Hello there you and hope your day is good to you..
This was my first attempt at trying a Villanelle. This was a prompt set by themumpoempress (a lovely poetry writing club for mums that I’m part of)
Now, it was a challenging form to do that’s for sure, but also fun. Great way to keep you foccussed on technique, rhyme and structure. I had a headache after that little creative burst from all that focussing!!
Of course, I based it on this awful past 18 months of (dare I say it?) Covid (I said it)
Please let me know your thoughts – and do you enjoy playing about with different forms?
During Covid, so many of us have had time to reflect on life (I’ve been doing lots of soul searching) and to appreciate the simple things.
Practicing gratitude is something I’ve introduced into my life daily. However, some days it can be difficult to practice when you’re not in the mood, or life just becomes too busy and you have to dig that little bit deeper.
I also started writing a mood journal during Covid and I finish each entry with a gratitude list: finding it helpful to be more present and focussed.
5 Tips to help incorporate mood journaling and gratitude into your life.
1. Write, write, write… I find just putting pen to paper and writing in free flow helps to process any overwhelming thoughts and it’s good to let it out. Get yourself a good journal.
2. Try not to get too focussed on having to write everyday, but try to write as much as possible into your journal and always have the journal in a place where you can see it everyday (as a little reminder to write).
3. Write a list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day – or even thinking about it as you wake up in the morning or before going to sleep at night. It can be the simple little things and can make such a big difference. The more you practice, the more habitual it should become and part of your thought process…
4. Write in the same place each time you journal, so it becomes a habit over time. I write at the table and have my journal and pen in a little basket on that table, so I’m not trying to find where I left it (cuts out the stress of looking for it)
5. Date each entry into your journal and write down whatever mood you are feeling that day. If you are looking back over your journal, you can pinpoint what triggers certain moods.
Journaling is good for your wellbeing – a great way to process your thoughts and to also document the ups and downs in your life. We all have those ups and downs – we’re only human after all.
Writing for me is cathartic.
Practicing gratitude each day is a great way to appreciate the little things – when you stop, listen to yourself and become more aware and present.
Do you journal and practice gratitude? And what works for you?
I hope this post has been helpful to you and helps to incorporate journaling and gratitude into your life ❤🙏
Thank you for taking the time to read and happy journaling 😊
I was brought up in Donegal; surrounded by fields, stunning beaches, mountains, sheep and cows. Breathtaking views…
Now, If you asked me about the Atlantic Coast when I was a teen (dying to move away from the place) I would have described it differently… Something along the lines of ‘it’s so boring and I really can’t wait to move to the BIG city’. Oh yes I loved moving to the big city at 18, for college, work, meeting new people, the nightlife and all that jazz. I had a great time (the mountains, beaches, sheep – not a second thought was given)
The importance of the outdoorsand appreciating the ‘simple things’
Here I am writing a blog post about the Atlantic Coast of Ireland, older and wiser (ok, that might be debatable) as I’m visiting my family for a few weeks and it’s been over a year since I was last home (Covid wouldn’t allow and I now live in England)
Seriously though, I look out at the mountains every morning, I walk the beach every single day with my hubbie and girls (you can always wrap up) and I breathe in that fresh air.
I make sure I instill the importance of the outdoors and it’s beauty to my little girls as they grow. They absolutely love the outdoors (I love watching them skip through the fields like little lambs) There is nothing like a walk in nature to blow away those cobwebs. How I took it all for granted when I was younger…
Take yourself outside and soak it all up… It’s the simple things in life and nature is always there. It really is good for the soul.
Fresh air clears the mind
Warming the soul, the outdoors
Soaking up those views
Thank you for reading my post – have a beautiful day and fill up those lungs with plenty of fresh air. Go on, get that jacket on and go for a good brisk walk ❤
I was born in 1980, so technically speaking, the nineties were my going out years. I loved the nineties music, but there was something special about the eighties – and it’s my favourite era for music. I always have the eighties station on: Blasting from the kitchen while cooking and having a little boogie with the kids…
To me; I think it was listening to it on the radio as I was growing up. Oh, can those tunes hit you like nothing else and touch your soul – and that keyboard sound… When Foreigner comes on, A-ha, Africa by Toto, True by Spandau Ballet, The Police, Phil Collins, Madonna, Womack Womack, Kate Bush, (she was amazing, certainly had me running up that hill when listening to her) so so many to mention and it takes you to that place emotionally (like alot of good music does)
Tapes and walkmans:
Do you remember recording songs off the radio by tape? Trying to stop it just before the bloody djs voice butted in? Oh the memories. I loved my little walkman, and carefully fixing those tapes with a pencil.
I loved the fashion, the crazy hair styles, watching aerobics on morning breakfast shows while the instructor wore neon shiny shell suits, while rocking a curly mop of hair (I had a neon pink and blue one when I was 9 and thought I was the best thing ever since sliced bread when I wore it). And let’s not forget those puffy shoulder pads (the puffier the better and my mum used to rock that look with her permed hair). If I could go back to being a teenager then, I absolutely would. I would go all out and have the biggest hair style ever and puffiest shoulder padded blazer imaginable!
Years ago I held an eighties house party and went all out – it was brilliant shopping for everything eighties related and I was in my element…
Movies and t.v shows:
The movie I couldn’t get enough of as a child was The Goonies, I must’ve watched it hundreds of times with my brothers. It was like every little childs dream to go on such an adventure and to end up on that pirate ship, rocking a pirate hat with treasure at the end. E.T was also the first movie I seen at the cinema and I loved it.
Worzel Gummidge (the Scarecrow and Aunt Sally), A-team (was the only girl with 2 brothers, so I had to watch) and Knight Rider were some of the shows I enjoyed.
Sweets and collecting that fancy paper:
Remember the penny sweets, that would nearly take your teeth out? the sherbet that blew your head off with sourness and the chewy bars that would nearly clamp your mouth shut when eating. Oh I did love penny sweets…
As a girl in primary school we collected fancy paper, fancy rubbers and would swap with others (you’ll know well what I mean if you were a child of the eighties) The collection of fancy goods you had was ridiculous and you never used the papers or rubbers (they would sit there looking so pretty in a jar) . The boys would have the football sticker albums and the swapping was endless.
Cereals and bike reflectors:
There was nothing like that feeling when you would sit with a box of kelloggs cereal in the morning and shake the life out it until that spoke reflector fell out into your bowl. My bike was full of those gleaming little bad boys!
The Eighties were so special:
Between the music with that keyboard sound, puffy shoulder pads, Charlies Angels hairstyles, walkmans, fancy paper, the retro sweets and The Goonies; It really was such a special time growing up in the eighties. I loved shaking that cereal box to see what hidden treasure was inside. The bmx with scopes covered in reflectors was just the business. I would’ve loved to be a teenager back then so I could experience the cheesy ‘disco’ scene.
Memories you will always have and back in the day before we all had our heads stuck in a phone and social media. They were good times.
Were you a fan of the eighties and were you an eighties child, and what sticks out most for you?
Thank you so much for reading my nostalgic post and “hey you guys” hope you have a great day.
When I look back over the years at the amount of times I’ve been completely stressed, there have always been the warning signs. But, oblivious, I ploughed on with whatever I was doing – then its too late to nip it in the bud.
For me, stress leads to cold sores. They’re awful – hideous in fact and so bloody sore. But unfortunately its something thats been the bane of my life since childhood. They always surface when I’m tired, or burning the candle at both ends. When that tingling starts its too late and you’ve 2 weeks looking like someone has come along and bust your lip (and I would always get more than one at the same time). I even had one the day my first was born and couldn’t kiss her for 10 days as they are so contagious and dangerous if passed to babies (how heartbreaking that was).
Recognising the signs
So how do you know when you’re stressed? Listen to your body, be mindful and look out for the warning signs. Are you feeling tired? Thats always the first indicator for me
As I get older, I try to manage my stress levels, so as to avoid any signs and basically being kinder to my body. Low and behold those little blisters are a very rare occurence these days (once you start listening to your body). I still get them, but not like I used to.
5 tips to avoid/manage stress
1. Eat plenty of vitamin c (oranges, carrots, spinach, broccoli or whatever you like thats high in vitamin c ) and get yourself a good tonic as part of your daily diet. Diet really is so important and drink plenty of that water. If like me you are prone to getting cold sores: take a lysine supplement along with a b complex supplement daily. This can prevent them (great tip from my pharmacist friend)
2. If you have too much going on: do up a list of what’s important – write it down from high priority to low. Whatever is at the bottom can wait. Write it out.
3. Don’t be afraid to say no to people – go with your gut, if it doesn’t feel right, or you’re too tired then don’t do it. I know its easier said than done. I used to be the biggest people pleaser (not anymore). Manage those stress levels. Remember ‘you’ and your health matters most. Your body will thank you later.
4. Exercise, but don’t over do it. It doesn’t need to be strenuous, every little bit helps and fresh air is always good for the soul.
5. Last but not least: be kind to yourself, listen to your body and if you are feeling stressed, take a break. Go for that weekend away to recharge. Go to a spa, connect with nature. Leave the kids with family or friends for a few hours for some ‘you’ time.
Taking action and nipping it in the bud
I always know when Im feeling stressed. Mostly, I’m fatigued. I then listen to my body and start looking at my diet.
I hope these tips (that have helped me) help you when feeling stressed.
Listen to your body
Check in with yourself, be
Mindful and stress free
Long term stress can take its toll on the body, making the risks higher for hypertension, stroke, heart failure, digestive problems and many, many other problems. Lots of interesting information here to research further:
During the second national lockdown in England last summer, we went for a walk along the Albert Docks in Liverpool. This place is usually a bustling place to eat with lots of fabulous restaurants. I also love to admire those historical buildings, especially looking at the Liver Birds on the Liver buildings.
During this walk, I felt a sadness and wrote a poem after; as it was so strange walking through a place in complete lockdown and watching others passing the time along empty streets with a very eerie feeling.
The bustle is back again, people are enjoying those meals while overlooking those fabulous buildings. Lets hope it stays that way!
Thank you for reading my post and hope ‘you’ have a beautiful day and be kind to yourself ❤
The following poem was the first poem I ever wrote, just after the first lockdown in England last year. I started writing to make sense of such a daunting situation. It was also the start of my beautiful journey with poetry and writing, which is very cathartic.
Most restrictions have been lifted today (19/07/21) in England and everyone is feeling mixed as cases still continue to rise. How are you feeling about it all at the moment? Its so normal if you’re feeling a mixture of emotions.
Thank you for reading, and hope you have a lovely day (sun is shining here in England 😎)
It was a tricky old age No belief in myself It was an awkward stage Still finding the self
It was an age full of doubt at what path to take It was the age I was hurt – Oh I experienced heartbreak
I was a sensitive girl through those teenage years, Nineteen; was an age That were full of fresh fears
It was a tricky old age No belief in myself Now the years have gone by I’d say ‘dont be so hard on yourself”
This poem was written in response to a writing prompt ‘nineteen’ from the mum poem press writing club.
It was a lovely prompt to work with and I ended up doing a rhyme! I reflected back on those teenage years: It brought back lots of memories. It really is a challenging time being a teenager. It was also a time I experienced my first heartbreak (goodness me I was so upset at the time). It was a time of insecurities, low self-esteem, sensitivity and being extremely hard on myself – I’m sure you can relate?
I’ve certainly grown so much as a person since then ( life is a constant journey of growth). I turned 40 last year and as the saying goes ‘life begins at 40’…
I’m certainly at a stage now where life experience has made me learn, grow and to stop trying to please everyone and saying ‘no’ more (without feeling guilty). Being more confident with who you are as a person and self love/acceptance is so important for growth! But growth is a constant journey. Being mindful/self aware helps. Writing is also a huge part of that growth for me.
What was being 19 like for you?And have you changed/grown since then?
Have a lovely day and thank you for reading my post 💖
So this week in England, our PM Boris Johnson announced that most restrictions will be lifted by 19th July, i.e all face masks and social distancing scrapped (apart from airports where a 1 metre rule will still apply and its entirely up to each individual about mask wearing). I know I’ll still wear mine in smaller spaces and on public transport. Also a new Health Secretary Sajid Javid was appointed in recent weeks (tut tut tut to the previous ones shenanigans). Working from home was also announced to be no longer mandatory from 19th July.
Now. I’m very mixed about all this as I’m sure you are too. Especially with this awful Delta Variant floating about and with cases rising every day: with predictions of over 100,000 cases by August.
Its been the most bizarre, challenging time for humanity. Like reruns of the Twillight Zone. Naturally people are worrying if we’re heading for another full lockdown again and if more variants will pop up. On the up side however, the vaccines are rolling out at a fast pace in England and anyone who is fully vaccinated don’t need to self-isolate from 16th August, if they’ve been in contact with someone who’s had a positive Covid test that is.
Have you been on a holiday yet or do you have one planned? I’m hoping to get away myself in August with my family, although there is always that ‘what if’ little doubt in my head as to whether lockdown (sick of that bloody word at this stage) will happen again. But at the moment I’m remaining positive/focussed that we will have that holiday!
Clouds always pass
You’ve got this
Clouds do always pass and its all about floating with whatever each day brings: bit like the weather. Knowing this will pass, brighter days are ahead and learning to live with Covid. Something that will always be part of our lives going forward. These are challenging, daunting and confusing times for us all.
Reaching out, talking to each other about your worries during this time is so important if feeling overwhelmed with the whole situation. Normality is very much at a standstill, although slowly returning. Being realistic and honest about how you are feeling with others can help with any anxieties.
Brighter days are ahead and we’ve come so so far since that first lockdown on 23/03/20; before there was even a sniff of a vaccine.
How are you doing/feeling about it all? Are you nervous about returning back to work in the office and the commute? Will you scrap your mask wearing come 19th July?
Thank you for reading my post, stay safe, keep going and society will get through this. Encouraging, supporting and being kind to each other.