Your Self Care List

Hi guys!

This week I am talking about how to compose your own Self Care list. This is for everyone, to make sure your mental health is doing well and it enables you to rest your mind in a busy world. Over the last year I have been making mine – taking off and adding on items –  and no doubt you will too, as your life changes. I put my self care first, because I never used to, and I could see the dramatic changes it made my health, my work ethic, and my relationships. Now I can be my full self because I know I have filled my health back up (nice video game reference huh huh huh).

Here is my list, and it will be similar or very different. The point of me sharing mine is to get started with yours. It can be in your mind, or on a piece of paper, or on your phone. The main thing is to try fit in as many things as you can with the time you have, even if you are a full time parent or work 40 hours a week.

  1. I play games on my phone. There are 4 games i play every day, and throughout the day, and its a nice break for my brain, being at a computer all day. They are silly games that help me relax and unwind.
  2. Reading. I love to read, and have recently taken it back up. If I’m stressed, it can take me awhile to settle down into the book – but I very much liken it to meditation, as you get absorbed in the story and it stops your mind racing.
  3. Meditation. I do this as often as I can, and am now at the point when I know exactly when I need it, such as when I’ve had a busy day, or am stressed about something happening. There are many great apps out there to help!
  4. Yoga. I do Yoga as my main form of exercise to help my back and gain strength. More often I do it to be focused on the practise of it and stop worrying about my to do list. It really pushes me to strengthen my muscles and also gets my breathing to a good standard, which as people with anxiety know, this is very hard to get under control.
  5. Pamper Night. I do a weekly pamper night where I get the face mask on, moisturise, paint nails, shower, bath, wash hair, all things to make me feel I am floating on air by the end! Taking the time to take care of yourself is very important and if you do it right before bed it means you are more relaxed and sleep better, plus you know that you look great for the next morning!

This is my surefire ways of making sure I look after myself before I look after anyone else, as I can’t help with a half filled cup. Choose your own self care list, and don’t be afraid to get right to the heart of what you like, whether its a nerdy hobby, a lavish beauty salon treatment, or reading trashy books. You know what you need to function and get on with your own day and its challenges, so it’s important it makes you happy.

What’s on your list? I’d love to know!

T xx

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Burnout: Story of my life.

Hi guys!

So I have been off the last few weeks (unplanned by the way) as something reared it’s ugly head. That word is BURNOUT.

A few weeks ago I definitely started to feel burned out. We had an event coming up, I was working a little more at my day job, I wasn’t making time to do fun stuff, and I was also at the mercy of my to do list. I started to get tired and irritable, and lost all joy for life. Luckily we had a holiday booked, which was a cabin in the woods in Yorkshire. We had this holiday a few years ago when we were both burned out from the life we were living in London, and taking that time out to get back to nature. We love to tramp through forest and hike through the countryside, and we got that in spades. This time was the same, except even more magical. I will document and show pictures in a blog coming up, but I want to concentrate on what I did to work through my burnout. Now it was lucky that I had a hot tub also at the cabin (that always helps) and we had a few nights under the stars watching bats nip around.

While I was at the cabin I made room for relaxation and fun. Sadly, this involved me watching Homes under the Hammer every morning (my utmost favourite show) and planning what we were doing that day. We would go on a hike, then come back for lunch, spend some time in the sun, and then get into the hot tub. I tried to stay off social media as much as possibly other than work I needed to do, and I brought books to read which I love to do. My doctor talked about me doing 1 thing a day, and scaling my life back to a simple routine. This I had done last year, and while it was very difficult for me, it really helped. The only thing I maybe had to do was food shopping, or putting washing on, or finishing a blog. This was very easy to do when I was away as all I had to do was plan our walk for the day and that was it.

Burnout affects many people on many levels. Its something that you consistently have to monitor, and more people are prone to it than others. Multitasking is very harmful and only pushes you to burnout faster, and I would be doing this all the time – watching something on Netflix while checking on social media etc. It is important to be in the moment (and while I am writing this blog I am listening to a podcast, old habits die hard), and not be focused on the next thing or the next thing.

Since I came back from holiday I have made another appointment with my therapist, just to get it sorted before it gets any worse, but I also found I was much happier. Happy to go back to work, generally genial with everyone, and also much more relaxed with setting boundaries and reading more. I am hoping this means I have more of a grip on it, but like depression and anxiety, it is something I will have monitor consistently.

Have you ever had a burnout?

T xx

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Being an INFJ

Hi team,

So this week I am talking about being an INFJ personality type.

INFJ’s make up less than 1% of the worlds population, and well known INFJ’s are people such as Nelson Mandela, Alanis Morissette, and Oprah.

People who are INFJ’s look to help the world. They want to run for charity, but most importantly we want to help people to not become statistics.

INFJ’s firmly believe in the phrase “All you need is Love”, and use this strategy to win over people. Don’t get them wrong, they can be very strong in their opinions and are decisive and strong-willed. However they will not use this for their own gain. but want to make life fair for everyone.

INFJ’s love people, but can also withdraw to recharge. So when you are talking to an INFJ you may feel you are talking to an extrovert, however don’t be surprised when they shut off. It’s for their own health. Talking of which, burnout is a big factor for INFJ’s. They give too much of themselves to other people, and can also take criticism very hard and personally. With friends, they love quality. They prefer an hour of deep conversation to a small talk ten minute coffee.

The combination of being creative, empathetic, decisive and inspiring is something that the INJF uses to forward their beliefs. If an INFJ tells you they are going to climb Mt Everest, you can believe that they have a plan and the will to see it through, especially if it is for a cause they believe in.

However there are some weaknesses to this personality, as there are with any other one, such as being quite sensitive to conflict and criticism as mentioned before. They are private and will retreat. However if you show a genuine interest in them they will respond well. They need to have something to believe in and fight for – and through this fighting they can burn out very easily if they aren’t careful.

INFJ’s want to find their lobster. They want to find ‘The One’ who they connect with and they look to build lasting relationships with their chosen one.  They can be picky, and can see when people aren’t being their real selves, which can help in the initial stages of a relationship.

INFJ’s crave real friends. They don’t want superficial, they want the 3am talks at 10:30 in the morning. They detest small talk and really just want to talk openly and honestly with you. They can be hard to make friends with in the workplace, but if you share their passions and interests, then they will be a great friend to you. You do need to work at them a little bit, being a little private it takes them a while to open up.

 INFJ’s hate gaining power, and try to avoid people that want to gain power. You won’t see them on Instagram with their shiny highlighted face and new car.
When it comes to their career, INFJ’s do tend to avoid corporate paths, as it doesn’t fit their life journey. and this goes hand in hand with not wanting to acquire power. INFJ’s also have a hard time deciding what they want to do, being pulled in many different directions. They suit roles as life coaches, doctors, and counsellors because these job choices help people directly. They also want to be creative in their chosen career.
They also thrive setting up their own business, as they can plan their own workload and career goals. Often INFJ’s also go into writing, music, photography and art.
I love being an INFJ, and I love even more that I know what I am and why. It’s saved a lot of stress and overreaching the last few years, and also lets me know when and where to push myself.
Are you a INFJ? Let me know in the comments!
T xx
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How I stopped playing a Victim and took control of my life!

Hi team!

So in my blog last week I talked about the comfort of depression. While I was in my depression there was some characteristics I didn’t like about myself  that I am constantly working on every day. I have another symptom that might have happened to you, and I certainly know a lot of people that have this. The important thing is moving on and growing from it.

So I want to talk about being a victim. I’m sure you know people like this. Oh this happened to me. This person did this to me.

The road to managing your depression and anxiety is a long one. You will have many amazing moments along the way and truly get to know yourself, and then you have moments that set you back.

I recently became aware of a stage a long time ago that I had turned into a “victim”. I shared when I was sick, I made excuses for things, I said “it happened to me”. I turned into a version of myself that I thought I would never be, and refusing to take ownership and work through a situation.

Part of this is my hatred of being told off especially in front of people, or people thinking I am bad at my job or homelife. I get really anxious and get a bit shaky. Then I refuse to do something about it.

I’ve recently learned something – that people that challenge your self esteem or your self worth are either full blown douche bags – OR – they see your potential and are forcing you to do better than you are. I got challenged a lot and it made me go inward instead of thinking and using my skills to get through the situation and deal with it properly. It also meant people around me started to shoulder the weight of me refusing to deal with issues, which is not their fault.

I tried a different way of approaching things and not working to a formula. I treated challenges as levelling up myself, and worked to support the people in my life and be more proactive. I recently heard a quote – “Lukewarm is no good”, and it really does apply to life!

So here are some things that are helping me to not be a victim.

  1. Take ownership. If you do something good, yell about it. If you do something bad, own up and offer a solution.
  2. Don’t make excuses. “I was late because of this,” “I’m sick,” etc etc. They switch off people. If you are sick, stay at home. If you are late, think about re-adjusting your travel time. Show up and work hard in all facets of your life. Even if you need to clean the oven (ugh hate that job).
  3. Look at routines and ask how they can change. Try new ways of doing things and you might find something that works really well.
  4. React quickly. The old tested one is if someone comes in (a friend) and is feeling a bit low, shove them a cup of tea and a biscuit and make them take a minute. Then help to sort our their problem. At work, if something isn’t going to plan, try plan B.

I am consistently finding out things about myself that surprise me but we all do, on the journey to recovery. If you start thinking hey, I don’t like when I do this, start thinking about ways to change it and yourself for the better. And remember, it’s a work in progress, not an overnight thing. You just have to work on it!

T xx

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The Comfort of Depression

Hi team!

This week I am talking about the comfort of depression.

I have been out of the woods for depression for a little while now. I had made some major life changes and learned to look after myself well. The next time something happens, I hope I am at least better prepared than I used to be at recognising the signs and looking after myself.

I turned to music a lot when I was depressed, and had a lot of songs that I would listen to to try and work through my emotions. The unfortunate thing is that those songs are still on my playlist, and when they come on I get a familiar rush of a low feeling. Now I am able to recognise that this isn’t a real feeling. Depression to me now feels like I am not well. Back then it felt like I felt better, as I had shoved things to the back of my mind and didn’t realise that I wasn’t at my best.

Having depression means you can’t get out of bed, you can’t eat or eat too much, you develop fixation on things, and so many more factors. You go right into your mind and don’t worry about other people. This isn’t necessarily bad, but the loss of the awareness of the world around you is quite damaging. You lose entire days to it, and then start to be aware of the fact you don’t want to leave the house, even to just get milk. You feel safe in your own space, where you don’t have to deal with other people.

Even seeing friends is a real struggle, even though they understand and want you to be happy and healthy, because you don’t want to be treated differently. You turn down invitations to things, then scold yourself for not going to something.

I used to use fashion as a shield against the world. This was my comfort level. I would wear sunglasses to go out for a walk, no matter the weather, headphones all the time, and loud crazy clothes to focus the attention from myself (weird aye). I am now in the process of changing my style to be my true self (still a little crazy, lets be real) but where I am comfortable and it suits the age and mind state I am today. I will miss crazy clothing Taryn, but you can’t say I missed a trend in my 20s!

I now carefully look at my days and construct things so I have breaks all the time, I meditate, I exercise, and I can make time to lie on my bed and zone out with a tv series or movie. I no longer put pressure on myself to do a million things, and I am mindful most days of what I do and how I feel.

I don’t know if I will miss the comfort of depression. I know when it comes on and can usually adjust myself accordingly, however it takes constant work and patience to make sure that it doesn’t come. It takes little steps to get out into the world after being in the comfort of depression, from leaving the house, to going and meeting a friend, to attending a large social gathering.

The important thing is to keep chipping away at this. Leaving your bed to get a glass of water. Going to have a shower. Doing a household chore. Popping out and getting something nice for lunch. All are mountains to the heavily depressed, but the good news is it all doesn’t have to be done in a day. You can work and work and work at it, because you have the rest of your life to look forward to. Unfortunately for a lot of people, depression is a lifelong thing to balance and you have to make the right choices for you to make sure that you are okay with yourself and your health.

I have seen many friends fall into depression. Some are out, some are still in, and some are working their way towards it. I am grateful I can now see the signs and monitor friends from afar to make sure that they know they have a support base. It’s a journey that many people go on in their lifetime, some for only a month, to a year, to a lifetime. Some for different factors brought on. The important thing is to keep mindful of yourself and learn to say no to things that harm your mental health.

How are you in your mental health? Are you having similar thoughts? Comment me in the comments!

T xx

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How to have a Great Mental Health Day

Hi guys!

I thought this week I would share on how I try to have a great Mental Health day so that I feel great at the end of the day and not crazy tired or burned out, and to not have regretful feelings about not having done certain things. I tend to put pressure on myself to get many things achieved in a day and forget to have fun, breathe, and rest.

First of all, I try and have a great sleep. Often it takes me awhile to wind down, so I allow half hour, an hour if I can to start winding down, and not look at my phone or iPad, and reading a book, colouring, or meditating.

When I wake up in the morning I try not to hit snooze as often that makes me feel more tired. I also try to think of 3 things I am grateful for before I get up. This really helps set the mood for the day.

I have a little morning routine that ensures no stress in the morning and I get time to chill out before I head out for the day.

At work, it is often quite busy so I make sure that I am mindful and in the moment with customers and staff, and make sure that I am not taking on too much. Lunchtime I am tempted to work on my blog or other things, but I read a book and enjoy the moment and rest.

After work, I sometimes walk home to debrief from the day, especially if it has been a busy and stressful day. That means I can leave work at work and feel great when I walk through the door of my house.

I write 3 great things about my day in a book that I keep on my desk and explore if things haven’t gone well and why. Sometimes I will write about triggers and why they come up, and then write myself advice for the next time.

Nearing bedtime I will do some yoga and meditate from an app that my doctor gave me (although any one is great) and then take time to relax without technology by reading, which is one of my favourite pastimes. This helps with insomnia as a few pages in I am often asleep!

This is by no means what I do every day, and often I do miss steps, as everyone does. The other thing is, not everything here will work for you. The important thing is that you make sure you shake up your day to make time for you. These steps took me a long time to implement into my life as I did not put my mental health first, but I know if I do at least one of these things over a day, I will feel better.

So have a look at your day. Are your mornings rushed? Could you afford to go to bed a little earlier (or at least try) and get up earlier? Do you make sure you have breakfast and get yourself ready for the day without feeling rushed?

Do you remain in the moment over the day, making sure you are thinking about the tasks at hand and when things get busy, to make sure anxiety doesn’t creep in by remaining in the moment?

What exercise do you do? You can do whatever feels right to you, but making sure you are moving for at least 20 minutes a day can really help with your mental health. Getting out for a brisk walk on your lunch can really help blow the cobwebs away and take you out of your environment.

Lastly, what do you do to wind down at night? It can be anything, but preferably non technological, so your mind can rest. I like to read, or colour in, or talk about my day.

There can be a lot to do to sort your mental health routine, but it is so worth it. When you start feeling unwell, you know there are practical things you can do to start the road to feeling better. And you don’t have to do it all in one day. As long as you try and do at least a few a day, you are on your way.

What are your never fail ways to make sure you feel great all day? Let me know in the comments!

T xx

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Changing Who You Are For The Better!

Hi team!

So this blog is very personal, and might surprise a few people that know me. However it is important to me to be honest and open as it really helps my journey, and hopefully will help you too. On the lifelong road to recovery from anxiety and depression, I am learning so much about myself and working on my faults and habits I would like to change. I’d like to note as I am much better now, these traits don’t show their face as often, but they were very prevalent during high school and university when I really struggled.

One that has been in action and out of action since high school is temper and cruelty. This might be a strong tagging of these qualities but it really helps me to show how far I could and have gone. This one is a side that I work on every single day to keep in check and while it is one that only comes out from time to time, it is one that I do not like about myself and would like to settle once and for all.

So everyone gets angry, sure. I tend to take it out on people that don’t deserve it, or didn’t ask for it. Instead of leaving the situation, I stay and let my mouth run. And I have said some bullshit when the red veil goes down. It is because I get anxious and feel like I am being held down. Basically if I feel I am backed into a corner I attack with words and malice. It is something that I have fought all my life, because I hate being told what to do by someone I don’t respect, and hate being told off for stuff I have done wrong, as I get embarrassed easily.

I have a lot of pride and when it gets knocked down, I get quite ragey. I also baited people in conversations to start an argument, even though I am not a confrontational person.

Surprised? Me too. When I started looking at this habit I started thinking about all the things over the years that I have done and started to get a bit cringe. Its something I am not proud of at all and that people do not deserve. It is something I am working on, and instead just leaving the room, writing down my anger, or thinking about what I can do next time instead of launching into a tirade.

Next one is cruelty. I have previously said and do things that intentionally make people hurt. This one doesn’t come out that often, but when it comes out it really comes out. It is an awful habit to break and one that i really am ashamed of. If I feel that I am backed into a corner, or if I am really mad at someone, I sometimes do into this tirade. Now I usually place myself into peoples shoes and try and figure out why I am getting mad at them. But sometimes you just go straight to the rage mode. And sometimes to their faces. Not good. A little heated honest two way discussion is fine, but a full blown attack is not. I used to be a self destructive person. I would say and do things to make people stay away from me. This habit is a tough one to break but I work on it every single day and while I do slip up sometimes, I am proud of how far I’ve come.

I would sit down and write about what qualities you like, and what qualities you don’t like about yourself. The key is that this is not perfectionism, everyone needs to feel emotions (and when you are depressed feeling emotions is a big step), however think about when it affects others and puts a strain on relationships. I am lucky to have a lot of loyalty in my life but I have easily lost friends over the years through my actions. Almost think of it as your deadly sins. Talk to the people around you and tell them you are acknowledging your actions. Talk openly and honestly about it and take responsibility for it. This is the way to push your relationships forward and become stronger for it. Ask someone to help you on your journey. Try not to put yourself in situations and remove yourself if it gets too much. You don’t have to explain why, and then you can go back and talk when you feel ready.

So here are some tips.

  1. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. A classic.
  2. Take yourself out of the room. Write your words down and then burn them. Just don’t burn down the house. Bad.
  3. Take a long breath, and remember if someone is pissing you off, you don’t need to tell them there and then. Add some time and space.
  4. Don’t feel you have to be so open with people. You can just not answer people if you want. Or tell them you don’t want to discuss certain things with them. You are responsible for what you think and feel, but you don’t have to share it with the world.

Tell me, what’s your ‘thing’ you work on daily? And if you are brave, please tell me in the comments, I’d love to help you.

T xx

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Bright Tools – The Brightness Plan

Hi team!

Over the last few years I have come to the realisation that I want more out of life. I want to have a job that I really enjoy, an outside life that has friends and fun, and I want to be a part of the community and raise awareness for causes that are close to my heart – such as Mental Health.

I recently had to be signed off work as I was burnt out with work and life. I had taken on so much over the year that I did really enjoy, however was neglecting myself and my mental health, as well as my friends. I wasn’t enjoying anything anymore and was feeling pretty down.

So I sat down on my days off and wrote a list of things I liked and things I didn’t like. This can be a bit daunting at first, but considering one of my first dislikes was peppers, it got very easy from there. I put down that I didn’t like a long commute, and that I wanted the option to walk to work. I wanted to have a part time job or a job that allows me to get a dog. I wanted my house to be done, and not be a constant tip. I wanted time for my friends, and more weekends than retail usually allows. I wanted to spend Christmas not stressing about Boxing Day. I wanted to work in Social Media, whether in a job or my own business, and most of all, I wanted to cement myself further in the community by setting up a page or a group to bring people together to make people happy and be open about mental health.

Looking back over it, these things things are moving along well. I can walk to work at my part time job. I am now project managing my home and taking ownership for it. I now have more weekends and weekend days off than ever before, I didn’t work Boxing Day, and I now work for the Edinburgh Bloggers Conference for the last year, helping with social media and putting on events. This has taken a huge amount of grafting, but it goes back to that list I made. Putting it down on paper and getting to the heart of what I wanted my life to look like over the next year had a profound effect on my mentality and goals. I still have a long way to go but I have made a great start. And for a laugh, here is my list.

Love:

  • Sun
  • Rain
  • Social Media
  • Stationary
  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Blogging
  • Photography
  • Animals

Hate:

  • Clutter
  • Work overload
  • Being in debt
  • House in disarray
  • Not having good mental health

Oh, and peppers of course.

I have a free printable for you also if you sign up to my mailing list which will help you put pen to paper and get your thoughts out there. And the best part is, you can print more and more and more if you want and for different things! Here is the link to sign up!

Emails for you

Have a good weekend!

T xx

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Tools to have great Mental Health over Christmas!

Hi team!

So Christmas is a time of joy, family, and presents (don’t forget them presents!) Hoooowever it is a time that depression and anxiety can make it’s full entrance at the wrong time. Speaking from experience, Christmas Day can be a minefield for a person that is suffering from D&A.

The first stress factor is getting presents for everyone. Do you really need to get that present for your neighbours cousin’s boyfriend? No you do not. Send out cards, and get gifts for the people that really matter in your life.

The second stress factor is work. A lot of people work right up to the day (unless you are very lucky and for that I am envious) and often on the day itself are too wiped out to enjoy the day. Take time through the month to give yourself self care, and don’t push yourself trying to attend every Christmas event out there.

The third is where you are spending the day. Often family comes into this, with pressures perhaps real or imagined taking place. You have to ask yourself what you want out of the day. Do you want to have a chilled out day or a full day of family and food? It is your day too, and you need to look after yourself. I like to do both, where I have the loudness for awhile, then a bit of quiet time to recharge, often taking a walk after dinner if I can to get out the house and get a bit of fresh air. Make it work for you as it’s your health that matters.

The fourth is FOMO. There are lot of a great events on around Christmas, such as Christmas markets, dinners, parties, celebrities turning on lights, carolling, the list goes on. The problem is when you want to go to everything, and start to overwhelm yourself. Pick and choose your events over the holiday season, as you will be more tired over the month of December.

So here are a few tips for the December/Christmas extravaganza:

  1. Sleep well, Hydrate, Eat right (I know, lame, but try to eat some veggies and fruits).
  2. Say yes to events you really want to go to, and no to events that you don’t. There are sometimes obligatory things that happen around this time of year but really, it’s your health that matters and you need to pace yourself.
  3. Take time out over December to meditate, do yoga, run, what ever you do to relax. Make sure you get that alone time to really take in the moment and get your breath back.
  4. Remember it is only one day. Go into it expecting the best, and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
  5. Take in the moments over the day, and you will be surprised at how many make you feel good and that you feel you may have missed previous years!

Happy Christmas everyone and hope you all get unicorns in your stockings!

T xx

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I took 3 weeks off for Mental Health

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