Tag Archives: staying well

Learning to love my body

*Trigger warning* Please note that the following post discusses weight and disordered eating. Please make sure you are in a safe place before reading.

Food and I have had a disordered relationship for a long time. I have used food to punish and to soothe. I have used it to attempt to fill a void and restricted it when I believed I deserved it. I have struggled to see food as just food, instead demonising it and using shame to beat myself with. My weight has yo-yoed many times over the years. read more

8 Ways to make exercise fun for kids + giveaway

**I was sent one mobile phone in order to complete this review. All opinions are my own**

When I am having a bad day, you can almost guarantee it is because I haven’t exercised in some shape or form. I’m incredibly unfit and I don’t enjoy exercising, but I do know that when I do it, I feel so much better for it. I’m a big fan of the incidental exercise, much to the chagrin of Mr 8. He got the lazy gene from his Mama.

This year we have been walking to and from school everyday. When we started, Mr 8 complained so much that one would think I was making him complete a marathon each day, not the 1.5km we walked to school. It’s August now and we’ve only just reached the point where he has accepted that we are walking this term.

I knew that I wouldn’t be the only one in this position so I decided to share my tips for a way to get to whinge free exercise!

  • Make it part of your routine. When we first started there was lots and lots of complaining. As hard as it was, I tuned it out. I told him that we were doing this now, and that was the end of it. Any complaints were met with a repeat of that phrase.
  • Distraction: Just like when tantrums plague the world of life with a toddler, distraction works well with a school aged kid who doesn’t want to do something. I used a mix of questions about his day and pointing out things along our route. We would even go through the alphabet and try to find things that started with each letter. The end of the alphabet got tricky!
  • Be honest about the need for a healthy lifestyle. I talked with Mr 8 about how being active makes us feel good and that being fit helps us to play with our friends at school.
  • Wearable technology: Last month I bought Mr 8 a Vivofit Junior after he showed interest in my fitbit. It’s been great for getting him interested in seeing how active he is during the day and wanting to beat his Mum’s step count for the day! It also has the added feature of a chore list with rewards. We’ve used this to help get into a routine before school and for bedtime. He knows what he needs to do and that he gets a coin for completing it.
  • Good old fashioned bribery. When we first started walking, I told Mr 8 that if he walked for a whole week without complaining then he’d get a treat from the shop on the way home from school.
  • Acknowledge their feelings. We all do things that we don’t want to do. We all have to get on with it. However it also helps when someone acknowledges that it’s a crappy thing to have to do.
  • Plan a walk/ride to somewhere they want to go. Exercise isn’t just school runs around here. We also walk to the park, which Mr 8 loves. He rides his scooter while I walk and then he gets to play at the park too. It’s a win-win.
  • Find a fun walking app. Last year I found a walking app that involved a zombie apocalypse. Mr 8 loved it. However I wasn’t so keen on him carrying my phone while we walked. He had an old phone of mine, but the battery doesn’t last very long. So when I was asked if I wanted to review a new smartphone, I knew the perfect use for it. In steps the new Alcatel Pixi Vibe.  The Alcatel Pixi Vibe is small enough to fit in his small hands and still powerful enough to host the games that he loves. Even though the phone itself only has 5gb of storage, it can be expanded with the use of a SD Card. The phone runs on the Android system and is very similar to the Samsung range of phones. This made it super easy for me to use and the features simple to find.
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    6 Tips for reducing anxiety + Giveaway

    *I received one weekend family pass to Oz Comic-Con for myself and one weekend family pass for the purpose of a giveaway.  All opinions expressed are my own.*

    Anxiety is something that I have been dealing with in increasing intensity after the last few years.  It has stopped me from doing things that I love.  It has stopped me from doing things with people that I love.  Worst of all, the guilt of not doing those things has been worse than the anxiety too.

    I have been adding to my therapy toolbox with my psychologist. Being mentally healthy is hard work, but with practice some of these skills come without me having to think about it.  I want to share those tips with you.

  • Have an exit strategy.  One of the most overwhelming things for me is feeling like I have to commit to x amount of hours.  I work myself up about not being able to last that long.  I find that allowing myself an exit strategy if I need it helps to alleviate that overwhelm.  More times than not, I end up staying longer than I planned too.
  • Best. Worst. Most likely.  This is a skill that my psychologist has passed along to me.  What is the best outcome from the situation?  What is the worst outcome? What is the most likely outcome.  Also, if the worst does happen, what is the impact in the grand scheme of things? Will I be safe? Will those I love be safe?  This strategy also helps to brainstorm ideas for what I will do, if the worst outcome does eventuate.
  • Practice mindfulness.  Focus on the smaller things around you.  Find something you can smell, something you can hear, something you can see and something you can touch.  If you find it easier, don’t be afraid to use headphones while out too.  I feel more overwhelmed when using headphones, so that one doesn’t work for me, but I know others have found it helpful.
  • Make a plan. If possible, sit down with the event map prior to the event and work out where the things that you want to see are.  Work out where the amenities are situated and also where any food trucks/shops are.
  • Wear something you’re comfortable and feel good in.  This one might seem like a no brainer, but I know that when I wear clothes that I don’t feel 100% comfy in, that heightens my feelings of being judged.  In an ideal world, I wouldn’t feel judged, but right now I live in an anxious world.
  • Take a comfort item.  You need to do what makes you feel comfortable in a situation that often literally feels life or death.  If having a stuffed animal, or a baby blanket helps that, then I say go for it.
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    How to create a Ta-Da Journal

    Bullet Journals seem to be all the rage at the moment. Or at least in my news feed.  I looked into them because I am a lover of lists.  Plus any excuse to buy a new notebook is good in my opinion.  However Bullet Journals didn’t seem to be my style.  One of the things that I have learned over the last few years is that recovery is about creating and filling a toolbox.  There isn’t just one way to get well.  Sometimes it is about taking bits and pieces from different therapies to fill your toolbox.  Sometimes it is about creating your own techniques that work with your life.  That is where Ta-Da Journalling comes in!

    We’re all familiar with the traditional to-do list, well this one is a little different.  Instead of writing all of the things that I plan to do in a day (which when you are in a depressive slump feels a mile long) I sit down at the end of the day and write the things that I have already achieved.

    I realised that when I was feeling down or anxious that my first response was to lament about all of the things that I was failing at.  I was quick to point out the things that I hadn’t achieved, while forgetting about the things that I had actually gotten done that day.

    The best part about a Ta-Da Journal?  Everything you do in a day is an achievement.  Got out of bed this morning? Write it down.  Showered for the first time in 3 days? Write it down.  It doesn’t matter how small you think the achievement is.  Write it down.

    There’s no special way to create a Ta-Da Journal.  All you need is an empty notebook and a writing utensil.  You can make it as plain or colourful as your heart desires.  I have written an index at the start of my journal with the page numbers for each month.

    On days that I feel like I haven’t achieved a single thing, it’s helpful to be reminded that I have achieved so much more.  It’s also helpful to read back through the entries and see the progress of my achievements.  Plus, like I said, I love lists!

    So if you are feeling like everything is getting on top of you and nothing is getting done, I really recommend a Ta-Da Journal.  Our brains are pretty good at lying to us when we have a mental illness, so facing it head on (pardon the pun!) with cold hard facts is often the best way forward.

    Have you tried Bullet Journalling?

    Do you add things you’ve already done to your to-do list?


    Emotional intelligence and social media


    I’ve been using Facebook for around 9 years.  Before that I sporadically used a myriad of social media channels throughout my teen years.  Unlike Facebook though, most of those channels are now gone and I’m not faced with cringe worthy reminders of the things I wrote when my emotional intelligence wasn’t at the level it is now.  Thank you Facebook memories!Emotional intelligence doesn’t have anything to do with a person’s IQ or the grades they got in school.  A person can be a rocket scientist and still have zero emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence refers to someone’s ability to evaluate, express, identify and control their emotions.

    This type of intelligence helps us to navigate interpersonal relationships effectively.  Someone with a low emotional intelligence often lacks the insight into their emotions and how the expression of those emotions impacts on those around them.  People who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), like myself, are often diagnosed because their emotional responses are out of sync with what is happening around them.

    When I was quite unwell, it showed in my online activity.  Even now, when I am having a bad day, it shows.  When I was unwell, before I started therapy, I didn’t think about the consequences of the things I posted on my social media.  I didn’t worry about the fact that not everything I shared was mine to share.  I lacked insight into my actions and the emotions ruled.

    Over the last couple of years the online space has changed dramatically.  Facebook and micro blogging reigns supreme and there’s been a huge push back against curated social media.  Raw and honest has become what the masses are screaming for but I worry about how that translates to real time posting and the people who get caught in the crossfire.

    I think that having a high level of emotional intelligence is extremely important when it comes to being a public figure on social media.  Having the ability to assess risk, communicate effectively and still have your thoughts heard is valuable in the fast paced environment of social media.  A strong emotional intelligence doesn’t mean that you don’t share raw and honest, but it does mean that you have a greater insight into the wider impact of your actions.

    Social media is an absolute minefield of opinions, not all of them are going to gel with yours and hell some of them might even be about you.  It’s easy to go with our emotional response, instead of our wise mind when something we disagree with happens.  It’s easy to lash out at the people who have upset us.

    Emotional intelligence is what steps in when that response pushes to the forefront of our minds.  It’s what stops us from posting about our dickhead bosses.  The post might be true, the person might have wronged you, but have you really thought about the consequences?  I know I didn’t when I was unwell.

      Do you think it’s important to have a high level of emotional intelligence to be an online identity?