Categories
acceptance growth happiness health and wellbeing inspiration journaling, gratitude personal development poetry community

New Year, Staying Present and Focusing on the Small stuff…

Hello there you and Happy New Year!

How are you feeling after the festive season? Are you glad to be getting back into a more structured routine?  I’m looking forward to getting back into a more healthier routine (too many sweets/tipples, but I enjoyed it all, and the banter that went along with it)
I had such a lovely time back home in Ireland catching up with family, and my brother who I haven’t seen in over 2 years due to Covid! I was grateful every day!

Present moment:

“It’s the feeling you get when you are able to be touched

By the simple things in life: watching a child playing,

The leaves falling from a tree”

Richard Carlson

When life stood tragically still in lockdown, I soaked up the outdoors, connecting so much with nature and my family.  I then started to crave nature and became more self aware. I soaked up those giggles from our girls; realising there is so much beauty out there and the free stuff like fresh air, fabulous beaches, sun sets and mountains: those breathtaking views is food for the soul!

When you stop striving for “perfection”, you  automatically start to slow down and realise all that beauty was right under your nose (while your mind was full of worry and busy from those to do lists, lots of unnecessary clutter taking up space in your mind)

Poetry outlet:

I wrote the following ‘etheree’ poem as a reminder to absorb those precious little moments…  Being present certainly is the way to do it. Sounds so easy doesn’t it? It is when you practice being present every day but you have to work on it, enjoying the simple little things in life, changing your thought process to a more “positive” way of thinking and being extremely grateful.

Grab it

It

Starts with

Fresh air. Free

Flawless. Simple.

But so powerful.

When you stop. Soak it up;

like sand soaking salty sprays,

gentle yet ferocious waves. The

present is all you have. Grab it, then

bottle it. Capturing every small bit!

Bernie Egerton

Enjoying that fresh air and watching the girls happy out at the beach!!
My eldest loves rolling down those sand dunes… Absorbing it all !

Growing from within, self-awareness being mindful and always learning; are the components to reaching that place of peace and happiness. Getting the most out of life for “you” and yours.

Work on ‘you’ and believe in yourself.  Trust me, the rest will follow!! 

Categories
creative writing inspiration poetry community wellbeing

Christmas Bubbles (poem) and reflecting on last Christmas as we approach another one during a global pandemic!

Hello there you!

This time last year I wrote the following poem (was delighted when it was published on poetryandcovid.com) and it really shows how far we’ve come with vaccines, but also how we’re still in the thick of Covid with all these variants popping up; leaving humanity completely exhausted with it all. I wrote this when Government were sending out mixed messages in regards to Christmas household bubbles and how people had to cancel plans as lockdown was tightened last minute, leaving everyone upset, tired and confused.

It will be a similar Christmas this year, but one we hope we can enjoy a little better now we’re vaccinated; adding that protection against this awful virus.


Christmas Bubbles

A Covid Christmas beckons,
household Christmas Bubbles arranged.
I think, how daunting, outlandish
this situation is –

mixed messages thrown around,
pass the parcel as
Government dictates our festive period.
A solution mix of three bubbles.

A joyous festive time tarnished by
a silent venomous predator –
sweeping through global darkness,
yet sparks of light and hope arise
as a vaccine is born.

Mankind, they battle a respiratory war,
frontline staff gasping for air,
putting up a fight –
calamitous to humanity.

Christmas Bubbles. Will this cause further
cloud filled lockdowns, overwhelming
phenomenal, depleted health staff?
Inevitable.

Covid-19 prevails.
Christmas Bubbles like never before,
Twenty twenty –
I’ll be glad to close your opaque door.
I’ll be glad for the vaccine to soar.


How are “you” feeling about Christmas this year and if  vaccinated, do you feel that little bit more protected?

Have a beautiful day, thank you for stopping by and keep those spirits up. We are all in this together ❤

Categories
poetry poetry community poetry writing tips wellbeing

Poetry during the festive season!

Hello there you!

How are you doing? Are you feeling the festive vibe now we’re into the month of December? I have to say I’m feeling the aul festive spirit myself, after putting up the tree with two excited little ladies this weekend!!

So, being part of a poetry writing club with a lovely group of inspiring/supportive mums. This months challenge is to write a poem every day during advent #mumpoemadventcalendar on instagram: where a festive prompt is posted each day. I’m loving the process so far, as it’s such a great way to motivate/inspire you to write!

The below acrostic poem used writing prompt “sellotape” for day 5 of the advent calendar challenge (I’ve been doing the prompts every day from the start and plan to keep it up)

I’m sure you can relate to the “sellotape” struggle!!

On my insta account if you would like to check it out: poetryandmotherhood

The next poem was from day 3 of the advent challenge using writing prompt “bauble”.

It’s lovely being part of writing clubs to help with your writing skills and getting those creative juices flowing!

What tips help you with your writing?

Have a beautiful day and belt out those Christmas tunes!


Categories
health and wellbeing managing stress motherhood personal development

Moving country, self-care and the simple things in life!

Hello there you!

When I first moved from Ireland to England in 2018 (and 15 weeks pregnant with our second child) we were so busy moving into a new home, registering with a maternity hospital, my husband starting work, running after a busy toddler and settling into our new surroundings (quite alot going on eh).. But being near my husbands parents really helped. Support is so important during times of “change”.

Self-care

When our second child arrived, the anxiety hit me like something else. Then the pandemic hit. I was overwhelmed during these unprecedented times (we all relate to this from lockdown don’t we!) and having had two children under two, while settling into a new country.

When you always try to be this “perfect” person and trying to do everything “right”, you ignore your internal feelings, while running on auto-pilot, therefore causing burnout. Ignoring “your” own needs. It’s not selfish prioritising your health. When doing so, you show up as the best person possible for your family and most importantly “yourself”.

Self-care is crucial for your overall physical and mental wellbeing. Should it be exercise, reading a book, a solo walk in nature with your own thoughts, being present and fully absorbing the moment with that hot cup of tea! It can be so simple but making all the difference!

Writing for me is cathartic and part of my self-care routine.  It’s an incredible way to process overwhelming feelings. Sometimes, it really is hard to get those words out, isn’t it? I had never written poetry before this pandemic: and oh my goodness how much you get from putting pen to paper and letting your thoughts flow and with such honesty.

I wrote the following poem last year, reminding myself on the importance of the “simple” little things in life.


The simple things

Now is a time to reflect and enjoy
the simple things that bring us much joy.
Lost in the moment, stay safe and be kind,
Dig deep from within, embrace what we find.

Pandemic is here, to stay for some time,
We learn to adapt, find comfort through rhyme
Laugh, joke, connect a bit more,
Stay safe as we pass through each other’s door.

A world we’re now asked to follow advice,
But never look back or ever think twice.
Simple things we learn to adore,
In a time we are still like never before.


Between moving country, settling into new surroundings and riding the choppy waves during these unprecedented times; writing is my therapy and part of my self-care ritual.

You realise how rich you really are when you practice gratitude and enjoy the simple things in life!!

Have you gone through changes/moved country recently?  What self-care routine do you enjoy?

Thank you for stopping by, enjoy the simple things and look after your body!

Have a beautiful day ❤

Categories
growth health and wellbeing self esteem, personal development, motivation, acceptance

People pleasing. How learning to say “no” helped me to reduce stress and to grow more as a person.

Hello there you!

Oh I could write so much about this topic.

You see, the thing is, I was a big people pleaser, and when I look back to who I was 5 years ago: I cringe to the point where my face resembles a tomato (now that’s red)

The beauty about writing this post, is acknowledging the fact of how far I’ve come. Back in my people pleasing days and not being able to say no; low self-esteem was definitely a contributing factor to my people pleasing tendencies, therefore causing me stress. Do you relate to this? Exhausting isn’t it?

Overcoming people pleasing

So how did I learn to say no more, am I now the master of saying no? Absolutely not, and you can’t say no all the time, it’s all about finding that balance and what suits “you”. But if I listen to my gut and know it doesn’t feel right, then I will say no in a diplomatic manner.

Saying no

At the start of finally plucking up the courage of saying no; I would wait for this dragon to turn around and blow that God damn fire straight into my face after I uttered those words (it never happens by the way). All you get is something like “ok that’s fine” then conversation continues to next topic. All that worrying, stress and overthinking for nothing. It doesn’t have to be as abrupt as no full stop, but something along the lines of “it doesn’t suit me this time”.

You see, the thing with me was “fear” of an awful argument happening (I also hate confrontation and would always build up how I really felt inside: the worst thing you can do) and would rather go ahead, stress the hell out of myself and plough along with appointments, get togethers, and making other people happy.

I remember a time where I was utterly exhausted (with working full-time and studying for a degree part time too) arranged to drive an hour after work to meet a friend to watch a show she was in, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Oh I went to that show and looking back, this lovely, lovely friend would have been ok If I said no (it was all down to my fear again of that dragon appearing)

The one person who needs your approval most is “yourself”. Start building on that relationship

-connectwithpoetry.com

Learning to say no

So how do you say no without feeling terribly guilty and stressed to the hilt? Start to work on yourself first, listen to your gut and baby steps.

Meditate, practice mindfulness to connect with your inner self ( whatever mindful practice helps you) I’ve been doing so much of this and that awareness helps you to tap into your “true” inner self.

Yes, learning to say no is hard, but the more you say it, the easier it gets over time and the less stressed you will become.

When I look back on a time when I was a big people pleaser, I just wasn’t aware I was doing it, and thought it was normal practice to get people to like you; seeking approval.

Remember to look out for “you” first

People pleasing is a trait many people have, for others saying no is like second nature (not second nature to me and what about you?)

Write a list from high priority to low and if it doesn’t suit, then say so. Remember to work with yourself through mindful practices, breathing exercises, writing your thoughts, whatever suits you.

Deep breaths are a great tool too. Take a step back and focus on how you are feeling.

The more you work on yourself, learning to say no and not pleasing others all the time will become easier. It’s all about finding that “balance”. Heck, I’m a Libra myself, and I’m working with those bloody scales every day. Growing, learning, self awareness and building myself to find that right balance.

You never stop learning/progressing/growing. Take your time.

Do you find it hard to say no? And do you feel you are pleasing others and putting their needs before your own?

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!

It really is ok to say no. Be kind to yourself, and take your time ❤

Categories
journaling, gratitude

Journaling, gratitude and 5 tips to help you practice daily…

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 😊

Categories
health, inspiration motivation wellbeing

Atlantic Coast of Ireland, fresh air and soaking up the outdoors…

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 outdoors and 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…

Muckish Mountain ❤
Girls enjoying the hens, ducks and geese at my cousins farm
Happy out at the beach 💖💖
Muckish is always there ❤
Moo
I love walking the beach at sunset…
Stunning 💫
Tory Island in the background and still surfing/paddling at 9 pm
My other half soaking it all up ❤💛


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.

Haiku

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 ❤

Categories
managing stress wellbeing

Stress: 5 tips to avoid/manage those stress levels

Ah yes stress…

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 it’s something that’s 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 it’s 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? That’s 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 that’s 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’re 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 it’s 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

Connectwithpoetry.com

Further information

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:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037

I’d also like to add I’m no medical practitioner, but I’m sharing what has helped me during times of stress.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my post. Be kind to yourself and your body.

How do you manage stress and do you recognise the warning signs? 

Categories
acceptance growth poetry

Poem: Nineteen – that tricky age!

Nineteen – that tricky age

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 💖


Categories
covid restrictions, living through a pandemic,

Final lockdown lifting in England with mixed feelings: holidays, and reaching out during these bizarre times…

Hello there you!

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.

Holidays/breaks:

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

Believe

You’ve got this

Connectwithpoetry.com

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:

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.