January 2021 – A New Journey

January 2021 – A New Journey

2020 has been an insane year for all of us. It has thrown some real challenges and devastation upon us while testing us all to our limits. A lot of people’s mental health have been affected more so than ever, people have lost their jobs, their homes, their sense of security and safety.

The whole world went into a worldwide scare as we faced a worldwide pandemic due to an out break of coronavirus, and with some of leaders failing to guide us through such a stressful and unusual event it has made getting through this pandemic a lot harder and a lot more frightening as some countries have been left feeling as though they are fending for themselves due to the lack of guidance and control over the situation. Some of us have lost family members, friends and other loved ones from the hit of COVID-19

We have all been tested to our limits in our owns ways and have had to face many challenges that I’m sure a lot of us could have done without. Not only has this pandemic affected us all on a personal level but it has also affected us all on a business level. With countries going into lockdown in the hopes of containing and stopping the spread of the virus a lot of people had to leave their jobs, a lot of people got fired from their jobs as a lot of businesses failed to meet their money target for this year. Businesses were forced to close their doors temporarily in the hopes of containing the virus, thinking…well more like hoping, that they would only need to do that for a couple of weeks. However for some unfortunate and struggling businesses, they have been forced to close their doors forever putting them and their employees out of work.

The NHS and Key-Workers have been pushed more than ever also. With NHS workers/nurses/doctors risking their lives to help save our loved ones lives there have been a lot of show of support of them (but yet still not enough) as we thank them for working tirelessly to keep our loved ones alive and healthy.

People who never even considered dying their hair have gone as far as to self-bleach and dye their own with the trending hashtag (At the time) #Lockdownhair. I myself have been hit with a new hairstyle, a much shorter one I never thought I’d be brave enough to try out, despite my reservations and fears about short hair I have been finding a new hidden confidence in myself that never would have.

businesses, workers and just about everyone around the world started relying on the internet, on social media, group chats, and home deliveries to get them through this confusing COVID-19 pandemic.

As we had to learn to distance ourselves physically from those we love, we reached out to the internet and social media in the hopes of trying to replace that lost and lonely feeling. Divorces have gone up, relationships (friendships, platonic, Family relationships, romantic) have been tried and tested, and a lot of people unfortunately got to experience a little of what a lot of us who have suffered from mental health most of our lives are coping. Mental Health has become more talked about more now than ever, with thousands having their sense of safety and socialism taken from them and their world turned around.

To put it simply, 2020 has been one hell of a year, a year that has changed the world.

Like everyone else I and my family (close and distant) have not been without our own struggles, but as always they have shown a strength that I can only hope to/have when facing my own challenges.

2020 became such a unsuspected, challenging, frightening and unknown year. And despite that I am honestly looking forward to starting 2021 journey. The lows and the highs. After this year, if I have taken anything from it, it’s not to underestimate yourself and that there isn’t a thing you can’t get through as long as you have the right people trying to support and help you. It’s also not to take health for granted and I’m more determined than I was back when I started my yoga journey in 2019 while starting my recovery journey with my eating disorder to keep my focus on my health.

With that being said, This year brought me into a whole new journey of healing, one I feel will bring its own adventures as it follows me into the New Year of 2021.

I have no clue what this year holds for me or for you! But I have a feeling this year is going to be the year of self-discovery for everyone.

despite the load of shit-storms we’ve had thrown our way this year, that isn’t to say that 2020 didn’t come with its good moments.

Here in Liverpool, we never got a our snowy christmas day. However, we were graced in the wee little hours of the morning with a small blanket of snow. It wasn’t enough to get some “Winter Wonderland” though I did try (they didn’t turn out any good) I did end up accidently capturing a little blurry snowflake on my camera!

The sky has been incredible this year! And I’ve found myself looking to the sky more this year than my entire life. Just check out some of the incredible “shows” our beautiful sky has put on for us this year: –

  • Series of supermoons.
  • Moon passes in front of Mars.
  • Meteor shower drought comes to an end.
  • Lunar eclipse on the Fourth of July.
  • Jupiter, Saturn to take the spotlight in the summer sky.
  • Perseid meteor shower.
  • Blue moon to glow in Halloween sky.
  • Moonless sky in store for peak of the Geminids
  • Total solar eclipse to darken sky over South America
  • Super conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

I was not only lucky enough to witness most of these, I was lucky enough to capture all the supermoons on my camera!

I, myself, have overcome personal challenges, faced some frightening situations and through it all I have found a deeper strength in myself. I have found that I can still somehow function through a LOT of stress and a LOT of worrying.

I’ve been able to keep my anxiety down, my eating and weight is still all over the place but I’m happy to say that I’ve at least managed not to lose anymore. I’ve still managed my solo or couple walks in the wooded areas away from other people and I’ve spends a lot of this year starting a few new online courses and taking pictures, making whatever memories I could.

I strayed away from my blog despite my efforts, I found myself with little interest in writing this year, so much so that I still have a few new empty notebooks laying around! Usually they are half way filled with words by the end of a year however I don’t feel any loss towards my lack of enthusiasm for writing this year. I’ve seen it as a pausing point, a point in my life where I needed to take a bigger step away from social media and away from my blog and focus on my present life and the world moving around me not around the internet.

2020 has brought with it an inner peace within myself that has changed so much the way I think and look at situations and for that, pushing aside the bad of the year, I am grateful for the challenges and I can’t say that I took nothing away from 2020 because I’ve taken more from that year than I have any other.

I’m more focused on myself, on my emotions, my passions, my body, my hunger, my abilities and health thanks to 2020, my eyes are open to more positive things and I’m able to recognise a bad situation and detach myself from it rather than invest my emotions into it, just as I am now able to recognise a positive moment and keep it at the forefront of my mind ready to get through another difficult situation.

I understand just how scary, devastating and unusual this year has been. I’m sure its made it difficult for a lot of people to push past all the bad, to focus on the little bits of good that has come from this year.

But I want you all to try, try to think of one or two good things that happened this year and hold on to them, let those good moments be your guide through the bad moments. And remember that our mental state and the well beings of ourselves and loved ones are what truly matters. Count your small blessings, enjoy and soak yourself in the little moments and don’t take for granted the things others do for us to keep us going, don’t take for granted those in your life and more than anything never let the dark moments become every moment. There is light in every dark situation, no matter how tiny it maybe.

I don’t know what struggles you face in your life but I believe in you! If we can make it through a year like 2020, we can make it through anything.

I hope you all had a magical christmas and a lovely new year.

And with that I’ll wish you all lovely 2021. Bye, bye 2020. I’m ready to start and get through 2021 adventures!

National Read A Book Day

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National Read A Book Day

National read a book day is an annual event, an a awareness day that takes place annually on 6th September.

For some people (like myself), reading is our ultimate form of relaxation, where all our stress and worries deflate and disappear as we are pulled into the authors world/time that they have created for us readers.

However for other’s, when it comes to reading, it can seem like a bit of a chore. National read a book day is celebrated to help encourage all of us to take a little break to curl-up and get stuck into a good book or read out loud to the family.

National read a book day is the perfect excuse to sit back, relax and get lost in a book, whether you’re rediscovering some old favourites or delving into a new bestseller, why not take advantage of the day and sink into a good story/tale.

Before you start wondering, how on this earth am I going to read a full book in a day? There simply isn’t enough time, not enough hours in the day!

Fear not! The intention of national read a book day is to motivate you to open your mind and eyes to a book for at least a few minutes of the day. To take that little break away from work, from our lives and get lost in a fictional characters adventures instead. It isn’t necessary for you to read a book from front to back, simply reading a page is good enough.

So whether you are an avid bibliophile, an occasional reader or simply haven’t picked a book up in a while take advantage of the day, spare a few minutes or hours of your time to pick up that book you’ve been thinking about reading and finally get started.

So don’t waste anymore time, sit back, relax and open up a book!

What way’s can I get involved?

One way to get involved is to help get the little ones involved!

If you have children, then today is the perfect excuse to sit down with your little one/s and read them a fascinating tale or maybe take an hour out of your day to sit down all together to read a book. Before bed if you don’t already why not read them a bedtime story.

Did you know?

  • Reading is much more of a complex task for our human brain rather than, say, sitting down and watching the TV
  • Reading also strengthens our brains connections and can also build NEW connections
  • Reading improves concentration
  • Reading can also help children learn more about the world around them
  • Reading also improves our vocabulary and language skills
  • Reading helps develop a child’s imagination
  • Reading isn’t just fun but it can also be a great way to spend time together!

There are many different benefits that are associated with reading, so what are you waiting for! Go pick up that book!

Introducing CBT to my life

Introducing CBT to my life, mental health, mental health blogger, blogger, CBT, blog post, photography
Introducing CBT to my life

Through my search of self-help techniques that I hope can help me through life and help me in overcoming a few of my mental problems I came across ‘The Anxiety Journal’ that very briefly introduced me to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and was instantly intrigued by it. (You can read my review of ‘The Anxiety journal’ HERE)

Despite my insistence on doing things on my own from now own, even I am aware I can’t do everything alone and there are times where I do/will need the help of others.

So firstly let’s explain briefly what CBT is

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy also known as CBT for short is a talking therapy that can help many people to manage and cope with their mental/physical problems through thought and behaviour. It is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but has been known to be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

Due to this being a highly sought out remedy to those who suffer from anxiety and depression, I felt like this was something I needed to introduce to my life and give ago. Everything else I have attempted so far has only led to failure or has led to part failure but I’m not ready to give up, so why not try out CBT? It could be the very thing I’ve needed in my life all along.

Now that we know what CBT is, how does CBT work? Or more accurately, how is CBT meant to help you?

So, CBT is based on the concept that YOUR thoughts, YOUR feelings, YOUR physical sensations as well as actions are interconnected, and through that, negative thoughts and feelings can find a way to trap you in a vicious cycle.

CBT is aimed to help people to cope and deal with their overwhelming problems in a more light and positive way by breaking them down into much smaller parts. CBT helps open your eyes to show you how to change these negative patterns/cycles to help improve the way you feel.

Unlike other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current situation/problems, rather than focusing on all the issues of the past and looks for practical ways that can help improve your state of mind on a day to day basis. (I understand the need for opening up and letting the past out but I also understand that being able to move on from the past you have to stop giving into, stop talking about, thinking about and letting it into the present. For some people only opening that door again will they ever be able to close and lock it forever, but for others like me, I’ve already found the lock long ago and know unlocking and reopening doors will cause more damage than good to my mental state and wellbeing).

CBT isn’t just for those who suffer and want to overcome their anxiety and depression. CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a whole range of different mental health conditions as well as in addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT has and can help people with the following:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Eating disorders – such as bulimia and anorexia
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive disorder)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep problems – such as insomnia
  • Problems related to alcohol misuse

CBT has also been used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:

  • IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
  • CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Fibromyalgia

CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, CBT can help people cope better with their symptoms. Which sometimes it’s all you can hope for, is a little help in coping if you can’t rid yourself of whatever condition you have.

I hope this short explanation of CBT has helped explain what it is and maybe it’s even got you thinking, wondering if this is something that can help you…

As I stated at the top of this post, I have been trying to find as many self-help techniques that I possibly can but even I am aware that help is going to be needed somewhere down the line. you can’t do everything on your own, sometimes a little help is needed if you have any hope or chance of helping yourself.

Accepting help doesn’t make you weak. You’re stronger than most if you are able to seek or accept the help offered to you, most go through life trying to do it on their own in the hopes that no one sees their struggles and to me…that’s weak. It’s easy to hide and pretend, you need some steel hard balls come out of hiding, to accept what’s going on but to not accept that that’s how you are going to live out the rest of your life.

Not hiding your problems and instead choosing to fight them with everything you’ve got…now that’s brave.

I’ll be continuing this conversation on in a different post when I do an update on CBT and how it’s affected/helped me. I’ll be going into more detail about what ABT is, what it does and how exactly it’s meant to help as well as what to expect when attending CBT sessions with your therapist.