Stuck in Second Gear

Some days she finds it so hard to motivate herself….it can be past eleven before she can drag herself out of bed.  She has little in her life which seems to inspire her but when she gets a sudden wave she knows she has to run with it, because it never lasts long.  There is not much that seems to keep her interested.  She is just floating along, in second gear, no up no downs, no excitement….almost feels like nothing…

It has not always been this way, she remembers the days when she felt a tingle of excitement at daily things which happened in her life, everything was colourful.  She was happy and despite difficulties she always got through it.  Sometimes she actually enjoyed the obstacles.  She cannot pinpoint the day where she became stuck in second gear.  She does not feel bad enough to be in first gear…crawling along at 10 mph, or worst still at a complete stop.  But second gear, lets face it she is coasting.  Coasting through life.

What happened to the girl that always flew through life at 60 miles per hour, living life in the fast lane.  Full of ambition, knowing that what she wanted in life she would get….

That girl has not disappeared she is still here, and she is desperately trying to shift back up in gears.  She is assessing her life and re-focusing her energies on what she wants.  She will be back achieving what she wants in life, it may just take some time.

I WILL NOT GIVE UP

Chimp Management

We have been recommended a book to read….it’s called The Chimp Paradox by Dr. Steve Peters.

Here is what Amazon says about it:

“Do you sabotage your own happiness and success? Are you struggling to make sense of yourself? Do your emotions sometimes dictate your life?

The Chimp Paradox is an incredibly powerful mind management model that can help you become a happy, confident, healthier and more successful person. Prof Steve Peters explains the struggle that takes place within your mind and then shows how to apply this understanding to every area of your life so you can:

– Recognise how your mind is working

– Understand and manage your emotions and thoughts

– Manage yourself and become the person you would like to be

The Chimp Mind Management Model is based on scientific facts and principles, which have been simplified into a workable model for easy use. It will help you to develop yourself and give you the skills, for example, to remove anxiety, have confidence and choose your emotions. The book will do this by giving you an understanding of the way in which your mind works and how you can manage it. It will also help you to identify what is holding you back or preventing you from having a happier and more successful life.

Each chapter explains different aspects of how you function and highlights key facts for you to understand. There are also exercises for you to work with. By undertaking these exercises you will see immediate improvements in your daily living and, over time, you will develop emotional skills and practical habits that will help you to become the person that you want to be, and live the life that you want to live.”

We have decided to give it a go….as you get older you definately think about things more than what you did when you were younger.  You think about what has happened in your past, how these things have shaped or affected you and sometimes everything can feel like it is crashing down all around it.  It can become difficult to manage and you begin to suffer from things like anxiety for example.  This is what happened to us after lots of major life changes happening in such a short space of time.  If you can understand why you are feeling such a way it can help you deal with it, therefore we will give this book a good read and hope for the best.  Blogizing will provide you with a full review once we have digested and practiced what is in the book.

Here are some reviews from people who have already read the book, and it all seems very positive.  So fingers crossed eh! 🙂

Have you already read this book?  Did it make a difference to your life? If so, in what way?  We would love to hear from you…..feel free to leave your comments below!

Life Coaching: Feeling confused about who you are or where you are going?

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It happens to us all at some point.  We can be happily coasting through life, when one day we wake up and we question who we actually are, or what we are doing with our lifes, or whether our life has a purpose etc….you get what I mean…

It can be difficult to work it out and you feel stressed or anxious.  All the hustle and bustle of everyday life can grind you down and you feel like you want to shout “STOP!!!! I wanna get off this merry go round!”

I have found that getting out in nature, whether it is a walk in the woods or a trip to the seaside to listen to the waves and walk barefoot in the sand.  A walk on the hills or moors or a paddle in the local river.  All of these things help to reconnect you, it instantly makes you feel better, it takes away my worries, my anxiety and my stress.

If you feel frazzled by life do not despair, there is always an answer.  It may take some time to come to you, but in the meantime be kind to yourself and take time out to gather your energies and recharge your batteries.

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Panic & Anxiety: Stress Check

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I read an article this morning and as anxiety is something I do suffer from, especially when the going gets tough, I decided to share with you some symptoms which will help you to identify if you are stressed, and hopefully you can then take steps to chill the hell out 😉

  • General fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Frustration
  • Nervous coughing
  • Sudden tears for no reason
  • Unable to control crying outbursts
  • Over reaction
  • Irritability
  • Binge drinking
  • Talking too much
  • Chain smoking
  • Fiddling with your hair
  • Pulling out your hair
  • Sudden sweating
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Sudden anger with little or no reason
  • Sudden heart pounding or palpitations
  • Muscle aches
  • Overeating
  • Constant feeling that this is no enough time
  • Tic/twitching eyebrows or mouth
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nervous coughing
  • Drumming your fingers
  • Tapping your foot
  • Clenched jaw
  • Turning red faced
  • Headaches
  • Feeling of expecting bad news or something bad is going to happen
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sudden inability to express yourself
  • Impatience
  • Nail biting
  • Constant picking fingernails or face
  • Trying to do two or three things at once

It is advisable to keep a stress diary, record your feelings on a daily basis.  This is a good way to track your feeling and emotions and remember exactly how you felt.  If you are anything like me, it is likely you will feel different on almost a daily basis.  If you can recognize you are stressed this is the first step in being able to control it.

If you are stressed or suffering from anxiety, there are many ways in which you can have treatment, and not just with medication. I am personally a fan of complementary medicine such as:

  • Aromatherapy, applying oils directly to skin or in oil burners (a great supportive treatment)
  • Exercise, instant mood lifter.  The hardest part can be getting yourself to do the exercise.  Whether you choose to go to the gym or out for a big hike, play football, cycle or golf, as you finish the exercise you feel immediately better about yourself.  Keep trying until you find something you enjoy.
  • Massage
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Meditation

Personally, I have found one of the best ways to help with stress is practicing yoga.  Many people believe yoga is a type of religion, but this is not true.  You practice controlled movement and stresses with breathing which I have found to be very effective.

Do not forget, if you are feeling stressed or anxious, to visit your doctor, who will be able to offer you advice and point you in the right direction for help.  It may be that there has been some life event that has initiated the symptoms and counselling may be helpful.

stop stressing start living

I really try to remember that we are only here once, we need to live our lives as much as we can.  I find it helpful to keep a gratitude diary, so that I remind myself to be thankful for the small things in life.  This keeps things in perspective for me and stops me from slipping into depression.  What coping mechanisms do you use?  We would love to hear them

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Keep smiling even when everything is shit: Amongst the grey clouds are always rays of sunshine

Why do I always feel like I am at a crossroads? Why is my life constantly like a rollercoaster? All I want is an ‘easy’ life, a life where things can be constant and permanent just for a little while.  Just long enough for me to feel comfortable.  As soon as I start to feel like things are getting better something else goes wrong.  Is everyone else’s life like this or is it just mine?

I am not just feeling sorry for myself, I am not talking about minor things such as missing the bus or forgetting to put the bin out so I felt in a terrible mood for the rest of the day.  I mean, real terrible things happen.  I am beginning to think I am jinxed.

In the last two years here is a list of what has happened (though please be advised it is not limited to said list, as I also have the usual things like having to stop at every set of traffic lights, getting stuck behind a tractor when I am already late for work, forgetting my packed lunch in the fridge, noticing I am low on petrol and then realising I have also forgotten my purse at work etc so bear this in mind)  Anyhow…….list…here we go:

  • Not one but two of my aunt’s are seriously ill.  One collapsed with a serious throat action and is now permanently brain damaged, though has some independence at least.  My other aunt had a serious fall and is lucky to be alive, but has had numerous brain surgery and it is feared she will never have independence again. This second accident happened on my birthday.  Happy birthday me!!! (They will now never be the same)  This year I found my birthday extremely emotional, as I spent the morning at the cemetery talking to my grandma, and the rest of it thinking, it has been one year since my auntie’s accident and she is no better)
  • I have had two car accidents, both not my fault. Luckily no one was hurt, apart from my car.  It is the sheer inconvenience of it all….
  • My son was run over, and as a result broke both femurs, he is lucky to be alive, I am lucky he is still alive.  Quite possibly the most stressful thing which has happened in my life (and his).  This meant three months of intensive care getting him back on his feet.  He is on his way to recovery, albeit it has been a slow road.
  • My grandma died.  She was a very special person in my life.  I could go visit her, sit there all day and speak to her about anything.  I did not realise it at the time, but she was actually one of my favourite people.  She never annoyed me or upset me.  She was a great help with my children, she looked after me as a child, she was a constant permanent fixture, pretty much the only one, and now she has gone.
  • Related to above in incident of my grandma’s passing.  Quite possibly the second most upsetting day of my life (aside from my son being run over) was having to attend my grandma’s funeral.  In saying ‘having to attend’ I do not mean this as though I was forced, I would not have missed it for the world.  However it was extremely difficult saying good bye to someone I hoped would be there forever.   Love you grandma x
  • My children’s father appears to have taken up a sudden interest in pedophiles,  decides to post things about this subject on facebook and as a result put me in a situation where I have had to stop contact for the time being, until I am sure my children are safe, and in me doing so has made me feel like an absolute mega bitch. Then there is the added stress of having to deal with this family, who seem to be incapable of understanding why I am upset at his failure to safeguard my children.
  • My finances have seriously taken a turn for the worst.  I have done nothing differently, but with the increase of cost of living and decrease in help for working single parents it has all taken its toll and there is not much further I can go.
  • My health is suffering.  I am suffering from stress headaches, severe hayfever and now having to have treatment in the lady department to stop some naughty cells turning even naughtier.
  • And to top it off, I am still very, very single. Sigh……..

But as luck would have it, good things have happened in the last two years also, so at least rather than you getting a picture of just one steep drop on a very large roller coaster, you can now imagine a big dipper 😉

So yes it is very true, these last two years have been pretty trying, and would have been for any person.  But I am still smiling.  In the last year I have met some brilliant people, I have carved out a great social circle, I have gotten back in touch with some family members, I have reignited my love for art and creativity, I have rediscovered my freedom, my love for nature and walks in the woods, and my love for travel. I have discovered how lucky I am to have such great friends and family and a roof over my head, not to take things for granted and to be thankful for what I have.

“Amongst the dark clouds are always small rays of bright sunshine”i

 

Bad Mood

After a peaceful week and a fabulous weekend spent with friends and family I woke up this morning in a great mood. Despite me being woken by our pup at 6am I was happy, the sun was shining and I was still buzzing from this weekend. You simply cannot beat spending time with people you really love. Some of my friends I love like they are my family and feel more at home with them than some of my actual family.

Shame the ex had to get in touch this morning with another manipulating text full of guilt trips and hate. This instantly put me in a bad mood. No matter how much I try to not let this man affect my life I just cannot help it. This frustrates me no end. Instead of letting it get me down for too long I’ve learned to try and deal with my emotion and release it. I did a quick drawing, the title…….Bad Mood

Going Backwards? It is not possible, time will never allow it

I had my first child at 17, needless to say I was nt married and the relationship did not last. By 28 I had given birth to my second and third children.  I still was not married, nor did the fella ever intend to propose, mainly as he knew he had some sort of control in this matter, and all I ever wanted was the happily ever after.  So I planned the wedding, and when our third child was 6 months old, we got married.  I was never proposed to, and he never said he wanted to marry me, but he did. I am now divorced. Single again and have been for two years.  I am dating, for the first time in my life.  I meet men, go on dates and if I want to see them again I do, if I don’t  then I don’t.  For the first time in my life, I realised I actually had a choice in relationships.  My children are older now.  I go out with friends, I go on holiday with them, weekends away to festivals and allow myself that time to let my hair down.  I am truly living a single life.  With three older children in tow.  They of course also get my time, but as I am sole carer, with not much of a break I allow myself some freedom now and again.  I benefit, but so do they.

I had a career at 21, working in a law firm, receiving a large pay check at the end of each month and a decent annual bonus to boot.  At 30, I left, I’d had enough of the rat race and returned to university.  I am a student. I also work, part time.

I had a house at 21, albeit with a mortgage but it was mine.  After a failed engagement and then a failed marriage and all the financial implications that came with that (thanks ex-husband for eternally lumbering me with your debt) I now live in rented.  Although it is not all bad, as in actual fact this is the first house that actually feels like home to me, since leaving my parents home some 15 years ago.

At 21, despite having a child, I had savings.  Maybe this was because it was before the recession hit us, I do not know.  But I now no longer have savings.  Another way I have gone backwards…..?

I felt at one point I had it all.  Husband, children, career, money. But I did not.  I did not have my freedom, nor my happiness. I was sad, and despite being surrounded by my husband and children I felt lonely.  Nothing fulfilled me.  I felt like a shell, an outline of a person with nothing inside. Empty.

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I used to be very creative, but all of this had fallen by the way side to make time for my career and my children.  I was desperately trying to hold everything together and it worked for a couple of years, but once the cracks began to show, no matter how much I tried to plaster of them, it was just a temporary fix.  I had to strip back to basics, and reassess my life.  At first I thought I had thrown everything away, until I realised I had in fact just began to clear everything away.  The things which I no longer needed in my life as they served no purpose, and in fact made me very unhappy.  However, I am happier now than I have ever been.  I still have problems in my life I have to deal with, but I do not ‘struggle’ to deal with them.  I am not constantly stressed out and have managed to develop a ‘whatever will be, will be’ attitude.  I believe sometimes we are so conditioned by society that we believe the house, car, husband, children, career blahdy blah is what is going to keep us happy. Having lived that live, it did not work for me, and I know plenty others that it has not worked for either.

If you feel unhappy, it is time to assess your life.  Do not be frightened, as you have to do this, for yourself. You have a duty to live life in the most happiest, fulfilling way that you can.

I had difficulty allowing myself time.  I felt guilty, feeling as though I had to be there for my children 24/7.  So I not only felt guilty when I went out for dinner with friends, or for a weekend away at a spa, I felt guilty when I went to work!  Working 10 hours a day in a law firm, meant most days I did not see my children for more than an hour a day-combined from before and after work.  It made it more difficult for me to accept as when I tried to explain it to my husband, he was so money driven (mainly as I paid his bills) that he failed to even consider a reduction in my hours.  So when I was finally brave enough to take a look at my life, and after my now ex-husband had left, I know the next thing on my list was my work.  I had always been interested in people and what made them tick, so I chose to do Psychology.  I left my work, which had always served as a security blanket and I took the giant step of becoming a student. This freed up a lot of my time, and now I can take my children to school every morning and collect them from school three days a week.  The guilt of not being a ‘proper’ mother (this way my ideal of the type of mother I wanted to be) to my children has gone.  Which now means I can also take time out some weekends, guilt-free.

Your steps do not have to be as life changing as mine, I am in no way advocating that every one packs in their jobs and gets divorced.  This worked for me, and I am still in transition after two years, but every day I am a step closer to where I want to be.  So even though I looked as though I was going backwards, (and believe me, many people questioned me, and some thought I was in mid-life crisis) I actually just cleared the decks so I could move forwards. I AM HAPPY.

happy

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