I would firstly like to thank Emma at www.emmaandthegirls.co.uk for tagging me in this blogger Q&A, I hope you all enjoying reading this and hope it tells you a little bit more about me!
1. When was the last time you cried?
About 3 weeks ago after we had to put my childhood family dog down. Lottie was a beautiful Westie who helped my mum brother and I through some really tough times. She deteriorated rapidly and we had no option but to put her down. I stayed with her when she was being put down and the whole process was/ is devastating.
2. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
I think I’m a good friend - I’m reliable, honest, good listener and like to think I’m fun too so yes I would be!
3. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Yes I do, I have quite a dark sense of humour. My partner and I tend to do a banter type of sarcasm!
4. What’s the first thing you notice about people?
I think aside from the obvious physical things I see like eyes and smile/ lack of smile I really notice now how people make me feel when I am around them.
5. Scary movie or happy endings?
I am a sucker for a happy ending!! Love to see the underdog win or get their happiness.
6. Favourite smells?
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir for my own choice of perfume and I love the smell of the seaside- fresh salty sea air 😍
7. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been away from home?
Cancun in Mexico in 2013.
8. Do you have any special talents?
Oooh, interesting one!! I don’t think I do- I am told I am good at organising parties and special occasions but is that a special talent?!
9. Where were you born?
I was born at Hillingdon Hospital, West London.
10. What are your hobbies?
As cliche as it sounds I am such a family person- I love being around my family and my little nephew. I love walking, being around nature, enjoy swimming, meditation, or anything creative/ artsy and live music- I am going to see Arctic Monkeys again in September.
11. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
This is hilarious but I remember wanting to work in a chip shop!! Haha! I would cut up paper chips and fish or sausages take a serving spoon from the kitchen and used my till to serve people!
12. How many countries have you ever been to?
15- Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Prague, Cyprus, Mexico & Dominican Republic.
13. What was your favourite and worst subject at school?
My favourite was drama and my friends/ family and boyfriend would agree I still do love the drama lol. I absolutely hated maths, mainly because I struggled with it and felt inadequate.
14. What is your favourite drink?
At the moment I am loving costa coffees watermelon and coconut fruit cooler and alcohol wise I love a frozen strawberry daiquiri.
15. What would you (or have you) named your children?
I don’t have children but definitely have some faves. For a girl I love the names Evie, Poppy and Grace. For a boy I like the names Jude, Arlo and Reuben. I find boys names a little more difficult to choose for some reason!
16. Who are your favourite YouTubers?
I don’t follow a lot of people on YouTube but I absolutely love listening to ‘the honest guys’ for guided meditation and sleep. It works a treat!!
17. How many boyfriends have you had?
In terms of serious relationships 3 boyfriends. I have been with my current partner for 7 years.
18. Favourite memory from childhood?
Holidays to camber sands or to Scotland to see my mums family.
19. How would you describe your fashion sense?
Erm.... this is dependant on Work or casual. I’d say I’m girly, bright colours and like comfort with a little bit of glamour.
20. Tell us one of your bad habits?
Being a control freak- about almost everything!
1. Get outside! Take a walk, locally, to the nearest park, woods or town centre- take notice of what is around you- what are you seeing? Hearing? How are you feeling?
8 Simple steps to a better nights sleep!
‘Sleep Hygiene’ is a term thrown around a lot in the mental health and clinical world. Perhaps this term is unfamiliar to you but essentially sleep hygiene is about a routine to assist with a better night’s sleep and routine. These steps can be used for children, adolescents and adults!
Limit screens in the bedroom: If possible, don't have a mobile, tablet, TV or computer in the bedroom at night, as the light from the screen interferes with sleep. Having screens in the bedroom also means you’re more likely to stay up late interacting with friends on social media. Try to have at least 30 mins screen free time before bed. I use my phone as an alarm so I ensure my phone is out of reach both physically and to ensure the light does not disrupt my sleep.
Exercise for better sleep: It's official: regular exercise helps you sleep more soundly, as well as improving your general health. Exercising out in daylight will help to encourage healthy sleep patterns, too. I have found when I walk to and from work I have a much more peaceful sleep.
Cut out the caffeine: OK, ok I can feel and hear the gasps in horror at this one!! I am a self-confessed coffee addict but I am also aware of the impact caffeine can have with getting to sleep. Perhaps try decaff, hot milk or a herbal tea. I am not saying cut out caffeine altogether but try to reduce intake 4 hours before bedtime.
Don't binge before bedtime: It’s so easy to get the late-night munchies, I am guilty of this myself. But I know that if I do this I will suffer. I will feel uncomfortable, bloated and too alert to sleep. Try to avoid eating too much or too little before bed.
Have a good routine: Doing the same things in the same order an hour or so before bed can help them drift off to sleep. Try to avoid TV, social media or anything too interactive or engaging an hour before bed. This time should be used to wind down therefore try a relaxing bath, having a warm drink (no caffeine!!) or reading a book.
Create a sleep-friendly bedroom: Ensure you have a good sleeping environment – ideally a room that is dark, cool, quiet and comfortable. It might be worth investing in thicker curtains or a blackout blind to help block out early summer mornings and light evenings. You might find white noise or background noise useful. Personally I set 15 minutes play on an audio book which helps me to drift off easily..
Talk through any problems: If you can’t talk them through, jot them down and this can be a helpful tool in offloading. Similarly, talk to your teenager or child about anything they're worried about. This will help them to put their problems into perspective and sleep better. You could also encourage them to jot down their worries or make a to-do list before they go to bed. This should mean they're less likely to lie awake worrying during the night.
Avoid long weekend lie-ins: As much as you may feel the need to lie in or oversleep it is crucial to build up a routine around sleep. A structured bed time and wake up time is useful in ensuring you’re not laying wide awake at night. Particularly for teens, late nights and long lie-ins can disrupt your body clock and leave you with weekend "jet lag" on Monday morning.
Some of these tips are pretty obvious and straightforward, but, sometimes I need to take myself back to basics to get back into the swing of “self care”, when life gets in the way at times. Have a read through and reflect on whether you are actively doing these things- if not, lets try again and if you are; is it working? What could be improved?
These are 5 easy and sustainable tips that have been tried and tested
1. Healthy eating- We all know the importance of eating healthily and making better choices but sometimes life gets in the way. I for one, will be the first to reach for a microwave meal or grab a takeaway but it leaves me feeling lethargic and sluggish! So, how about batch cooking on a Sunday in preparation for the week ahead? Have more healthy snacks readily available, such as fruit, veg etc. Notice how your body feels when you make unhealthier choices, these are enjoyable as an 80/20 rule but there is strong evidence to tell us that food/diet can impact hugely on mental and emotional well-being.
2. Exercise/ getting outside: Think about what type of exercise you enjoy, it might be vigorous, it might be challenging or you might simply hate exercise! One way I have managed to up my exercise is by walking more, driving less (we have one car between us) so I walk to and from work. Also, I walk rescue dogs voluntarily which is great fun.
3. Sleep hygiene: Keep your phone on silent and try to avoid using your phone at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Try to turn off all technology and if you are left overthinking the day or worrying then write down your thoughts. If you feel you have things left to do, write them down and tackle them the next day. Consider using mindfulness techniques or reading a book to help you unwind. If you need more tips or struggle with this please read my 5 TIPS TO A BETTER SLEEP blog.
4. Boundaries: Start to say no to things you don't want to do; social event? doing a favour? That extra project at work that is going to be unmanageable? Assert yourself and learn to say "that's not going to work for me". It is ok to say no and it is not selfish. Boundaries are part of self-preservation and you cannot do or be everything to everyone ALL the time. If you feel you need more advice and support in this area then read my blog on "Saying no and feeling ok about it".
5. Social media: Delete accounts or people that make you feel crap. Social media is a show reel and it isn't real life. Pay attention to how you feel seeing certain posts or people posting, have a cull and notice that shift in mind-set when scrolling through the show reel of social media!