Well it’s been a while hey?
Since having covid, followed by long covid my mind has been such a fuzzy mess that putting coherent thoughts down on the blog has been pretty impossible. But..finally I feel like I am at a point where life is slowly returning to normal. I still have rough days, some more so than others but I am getting there I think. It has been ten months since I got my positive test result and I am nowhere near full health or fitness but I will get there. I know in many ways I got off lightly, many people who have long covid can barely get out of bed, then there are the thousands of people that were lost to covid and its frightening to know that it can happen to people of my age who have previously been fit and healthy.
Life in general is slowly getting back to normal for all of us. I doubt that any of us will really get over what happened to the world this last 18 months but it has taught me and I am guessing so many of you such valuable lessons. It has taught me to want to make the most of my life, because it is just the one we get. It has made me more empathetic, yet also stronger. I am no longer the soft and often naive person I once was. I am firmer with people, I say no more often and I will not allow people to walk all over me. I have learned a lot about what I want in my life and more importantly who I want in my life, it showed me who are real friends and who were simply lurkers in my life.
I am determined more than ever to do more of what I want and what makes me happy at the same time as creating the best possible home and life for my children. And I believe I can do it. Life won’t be easy, it rarely is but if you make your days as happy and positive as you can then it changes your mindset and you find the harder days are a little easier to handle. I started forcing positive vibes into my day back at the earlier part of this year, I know that sounds pretty cheesy but I did. At first it was far from natural, we all know how easy it is to mope and let yourself wallow but the more I did it the easier and more natural it became and I realised I was starting to catch myself on those low days and I had found ways to manage it now.
Here are a few things I do to start my day positively:
Blast some feel good music, me and the girls love a kitchen disco in the mornings and we often play music on the walk to school and have a bit of a sing. Don’t underestimate the power of music and how it can transform your mood.
Eat a little better, now I don’t mean go on a diet and I definitely don’t mean cutting out favourite foods. Just think more about what you are eating, maybe on the weekend you know you will be going out for a sumptuous BBQ feast or all the snacks at the cinema so perhaps for a couple of days during the week you eat a little less red meat or sugar. What we put in our bodies affects how we feel. None of it for me is about losing weight, purely about helping my mind.
Get fresh air every day. Before I became unwell I was walking between 15-20k steps a day as well as attending a gym. I was the fittest I’d been in years and then suddenly I was struggling to breather and for about 4 months the furthest I walked was to the end of my street. By late Spring I was managing the school run and actually started to enjoy it again and I will never take being able to go for a long walk for granted again. I am still not back to being as fit as I’d like but I don’t put pressure on myself and as long as I’ve done something that day, even if it’s a ten minute walk then I feel better for it. I don’t need a perfectly toned body but I know how important exercise is for me personally and is a big factor in me having good mental health.
Avoid too much time with mood hoovers. I imagine not everyone knows what I mean by this but in your life you will definitely have mood hoovers or drains. People who only ever see the bad side of life and sometimes even seem to enjoy wallowing or being negative. You cannot avoid them altogether, perhaps they are members of your family or lifelong friends who need your support. But if your mental health is fragile and let’s be honest after the last two years it is for a lot of us then you do sometimes need to put yourself first and that is not selfish. Read that again. Putting yourself first is not selfish. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary. Remember the stronger and happier you are then the more likely you’ll be able to positively impact those around you. Be the change. I know it is very cheesy and almost Tony Robbins esque but it is true.
Find something that truly makes you happy and do it often. For me this is cooking and creating. Maybe for you it will be a certain game, going to a special place or even your work.
Find five positives in every day. You may think this is an impossible thing to do especially when you are going through a rough patch but don’t think these five positives have to be monumental things. Here are a couple of examples of positives I have found in the last few months:
Really good coffee
A walk by the river
The bubble of laughter from my girls when I do something daft
Being able to walk and see my parents
My favourite songs
Mastering a new recipe
Reading a quote that resonates
The fairy lights in my garden
The comforting feeling of a tight hug from someone who loves you
A beautiful butterfly landing on my lavender
None of these things are huge things, to some they will seem almost mundane. But keep counting those little things and just breathe it in. List them in a book, on your bad days look back at them and see how many of them were in that day without you even noticing. Life is brief and we ignore so much of it. Soak it up. Love, live and laugh a lot.
I have a few new recipes planned for this month so keep your eyes peeled and I really hope you are all doing well. feel free to comment with any recipes you’d like me to post or any ideas you have for me. Take care.