2017, 2018, 2019 ready or not here I come!

Studies show that we are only born with two innate fears; falling and loud noises. As we grow up we are influenced by our surroundings and culture and might develop fears of things like snakes, spiders or the dark. But as we become adults we start getting scared of different things, like, do I fit in? Can I do this correctly? Or what if I don’t succeed? These fears are so very real and go hand in hand with things like depression and anxiety. These fears can build to a point of overwhelm and by not trying to overcome them, the answer is always going to be “no you can’t” or “no you won’t”. 

Now I’m not saying if you do something out of your comfort zone like, go out with a new group of friends or doing a new activity you’ve never done before, that it will heal your depression or anxiety, but by challenging yourself to try something that you’ve been too scared to do before, it could make you feel more powerful than ever. 

Once you start to challenge your fears, you shrink them. The more you talk about the thing it is you’re afraid of you’re belittling it by every word you talk about it. Tell a friend or even a work colleague what it is and see if they have an experience of the same thing, or maybe they can tell you if they have done it themselves.

Now I know this is much easier said than done, but I wouldn’t be writing about it if I wasn’t doing it myself! For starters this blog was a huge thing for me (I’ve actually been “setting this up” for a little while now, and by “setting up” I mean procrastinating to avoid going live!) Putting myself out there for all to judge was a huge fear for me, but it’s something I am working on, and if I can motivate you to do something that challenges you, I’ll be happy! I am also working on something else this year, which I can’t say too much about right now as it’s still very early days, but it involves public speaking which is something that petrifies me! I will most certainly keep you posted about this and how I do!

One thing to remember is, confidence is key, even if you’re not. I guess that’s where “fake it until you make it” works. For me I feel more confident when I do research and feel more knowledgable or when I openly talk about it, for example telling whoever I am with that I am new to this or why I am afraid, I find by being confident enough to talk about it openly it belittles that big, dark, scary, fear-monster and immediately lightens the load, even just for a moment. Think about it, talk about it; what step can you take to challenge something you’re afraid of? Maybe it’s signing yourself up for that next open mic night, or maybe it’s finally telling that certain person how you feel about them.

Nothing can beat the feelings you get when you face a fear, feelings of excitement, accomplishment, achievement and power! And every time you do, not only do you become stronger, you become more knowledgable, more admirable, more daring! All these attributes exude confidence which, in the right quantity is the sexiest trait of all!

I’d love to know if you’re inspired to challenge yourself! Please let me know what you’re doing. Let’s use 2019 as a year of more personal growth and success. There is enough for everyone!

5 Things I do when I’m feeling low.

I think it’s important to remember being “healthy”doesn’t just mean free from illness or injury. The way things are today its more important than ever to take care of our mental health, with social media “ideals” everywhere we look.

In this day and age, when we’re living whirlwind-100mph lives, it is easy to get wrapped up in other peoples lives, thinking everyone else has it figured out and other peoples lives look perfect. It can be really overwhelming. 

When I start feeling low, these are some of the things I do:

1. I meditate – Meditating is something I feel like I definitely don’t make enough time for every day, but when I’m feeling low I remember I need to make time to be mindful. I truly believe that living a healthy lifestyle includes being mindful, and our mental health often gets pushed to the back burner when we get so focused on eating well and exercising. My brain is often thinking about at least 10 things at any one moment so I find it hard to be present and let go of day to day thoughts. I find using an app helps me focus, a couple I would recommend are Calm and Headspace.

2. I exercise – Exercising is proven to reduce depression and anxiety. I put it in my diary sometimes so I make the time to exercise, particularly a yoga class as I feel that kind of movement really helps my mood. Research shows that even just 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise such as a brisk walk, jogging, swimming, cycling, 3 times per week can improve your mood!

3. I write – I’m not one who journals regularly, in fact I have never considered myself a writer but when I’m feeling low I write down everything that is going on in my life and how its made me feel, this is probably the thing I find helps me the most. I very very rarely even go back and read it but I feel just getting it out of my head and onto paper helps. I guess its like talking to someone but you can be as honest and as raw as you like, and know that no one ever even has to see it.

4. I use essential oils – My mum bought me this little humidifier diffuser so I jumped online and bought me a pack of essential oils, and I use them occasionally but this is something I definitely use more when I’m feeling low or stressed. The ones I find I use most, are lavender, frankincense, lemongrass and rosemary. Sometimes one at a time but mostly mixing a combination.

5. I listen – When I’m feeling low, I tend not to want to talk about it, mostly for fear of being a burden, which is something I’ve battled with throughout my life. I am a communicator, I like to talk, but for some reason I get this fear of off-loading that someone probably doesn’t want to hear it (which often isn’t the case!). So I listen, I love putting on a certain playlist that either will make me get in my feels and maybe have a good cry (which everyone needs from time to time) or something uplifting which will help me get motivated for the day. Either that or a motivational podcast or audiobook helping me focus my mind on the positives and moving forward.

Some of these things can require a lot of effort, sometimes you know these things might make you feel better but you just don’t want to. I understand, just know that you are the one that has to take that step into making yourself feel better. 

What are some of the things you do that helps when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Or something you have done in the past that has helped?

Maybe you would prefer helping a stranger, or talking to a friend or family member. Whatever your process looks like, I would love it if you shared it, also please let me know if you try any of these tips and if they work for you.