossible to stop. But they have a huge impact on our mood, really bring us down and often ruin our day. I wanted to discuss this and talk about the ways that we can tackle rumination. The most important point to practice is realising that you are rumination. Also the acceptance that you are in control of these thoughts and feelings, and that you can bring yourself peace.

Here are some tips about rumination.

Talk to someone. Talking to someone about these horrid thoughts and inner dialogue can help you dissect and untangle the thoughts. Often the simple act of sharing these thoughts can stop them, which takes me onto the next tip.

Positive people. Make sure you have at least one person in your life that will listen to these worries and 'poisoned parrot' words, but most importantly this person will lift you and validate those thoughts. Sometimes there isn't always a solution, but having someone to say, 'that's ok to think that and/ or those thoughts aren't true because...'

Name your inner critic. By naming this bully and inner critic we are acknowledging that this person isn't truthful, and like a bully, when we stand up to them, this often stops them. It also brings in humour and the realisation of rumination and then telling our inner critic to fuck off, or go way does the trick. Mine is called Sandra and I tell her to fuck off most days. Just a note that it can't be someone that you know, and ex etc, it has to be a name that you have no connection with.

Realisation and action. If we find ourselves ruminating then then something powerful that you can do, is simply get up, or stop what you're doing and do something else. Take action. What will make me feel better? Going for a brisk walk, asking someone for a cuddle, writing these thoughts down? This isn't easy on your low days but even just physically getting up out of your seat and telling Sandra to fuck off will make a difference.

Evidence list. Finally, another tool is having a list of things that you are good at, people that love you, your biggest achievements and then put them somewhere so that when you are engulfed in rumination you have this evidence list. Write this list and add to it when you are feeling good.

Your potential is endless.

You have endless potential// Potential always felt like an insult when I was younger. "You have great potential, room for improvement, good but not quite good enough." Sounds like something Sandra would definitely say (my inner critic).

As we roll into the first official day of back to school/ work and normality, for most of us, I wanted us to embrace and accept our potential as being endless, not something that we reach. Rather than making bullshit new year's resolutions, we could take this time to plan, recoup and reset ourselves for the year ahead. I feel that making the grand gestures of NY resolutions means that we are setting ourselves up to fail. But what I have realised is that my potential, resilience and ambition are what is important. This is such a reflective time of year, but I like to choose other times of the year to do this aswell. By seasons, by the moon, by a certain date you'd like, whatever feels best for you. But don't just leave it a whole year before you realise that you can achieve lots, and also to look back on what you have done already. Plus 12 months is a long time to check in with yourselves to accept or acknowledge that you need a few changes in your life. You are worthy or happiness, health and love. So let's keep this potential rolling and I'm going to set some goals, check in with myself and vision board all through this year. My mantra that will live long into February will be 'I have endless potential, that knows no bounds.' NOW SAY IT WITH ME!

I'd love to know some of the things that you are determined to do over the next few days/weeks/months and year?

It's OK not to be merry and bright.

It’s OK not to be merry and bright this Christmas. I have had a lot of messages about feeling overwhelmed and anxious this Christmas. How ever you are feeling is valid, and it is really important to be armed with lots of resilience tools and different ways of surviving Christmas, even thriving. Here are some wise words from some wise owls on insta.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Emily Coxhead🎄 I’d say to just try and focus on as small amount as possible, focus on the stuff that matters and know you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed... it’s a tough time for a lot of people and this time of year often highlights worries and struggles. It’s just another day.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Fiona Thomas🎄 Don’t feel obliged to say yes to things when you know you don’t have time! Instead reschedule for coffee or catch ups in January when you are in need of a friendly pick me up. Don’t beat yourself up about eating and drinking too much. There is temptation everywhere so you’re already at a disadvantage trying to be sensible. Enjoy what you want and just be sensible with portions and try to get your steps in to keep you feeling fit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

 Suzie Reading🎄 it’s got to be the mantra: savour the good, make peace with the shitty! Don’t expect to enjoy every minute! Bear witness as it all unfolds and let the mantra help you suck the life out of the good bits and weather the rest. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 

Kat Nicholls 🎄Try and carve out some alone time if you know you’ll need it - socialising can be draining so schedule in breaks for yourself so you can re-energise. It can also help to write a list of strategies to help you cope if things get stressful - this might be going out for fresh air, calling a friend or even listening to some music. Keep this list with you and refer to it when you need to, sometimes in the moment it’s difficult to remember what really helps. 


Kelly Terranova 🎄Be with people who give you space to feel sad when u need to.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I think the consensus is that you are not alone in your feelings this Christmas.

10 gifts for people struggling with mental health.

It can be difficult to know what to do or say when someone is in the thick of a mental illness. So many of us find Christmas overwhelming and sad, and that's ok. It is also full of love and mince pies, but I think it's so important to give both sides to Christmas. ⠀

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
@suziereading book called The Self Care Revolution, is the ultimate guide and thought provoking way to get on board with self care. There are lots of different things you can do in this book, including yoga exercises. It has handy sections so that you can skip right to the section that you are most in need of that day. £8.56.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
@fionalikestoblog My love for this book runs so deep. It was the first book that I couldn't put down. It follows Fiona's journey through Depression and has so many laugh out loud moments, plus a lush dose of nostalgia. I can't recommend this enough. £9.74
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
@lauratalanti makes these beauts of enamel pins with important messages on, plus Laura loves cats and fosters them. Pins include, 'you are enough', 'always overthinking' and 'lifetime member of the introvert club.' They come in amazing colours and shapes. £7.00
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
@the_positive_planner Fin and Ali have just launched an amazing Positive Bullet Planner. Which is an organisational and creativity dream. It organises your day-to-day life and document things that are important to you. It has delicious quotes and illustrations throughout and is such a positive addition to your life. £24.00
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
@icancards Depression I Can Cards always outsell all of the other cards each month. They are created by people who had depression. Therefore, aim to be comforting, motivating and positive. Zero cheese in all of the quotes, just realistic positivity around meaningful subjects. £10.00

Thoughtful, positive xmas gifts for children.

I've put together some of thoughtful and positive gift ideas for children this Christmas. To inspire, build resilience and to give them a meaningful message or tool this Christmas. 🤶🏼🏼

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Happy Self Journal are lovely doodled characters journals for 6-12 year olds that helps develop positive habits. they have lush quotes throughout and the illustrations, characters and stickers are amazing. £19.90.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Velvet Chalk have beauts of chalkboards in cool shapes and initials, perfect for your children to doodle or even display their emotional weather etc. From £22.00.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Lobella Loves and Three Penny have collaborated to produce A-Z  flashcards of amazing women both present and in history, to inspire the growing feminists out there. They even have a blurb on the back for older children. £10.95 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Mother Like No Other has created a delicious design about having a choice, and that choice being heard, loudly and proudly. It's unisex so would be perfect for boys aswell.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Barney and Beau have calming night lights that my boys have in the bunny design. But they also do dinosaurs, stars and other designs. A great way of building a relaxing bedroom and this even comes camping with us or when building a den. From £9.95.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Disko Kids 'We Can Be Heroes' tee is such a lovely message to give and, again, is unisex, and money from the sweatshirts is given to support Winston’s Wish charity.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Legacy Gifts have perfect stocking fillers for the little worriers out there. These little worry dolls can be put under your pillow and come with a story about the history of them. £5.99.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I Can Cards 25 affirmations for children to build resilience, self esteem and positivity in children aged 4-11 years old. There are doodles from @_katiebray_ on each card. £10.00.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

What will be under your tree?

Yes you can.

Yes you can// I wanted to approach a subject of mental health and being proactive. This is a difficult subject for me to approach as it is a major trigger point for me. I am naturally a solution finder and want to always be moving forward.

When I was diagnosed with PND I felt someone had pressed the off button to this proactive part of my character. BUT I realised that I was still moving forward or sometimes staying still. It's just that the goal posts had been moved for what I was achieving. So making it to an appointment, going outside and managing one thing on my to do list was a huge achievement for me. More than anything I achieve most days now in comparison.

I knew I had to keep moving forward, finding new resilience tools, making changes and being self aware of my depression and the impact it had on those close to me. Which was my main drive to push myself out of my comfort zone and keep putting one foot in front of another.

I know this may seem like an impossible task when you are in a dark whole, but you can acknowledge that your 'best' has changed and celebrate the small but HUGE things you have done each day. Focusing on what you can do.

I know, and have met, people that are stuck in their mental health, and it has become so all encompassing and allowed this to define themselves, and even as a way of excusing certain behaviours and actions that they take. Finally, using it as a tool to self sabotage moving forward.

I know this sounds like such a harsh post, but I wanted others to look around them, follow people on these squares that are going through the same, that will inspire them to keep going forward.

'Grow through what you go through.' Don't let mental health engulf your life make it something that makes you a more bad ass person. Or gives you the inspiration to write a book like the amazing @fionaikestoblog. If Fi hadn't have had depression and anxiety she wouldn't have written the amazing book Depression in a Digital Age.