Category: Self Love

Let’s talk about fear, stress and anxiety



A topic that has been on the front of my mind pretty much everyday for the past few months is fear. The reason for this is due to a huge amount of upheaval and change in my life, and my brain is feeling it. I’m not ok, I have had panic attacks, trouble sleeping, and instead of being my usual confident, positive self, iv’e been a negative ball of anxious energy. 

I know that when I live my life in fear of what is coming next I forget about the present. I miss that opportunity to laugh with someone, I miss the gorgeous sunrise, and I miss the everyday miracle of being alive. Its a tough cycle to get out of, I’m still in it. I’m afraid of what will come tomorrow, if I will be good enough, if I will have regrets, or if I will make a difference. Because I so strongly want to make a difference in this world during my life. I want to see a change in the way we deal with healthcare, I want to stand up and be the one to make noise and lead the change. But I can’t do that if I am living in fear. 



So what am I doing about it? Well at the moment I am trying to get through everyday. Uni is the toughest, with assignments coming out my ears, and decisions about where I go next-do I study dietetics, do I wait? And work as well, I have just accepted a fantastic new job which starts next week, and although I am incredibly excited about it, I am also afraid. What if I am not good enough? Then of course there is all the rest-family, friends, money, exercise, health, diet, mental health, spiritual health, goals and finally my car. Its all swirling around in this crazy brain of mine, its terribly hard to get it to stop. 

So if this sounds familiar to you, I urge you to speak up-lets have a conversation about fear, stress and anxiety. Because if you are not ok, you don’t have to deal with it alone. There are so many incredible people in this world, many of which will be feeling the same as you right now. We are brought up to put on a strong face, to pretend we are ok, to not show emotion and to be brave. But it is ok to cry, its ok to feel weak, its ok to not be ok. We are part of this beautiful community of human beings, and I think we need to start acting like a team, supporting and motivating each other to be the best we can. 


So here are my top tips for dealing with fear, anxiety and stress:


1. Breathe


Its simple, but effective. A few weeks ago when I was having a panic attack (It was really scary because I had never had one before) my partner Cam was amazing, he simply told me to breath. It was like my brain had forgotten. And his words guided my to regain control of my breathing, and to allow my brain to be a little clearer. 

2. Exercise


In times of fear and stress going for a walk does wonders. If you don’t have time, its ok, only go for 5 minutes, but the benefits of getting outside in the fresh air, with the grass and the trees will help you to get focused again, and to try to keep cool, calm and collected. If you need to cry, its ok, those trees aren’t going anywhere-and they won’t judge you. 

3. Call a friend


When in doubt, call or catch up with that friend you know will be there for you. Get it all out, talk it through, they will listen, and give you the best honest advice. Sometimes all you need is an ear to listen to your problems. And sometimes, afterwards, they don’t seem so bad. 

4. Let it out


There is no point trying to keep it in. Its too hard, its like air filling a bottle, and the more you try to keep that air in, the more it wants to get out. And if you don’t let it out, it will explode. So cry, scream, break things, stomp around, rip paper, whatever you need to do to physically release the negative, fearful energy. A few plates and cups are worth your mental health. 

5. Pamper


During the last few weeks I have pampered myself more than I have in the past few years. Get your hair done, nails, eyebrows, massage, facial. Tell yourself you are beautiful and strong, and you will get through this. For me this makes me feel like I have it all together, and I know that the better I feel on the outside, the better ill feel on the inside. Treat your body, allow it space and time. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL HUMAN. 

6. Nourish


I know when stress, fear and anxiety rise up, its easier just to grab takeout. But seriously, you are not doing yourself any favours by taking the easy option. Instead, put on the slow cooker with a big old stew, curry or soup. That way when you get home from work/uni etc you can easily grab a big, warm, nourishing bowl of goodness. Eat fruit, smoothies, veggies, porridge, yoghurt, and nuts. Don’t go grabbing that packet of biscuits, bar of chocolate or bag of chips. It may ,make you feel better right now, but getting on that road to feeling better comes from the inside. 

7. Rest


Its ok to take a mental health day. You are entitled to sick days, and honestly its just as important to take it for mental health as it is for physical health. Your body will thank you for it, rest, sleep, relax, read a book, walk the dog, go to the beach, watch a movie, binge watch your favourite tv show. And don’t judge yourself for doing so, or feel guilty. This is your body and your mental health. Take control of it, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad. 

8. Write


Sometimes. its helps for me to get it out on paper (or in this case on screen), get that old dusty journal out, and write your heart out. Let out all the thoughts, negative emotions, fears, stresses, anxieties, and anything that has worried you. This is no time for holding back, so be brutally honest with yourself. Allow your self to scribble the pages, fill them up with everything on your mind. Let the pages take you away, and allow you to clear your head from the negative energy, you don’t need to hold onto that stuff. If it helps, once you are done, rip the pages and burn them, physically letting go of the feelings and thoughts. Then, once you are done, write down a purely positive mantra or quote that will take you to a place of clear, positive, beautiful thoughts. 

And most importantly of all, LOVE YOURSELF! You are a beautiful, intelligent, capable human being. 


If you have any tips that have helped you to get through times of fear, anxiety and stress, comment below, you never know who you might be helping. 



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Manifesting dreams: Creating a vision board

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I recently finished my vision board while having a pretty lame sick day. It was a day full of bed, rest, tea and vitamin c. But I decided that there was no better time to sit down with my scissors and glue, and a couple of great mags, and complete my vision board. Its been sitting unfinished for 6 months, and maybe that has been why I’ve been feeling a little incomplete with my goals and dreams. I’ve been feeling like I’m not any closer to my dream of becoming a dietitian, and that I have no idea where I’m headed or what I’m supposed to be doing. But after completing my vision board, I feel slightly enlightened to stand back and look at what its telling me. 
I’ve noticed that I pick lots of pictures of food, inspiring big words, images of community, travel pictures, active lifestyle, natural products, and yoga. This all combined together helped me realised that I’m on exactly the path I need to be on. I’m heading towards and incredible career as a dietitian, inspiring and helping others, while contributing to the community. 
Dreams I’m manifesting and creating:

  1. Becoming a successful and inspiring dietitian
  2. Having a healthy food cafe/health food store
  3. Educating and empowering people to lead healthier lives (Becoming a wellness coach)
  4. Being part of developing my own community (starting a farmers market and community garden)
  5. Travelling to far off exotic lands to explore other cultures and envelop myself in human societies
  6. Own a beautiful home surrounded by trees and be able to grow my own food
  7. Collect lots of gorgeous antique furniture (because its always got a great history and story behind it)
  8. Becoming a practising yoga instructor
  9. Create a recipe book full of nourishing healthy food for humans
  10. Getting married to the love of my life
So if you haven’t already made your own vision board, get to it and start making your dreams happen!

How to create a vision board (watermelon style):

What dreams are you manifesting at the moment? I would LOVE to hear below! Sharing them and asking the universe for them will help you make your dreams happen. 

 

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How to SPARKLE!


You can totally SPARKLE everyday! You know those days. You get up and its a complete struggle. You feel flat, tired, uninspired, and lacking energy. The world is crap and everything bad that could happen to you, does.

We all have them. The bad days. But what if everyday is like that? How do you move out of this kind of spiral of depression and self hate? The answer is….well not that simple, its a process, and it takes time. But you can absolutely change your mindset. I doubt myself every single day. I doubt whether or not anyone reads anything I write. I doubt my knowledge. And of course I have self-confidence issues. But I try not to let it get in the way of my mood. Because you know what? A bad day doesn’t mean a bad life. 

My trick is to get my brain thinking differently. Its been a long process, but for me a few deep breaths and positive affirmations can turn my negative thoughts into a great situation.

So I want you to try this: Focus on whatever negative thought you are having right now. Now imagine a box. What I want you to do is imagine that the negative thought is a rock. Put the rock into the box. Now put the box on a shelf. Then close the door. Your mind is now open and ready for the flow of positive thoughts. 

When I went searching, I found a tonne of articles on “how to turn your bad day around”. You could try all of these things. But for someone who is depressed, and has been in the cycle of negative thought for a long time, simply ‘having a shower’ isn’t going to cut it. I could write a list of all the things that you could try to get positive, but honestly, training your brain isn’t that easy.

What I would LOVE you to do instead is write your own list. Write down all the things that make you happy. Or even just slightly happy. Or the things which amuse you. Or the things that make you laugh. Then, I want you to DO ONE HAPPY THING EVERYDAY! It seems silly, and too simple, but by slowly getting your brain used to being happy, you can teach it to be in that state all the time.

You could use Instagram to do the #100happydays challenge, where you take a pic of something that makes you happy everyday. It seems simple, but by actively thinking of something that creates happiness, you are changing your state of mind.

Image from: http://evelynmoliveira.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/believe-in-love.html

Better yet, make yourself a Happy toolkit. This is a set of stuff that will help you to change your state of mind.

  • Go back to your list. Get pictures of the things that make you happy, and start compiling a happy book. Write why each of these things makes you happy.
  • Make a collage of pretty things, happy thing, cute things and other stuff you like. Even if it doesn’t specifically make you happy, the simple act of being creative will get you back to your glue-loving 5 year old self. 
  • Get some crystals. Use them to focus on positive affirmations.
  • Make some affirmation cards. Use these while taking deep breaths to switch how you are feeling. 
  • Your favourite yoga poses: write them down, print out pictures, then when you are feeling down, do the downward dog!
  •  A playlist of your favourite songs, or the songs that make you happy. Listen to it, sing to it, dance around the room to it. 
  • Trinkets: these can be literally any small object that brings you hapiness or happy memories. I have a box full of these and whenever i’m feeling blue, I pull them out and start reliving awesome times. 
  •  Your favourite recipe. In times of sadness and un-sparklyness get into the kitchen and whip up something yummy. For me it’s these Cherry Ripe Truffles
  • Tissues and chocolate. Sometimes, you can’t change your mindset. Sometimes you need to cry. This is ok, you don’t need to hold it in. Let it all out. Then, when you are done, eat some chocolate.

Whatever you need to do to get your sparkle back-do that. It takes time, but you can totally sparkle EVERY SINGLE DAY!

In saying all of this, I did find this great article by Tiny Buddha: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-ways-to-let-go-and-overcome-a-bad-mood/

Take a day just for you (I give you total permission!)

Today, take a day that is dedicated to you. The other day I was feeling run down, exhausted and lacking that spark I normally have. I was so busy. And in those times of absolute business and stress, its the perfect time to shut off the technology, take a wellness day from work, and bunker down with a good book, tea, candles, yoga, and simply allowing yourself to be. 
Give yourself that permission to look after yourself. Appreciate that you are wonderfully human, and its ok to take a day away from work, family, uni, friends, kids and be alone with your soul. It s magical thing to empower yourself with that kind of love. To be able to put yourself first for once, and not have to make excuses. All you have to say, is that you simply need a day for you. 

Step one: Give yourself permission
Decide that today will be for you. Not running errands, not for catching up on washing, or study. Not for replying to emails, or doing shopping. Today is simply for you to enjoy your own company, and allowing yourself to relax and rejuvenate from the stress of everyday life. 
 

Step two: Find the time.
If this involves calling in a favour, finding a babysitter, getting a health day from work, whatever you need to do, make it a priority and stick to it. Even a half day, or a few hours. The times that are the most stressful, is when we need to support ourselves most. 
 

Step three: Choose your favourite 3 activities
You have the time to do what makes you happiest. Most of the time, we aren’t able to do these things everyday, we make excuses, but these pieces of our lives are part of who we are. Grab that book, bake some cookies, take a bath, get a facial, take a long walk, nap. Whatever they are, make a list, and get them all done! You deserve it lovely <3
 

Step four: Relax!
You have got the time, you are doing awesome, fun, happy thing, now just enjoy yourself and relax! There is no point in stressing about things that don’t matter right now. Be present with yourself, and enjoy the moment. 
Lovelies, here is a list of things that you might want to include as part of your “me day”, you don’t need to pack everything in, you don’t even need to do anything, but remember to do things that you love, and that will fill your soul with happiness!

 

Affirmation of the day: I no longer worry about the opinion of others
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Hello happy!

Today is the United Nations International day of Happiness. The day was launched in 2012, and was developed because of the recognition that  the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. Everyone wants to be happy, and the 3 components of global happiness were defined as social, economic and environmental well-being.

I think thats a pretty cool day to celebrate, and i’m going to spend the day doing all the things that make me happy!

1. Preparing good, healthy food with love, and sharing it with the people around me.
2. Cuddling my fur babies
3. Doing yoga and being mindful and present
4. Educating people about their health and well being
5. Spending time with the love of my life <3

Happy Happiness day!!

I would love to hear all the things that make you happy, or make your own list, and do all of those things today!

 

The one word that can kill your groove

I read an article this morning on mind body green, and it really resonated with me. It was all about one word. And how that word can turn the best intentions of self love into an spiral of anxiety. Its a word I find myself using all the time. Its a word full of expectation of myself imposed on myself by the external environment.

Should. 

Iv’e realized that I have been having some major breakdowns in my want to live a healthy life. Everyday I find myself thinking:
I should exercise more
I should do more study
I should blog more
I should feel happier today
I should eat healthier food today
What i’m doing is comparing myself to the cultural ideal of others. In this case, the ideals of the “wellness” and “health” culture. Everyday I think to myself: “I should be doing X because everyone else in the industry is doing X”. Its a completely viscous cycle. And it got to breaking point last night when I was so anxious about all the things I thought I should be doing, that I couldn’t get to sleep.
The article I read this morning stated:

Since so many people grew up listening to a litany of rules, when the word “should” infiltrates into your own running commentary, you will likely respond to yourself the same way you responded to your well-meaning caregivers and authority figures: with resistance (since no one want to feel controlled).

I am self imposing “rules” which i’m responding to with resistance. Studying Nutrition I am in a constant state of judging exactly what I eat: because I “should” eat healthier today, I automatically resist that.  This negativity creates a cascade of effects, which end up with me feeling anxious about my lack of will power and dedication.

An example of this is ” I should go for a run because I haven’t exercised today”. This is a really common one for me. If I don’t exercise for one day, I feel guilty, worthless and unhealthy. So I force myself to go for a run, even when i’m exhausted. Even when all I feel like doing is curling up with a good book and reading. So what i’m doing is resenting myself for not running, then running, and still resenting myself for going for a forced run. That’s not loving to myself, and defiantly doesn’t do anything for the fact I was exhausted.

Actions derived from “should ‘s” aren’t loving to anyone. To heal from the addiction to should, start to notice how often the word populates your self-talk, and then notice how you feel inside when you fall prey to believing the should statement. When you hear the word should, ask, What would be most loving to myself and others right now?

Then listen closely for the answer.

So instead of doing things because I “should” this week, i’m going to try to do things that are most loving to myself and others. I’m really excited to see the results!

I would love to hear if you have the same issue? Do you self impose external judgement on yourself? How does it make you feel?

Xx Britt

References: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12128/want-more-self-love-eliminate-this-word-from-your-vocabulary.html

Presence

I have something to confess. My blog writing has been coming from a place of fear and I have not been present with you. That’s right, and I feel you all have a right to know. I went along to the wellness warrior tour with Jess Ainsough last night, and it was beautiful, incredible and such a magical and inspiring evening. But one of the themes was presence.

For me, I have done a little bit of self development, and often the main theme is being present. What does that even mean? Well I discovered the meaning while I was in the middle of the New Zealand bush a few years ago. As part of a self development course I had to spend 3 days in the bush by myself. And I found that it was hard to be present with myself. The first day, I hated it, and I just wanted someone to talk to. But on the second day, I started journaling and meditating, and thinking. It was amazing what I learn about myself over those 3 days. I learn to be present with myself. To enjoy my own company.

“The only moment that exists is right now”

On another self development course, I learnt that the only moment that exists is right now. So I try to live my life by that mantra, but its a really hard thing to do. So lately I have found myself living into the future, and letting fear of the unknown dictate my actions and my writing. For this I apologize. But there is a lesson to be learnt from this, and that is that the ONE thing that helps me to be living in the present moment, is yoga and meditation.

When I woke up this morning, I felt so uninspired. I was grumpy, snappy, negative and judgmental of myself, and everyone else. I did a short 30 minute yoga session with 5 minutes of meditation, and BAM! I’m living in the now again.


So I would love you to get a couple of things from this post:
1. Are you living in the present moment, or are you stuck in the past or future?
2. Find your way to start living in the present.
3. Being present is about……?

The last question I would love for you to answer yourself. For me, living in the present means I listen to others, I am totally attentive, I enjoy each moment, I am carefree, I am happy, and I can freely love and express myself. It also means I am free of fear.

Xx Britt

My relationship with food

This one is a very personal story, and one that I have not shared with many other souls. The reason I have not really shared it, is because I am ashamed of how my brain deals with food. And the fact I am still dealing with his today.

This is my story of how I battled with Anorexia and Bulimia.

When I was younger, I was thin. Not abnormally thin, but defiantly on the lower spectrum for girls my age. I had pride in my body weight. I loved the fact I could go into any store and find something that fitted. However, I was prone to jealously, and compared myself to the girls on magazines. It was at the same time boys came onto the scene. So looking good was the most important thing in my life. To top this off I was an utter perfectionist, so getting my body ‘perfect’ was the goal.

Of course, I now know that there is no ‘perfect’ it doesn’t exist. But try telling that to an impressionable 14 year old. I compared myself to my gorgeous friends everyday. And everyday I wasn’t good enough. They were all amazingly beautiful, and who was I to be friends with them. I was fat, and ugly and this is how my thoughts went everyday. It was ultimately destructive and killed all my self esteem. So I pushed myself in other areas, I pushed myself to study harder, eat less, work out more. I got obsessed. And this is where it took a turn.

I discovered the pro-ana sites. And most days I would prowl these site for the inspiration I needed to stop eating. And gradually I forced myself to turn away from food. I would of course, hide it from everyone. I never ate breakfast-being one of 4 kids, no-one noticed. I took lunch, but it just got thrown in the bin. And then dinner time. I would sometimes eat dinner with the family, then go to the bathroom and throw it up. My other ploy was to take my dinner to my bedroom and say I has study to do, then throw it all out. I got very good at this little game.

Over time I got thinner and thinner, and more obsessed with food. I was counting calories, and exercising the ones that I ate off. I was very depressed and found myself thinking suicidal thoughts often. It was a sad existence. I hated my life, even though I was doing very well at school, it was never enough for my perfect ideal of my life. I would cut myself and hurt myself. Then there was the rebellion. Where I snuck out, went out partying, doing things a 15 year old should not be doing. I got myself in some pretty scary situations.

At one point O got down to about 45kgs, which although is not totally anorexic, but I was heading that way. On a sad path to self hate, and full blown anorexia.

One day however, I can’t remember why, but I reached out. To one of my oldest friends. And we talked. And somehow, she changed my mind. That conversation (although she might not know this) completely changed how I dealt with my issues. And to this day I am grateful that she took the time to talk and to listen. After that something changed. I started eating again. It took a long time, but I put the past out of my mind and started to enjoy life again.

Over the past 7 years I have gradually learnt to love my body. For all its quirks and curves. It it mine, and its my temple. The way girls grow up these days, its no wonder that they develop this awful self hate, and low self esteem. With our mothers dieting, and teaching us how to battle with our bodies. The magazines we read, the shows we watch, and the music we listen to plays a role in how we develop. For me I went to hell and back.

After it all happened I put on weight, and since then I have been battling to gt it off again. I have dieted and dieted and tried everything And even though I know and understand now, I still have those thoughts in the very dark places in my mind. Its a hard thing to battle. But through my obsession with food I have created a career and a passion. I have turned something very dark into my life and my love. And my goal is to help others to learn to change their hurtful relationship with food, into a real love for food, and for their bodies.

I was lucky. I got help. Not from a professional, but from someone I trusted, and someone who would listen. There are many girls out there who won’t get help. They, unfortunately will die. And its not just the anorexic girls, its the girls who are overweight. In our society we breed girls who battle and hate their bodies. Its time we change that. As role models for these girls, we can only show them to love their bodies, and nourish them with good food. To learn to love themselves, and to learn to love each other.

Xx Britt

Gratitude

How many of us actually say thank you? When do we stop and consciously show gratitude not only towards one another, but towards our lives? Occasionally we say thank you to the person who held the door open for us, but only out of common courtesy. Lots of research has been done into happiness, and the theme that keeps popping up is people who make a conscious effort to acknowledge and express gratitude. For these people practicing gratitude would be the same as saying a prayer, or meditating.

So with that I am going into the new month with an open heart and mind, with my theme being gratitude. Far too often I take my own life for granted. All of the wonderful gifts and opportunities I have, as well as all the fabulous people around me. Each day my job is filled with joy and healing, in an industry that is filled with love, and I never once have been grateful for that. This month I am going to make a conscious effort to be grateful for at least one thing every single day.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart.

I am so grateful for each day I get on this beautiful earth. I am grateful for my body, and its ability to acheive amazing things. I am also grateful for my career, and all the wonderful opportunities it presents. I am grateful for this blog, and all of the gorgeous people I have met so far, and all of the ones I am yet to meet. I am thankful for where I live. Perth is such an amazing city, and I never once thought I would be living here. But here I am, and it is one of the best descsions I have ever made.

For the next month, I am going to keep a daily gratitude journal, and I would love for you to do the same. Being thankful for the things we have is a great way to start saying thank you to the universe, and allow ourselves to be open-hearted with others.

I believe the path to happiness is found in showing gratitude for the good things we already have in our lives. What are the benefits of expressing gratitude?

  • We notice what’s good in our life
  • We stop to think about what’s important to us
  • We remember others in our life
  • It connects with others when we say ‘thank you’
  • It heals our emotional wounds
  • We feel a sense of calm and peace

So how exactly can you learn to be grateful? Right now, stop whatever you are doing, and bring yourself to the present moment. Take a big deep breath, right from your belly, and listen. What noises can you hear? Birds? Cars? Talking? Whatever it is, don’t stop to think about it, just let it pass by-like a cloud floating past. Take another deep breath and notice what is around you, just let yourself be within the moment. Now, take another deep breath and remember your day. Is there one thing that pops up for you? Maybe it was simply that your coffee this morning was amazing. Or maybe somebody you had been thinking about had sent you a message. Whatever it is, be grateful. Take the time to thank the universe for that particular thing.

What am I grateful for today?

Creating your day

I have had a very empowered and self-love fueled morning. I woke up gently, and let myself relax in bed. I had my morning coffee and read The Wellness Warriors “Make peace with your plate”. I am completly in love with this book. It is beautiful and filled with self-love. Some of the main points I got from Jess, were:

My body deserves good, nourishing food.

The path to true wellness lies with creating self love. 

There are many different factors in wellness: spiritual, emotional, and physical-all need to be looked after. 

 
I have been on my journey to wellness for a few years now, it has been a total lifestyle change for me. It all started with my job at a wellness centre-which was filled with beautiful people. Chiropractic, Naturopathy, and Massage have helped me to path my way to the possibility of being completely well. I am so grateful for my job-everyday I get to facilitate the journey to wellness for others. Everyday I get to hear stories of miracles from clients that have been in pain for years, who have come to us in desperation, and not only are they free of pain, they are creating wellness for themselves. A possibility which would not have been in their future originally. I LOVE MY JOB!
I also had a beautiful meditative yoga practice with the the lovely Jo Tastula-who is an online teacher. Even though I have never met Jo-I feel like I have such a great connection with her. When she does eventually get to Perth, I would love to meet her, as she has unknowingly had such a huge impact on my life.
So from this empowered morning, I have discovered what it means to create your day. Everyday we have the decision in our hands as to what kind of day we will have. Whatever the universe has in store for us, we are the ones to make the decision on how to react. So today, I have decided to have a big day-filled with things I didn’t think were possible this morning.Today, I am going to step outside my comfort zone and connect with people. I am going to listen, to be understanding, and compassionate.
This is what I have created for my day. What are yo going to create for yours?