The light I now see.

If you have been following my journey for a while, you will know how much I love the outdoors, or ‘the little things’ I often talk about, and if you have been following my journey for even longer, you will know that this hasn’t always been the case.

Living with Anorexia, took my love for pretty much everything away. I was lost, withdrawn and the way I saw the world around me became very dark. Throughout my recovery and journey so far, the way I see the world has become lighter and lighter. So much so, I often become filled with gratitude, this is something I hope to share with you all.

Continue reading “The light I now see.”

May free from favourites (gluten free & vegan).

Before we start this ‘free from favourites’, I want you to know that I am not sponsored by any of these companies, I just like sharing with you all a few of my favourites in the hope it can help. I remember all too well how frustrating and difficult it was when I discovered my gluten intolerance and whilst being vegan seems easy enough, pairing the two started of being quite hard.

Continue reading “May free from favourites (gluten free & vegan).”

Thriving day three & four.

Another addition to the #thrivelive blog posts, beginning my Wednesday with a very slow pased morning. I usually rush through my mornings, trying to get ready as quickly as I can. Instead, I tried to be a little slower and I guess more mindful of the small activities I was doing. Even brushing my teeth, being more aware of how I felt and instantly feeling more connected to myself.

Once ready, my mother and I went into Chester, as I mentioned in a previous post I am going away for the summer and well, my suitcase is still empty. I went with the hope of buying most of my things but ended up buying gifts, a bath bomb and one pair of shorts, oops. Non the less, it was a beautiful day and my mother and I enjoyed a lovely lunch at Olive Tree Brasserie, but you will hear more about our visit in May’s free from favourites. 

Expecting to be exhausted after wondering around Chester all day, I had planned to pop on a face mask and relax for the evening, until my sister asked if I wanted to go for a run. The sky was still blue and the sun was beaming, my dad, who is training for the Chester marathon, suggested we went through the country lanes and I could not resist. We ended up doing over five miles, not all running I must admit. It was so very beautiful, I would have taken photographs but my sister and dad were in ‘the zone’ and whilst used to me by now I think my ‘look a cow, look a lamb, look at that tree’, may have been slightly annoying. This is definitely where Instagram stories comes in handy.

Day four of #thrivelive, I woke up a little later than usual, I had another slow paced morning and ate breakfast whilst watching some morning television, featuring Rich and other Time to Change supporters, talking all about talking about mental health. I love the media coverage Mental Health Awareness Week has received, only also reminded it should not be needed but here’s to hoping for change. Speaking of Time to Change, even my car is standing up to stigma!

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This morning, I took a drive to a favourite town of mine, Llangollen. I usually wait for somebody to join me but I quite enjoyed my own company. I walked through the town, admired the view and popped into a couple of shops to.

I know it doesn’t seem like I have done a great deal but the last four days of #thrivelive, of being aware of my mental health, continuously practicing mindfulness and doing things that make me happy has really helped me feel at peace with myself. I am now finding myself asking, why don’t I do this more often?

Of course it has been a lot easier to do this with just finishing university and not having a deadline to meet but I think there is more to it. I think a part of me has been seeing myself as recovered, recovered meaning I don’t need to take as much time to look after my mental health anymore. Going back to my earlier post, ‘we all have mental health’ and looking at how four days of self-care, of making an effort to look after my mental health has made me feel so much happier and connected. I guess maybe I needed this reminder, that no matter how far along our recoveries are, mental illness or not, we all need to look after our mental health. Apologies if this has been a little confusing, kind of a realisation moment.

After that little ramble I shall leave this post here, I hope you are having a nice day.

Thank you for reading,

Nicole

Thriving, day two.

Continuing to share my #thrivelive with you all, only not live and with a kind of dairy style post instead. I began my morning determined to get back outside with a short run, unfortunately my knee had other ideas. Without beating myself up, I decided to have a quiet morning, sit in the garden and catch up on some emails.

Just as I was beginning to get a little agitated with myself, my mother came home with three bunches flowers, including my favourite, Freesias. After recently updating my blog introduction and being reminded of my floristry days, I decided to take a few moments to put together the flowers. It is sometimes hard to get out of that ‘what is the point’ mindset but I instantly felt the therapeutic benefits of being a little creative. I may have got slightly carried away as I lined each jar/vase up against my garden wall.

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I was not able to run today but that did not stop me exploring. This afternoon, I found myself and Archie wandering through a near by woodlands.

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The beautiful weather lead into the evening and so my sister and I took Ralph, my sisters puppy, for an evening walk. Both walks leaving me feeling grateful for dogs but also to live by such beautiful surroundings and actually notice them.

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Today its been the little things that have made me feel like I am thriving. What have you done today that has made you feel present and happy?

Wishing you well,

Nicole

Surviving or Thriving?

Today sees the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 and I have already seen some wonderful posts raising awareness. People sharing their experiences, informing us of the current statistics, facts, signs and symptoms.

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Surviving or Thriving?’ with the key message ‘we all have mental health’.

With the pressures of life becoming more and more demanding and our fast pace, always on the go type attitudes often resulting in us merely surviving life. Our enjoyment is quickly disappearing right before us and we are living so far into the future, or past, that our now sadly becomes non-existent. This is how life was for me, that was before choosing and practicing, to be mindful, being aware of my mental health and making more time for self-care.

I cannot stress enough the importance of looking after your mental health, of doing whatever it is that makes you feel happy and connected. Of course, this does not come easy and sometimes we need that little bit of encouragement to take time for us. To help us with this, the inspiring Jake Tyler- Black Dog Walks, has come up with the wonderful idea to do something each day, for mental health awareness week, that makes us feel good about ourselves, using the hashtag #thrivelive.

I will be getting involved by taking part in this challenge and documenting my #thrivelive either here, via Twitter or Instagram. Please get involved and take a moment each day to do something for you.

Here is what I did today, a few weeks back I accidentally wiped my blog of all its photographs, every single one and much to my embarrassment, I did not take this well. Although, managing to restore most, I felt very upset and rather angry with myself to. Since then, I have had a ‘what is the point’ kind of attitude, not picking up my camera or documenting my walks.

Today I decided to put this behind me, breathe in the new day, pick up my camera and take myself, and Archie to, outside. I decided to do something for my mental health, a small task that has made me truly happy.

A walk I have done many times before, yet each time it seems to bring me something new, a new moment of the now to enjoy. Like today, whilst watching Archie run through the buttercups, sparking a conversation about how my mother’s grandmother used to make toast. ‘Freshly cut, grilled not toasted, buttered and placed back under the grill, until we were ready’- my mother as she smiled thinking of her grandmothers toast, a small conversation that made us both happy.  It looks, like Archie is licking his lips with the thought of buttery toast.

This walk never fails to make me feel free, with the open fields, nobody insight and such blue sky, the world felt huge.

A huge world with a tiny wooden bridge, across the river and through the fields, seeing white butterflies all around and crops just starting to sprout, this walk was truly beautiful.

I hope you have enjoyed reading and seeing my #thrivelive, I am looking forward to seeing what it is you all get up to.

See you tomorrow,

Nicole

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017.

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When I first started my recovery, I never would have imagined mental health would become, or continue to be, such a big part of my life. At times, I have wanted nothing more to do with it, yet I am reminded, we all have mental health. Every single person has mental health, just as we all have physical health, sometimes it is well and other times it is not so well.

So why is raising awareness important?

Continue reading “Mental Health Awareness Week 2017.”