To my former self…

So this is a bit of a strange post…. writing about anxiety and training to be an NLP practitioner has made me reflect on the past year and I decided today that I never really stopped to think just how far I have come on my anxiety journey.  Every individuals journey with mental health is different, and I guess because I never felt depressed or hopeless with my anxiety I feel guilty because my anxiety ‘wasn’t that bad’, I was able to function as normal, it didn’t stop any of my normal day to day activities, in comparison to how some people suffer I was doing great.  But as individuals we shouldn’t do this, we shouldn’t feel like our experience is less valid because someone else has been worse.  We should be proud of our achievements and we should be proud of each small step we take.

So here it is, me thanking me….

To my former self

There was no way at all that I believed that you would be the type of person to suffer with anxiety, you are the incredibly strong, positive go getter, a perfectionist in every single way. You worked hard, played hard and cared for people even harder.  But day by day things started to change, just ever so slightly, the fear of something bad happening started to creep in.  Not a soul would know, not a soul would realise the silent worries in that mind of yours.  You see that’s the crazy thing with anxiety, its happens so quietly, almost without detection, one day it’s a small concern, the next its something bigger, and bigger… and bigger.  But this is why I am SO incredibly proud of you.  That you never allowed yourself to become that anxiety, you never allowed it to stop you functioning and caring for people, you never allowed it to define who you are, in fact you have delved deeper than you ever thought possible.  You asked for help, you spoke to someone, you trained your mind to think positive, to be strong, to not believe everything it tells you is true and not only that, now you want to take that life changing experience and help other people get through what you did.

Give yourself some credit!

Yours truthfully xxx

Have you felt yourself do this before? Not give yourself enough credit for the things you have got through? I would love to hear your stories.

Mrs P xxxx

5 steps to resetting the mind-set

During my period of anxiety the one thing I noticed was my apparent inability to think positively, from the moment I woke up to when I went to sleep my mind was full with a barrage of negative thoughts. One after the other. Through trial, error and extensive research I really believe that I have discovered effective ways of re-calibrating and re-setting the mind so you can develop new habits for positive thinking. These were so effective in my recovery I wanted to share. So here are my 5 tips to start you on your journey towards living a much more positive life.

  1. When you open your eyes in the morning, no matter how anxious you may feel, smile. The simple action of smiling can trick your brain to being on the right track for the day ahead. This really helped me at the very start of my journey, it didn’t seem like an overwhelming task to smile.  Day by day, the smile felt more real.
  2. Before you put your feet on the floor in the morning think of 5 things in your life that you are grateful for that can not be purchased. This process can change your thought process and set your day in a much more positive direction.
  3. Write down an affirmation or two for the feeling that you want to achieve and say it to yourself through out the day. This could be as simple as ‘I am strong’ – say it to yourself in the mirror when you first wake up, write it down on some paper and take it with you, look at it, say it, think it and feel it.  Do this everyday, for at the very least 28 days so it can enter your mind and become part of your belief system.
  4. Make sure you don’t let things define your whole day. Many of us are guilty of doing this, not just those that suffer with anxiety or depression.  We may look out the window see rain and think its going to be a miserable day, if we stub our toe on the bed first thing we may allow our self to think its going to be ‘one of those days’.  Put simply, I believe that if you think your day will be bad, then it will be.  If you re-frame that thought process with an ‘oh well’ rather than an ‘oh no’ and not allow it to dictate the rest of your day your mind will stay on a much more positive track.
  5. Recognise how you are feeling.  Sometimes when we have a tendency towards anxiety these thoughts become habit.  Negativity actually becomes habit. Its impossible to check every thought we have, however if we take notice of the way that we are feeling we can address that and work towards replacing that negative feeling with a positive thought.  Put simply replace a negative with a positive, replace a negative with a positive, replace a negative with a positive.  Change the habit.

Do you have any tips for re-calibrating and reframing your thoughts?  If so how has this helped you?

I truly hope you find these tips useful.  I believe that small steps can make for big results as they can quickly snowball into better and more positive habits.

Mrs P xxxx

 

The importance of being present

I read a quote about a month ago that said something along the lines of ‘anxiety is living in the future, depression is living in the past and true happiness can be found in the present’ I can’t comment on how true that is with regards to depression as that’s never where my anxiety went but the quote itself really struck a cord with me.

Its funny isn’t it how just a few words can change your outlook.  I read that quote and it was like a light bulb went off, I thought what is the point?!  What is the point of all this worry? It isn’t achieving anything, in fact its actually a totally counter productive way of thinking.  I was already aware that I was spending a huge proportion of my day worrying about what ‘might’ happen.  To the outside world I looked ‘together’, totally in control but my mind was absorbed up by every single ‘what if’ scenario.  So, I made the decision right there and then to make myself become more present, to really just exist in that moment and enjoy it for what it is.  It took some work, my mind was so used to racing but every time it would wonder I’d focus on bringing it right back to now, with practice, it became habit.

I did this by making a conscious effort at least once a week to be outside in nature, to feel the wind in my face, to just breath and be free, even if it was for just a few hours the feeling that freedom gave me was incredible, it was empowering.  Finally, I felt some fragment of control, it gave me hope that one day I could maybe just maybe get to the other side of anxiety. It was the first step!

I really believe that even if you don’t suffer from anxiety or depression, being in the moment is so important, we are all so busy.  I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, working, achieving and going all out to reach your goals, but if we don’t take a moment to just be present, to be with the people you love and to experience all the world has to offer then in the blink of an eye the time has gone.

So take that time for you, be with nature, be with the people you love, take that time to just breath and take back that control.

Mrs P xxxx

The other side of anxiety

So as I start off the mind/ mental health section of my blog I wanted to share a little bit of my journey with anxiety and mental health.  I was in two minds if I should share this or not, but I decided to for all those people who feel like their minds are lost in that place. I want people to know that there is hope, that you can get to the other side of anxiety and that you are absolutely not alone.

14 months ago today my life was in a different place.  My anxiety levels were up, I had no idea what direction I wanted to go in life.  One thing I knew for sure is that this was not going to be my story.  In fact, why was this me?  I am very happily married, have a beautiful little boy and love being a stay at home mom, but I just couldn’t shake this feeling in my stomach. How ungrateful I would think to myself, what is my problem?! Why can’t I just get myself together?! The guilt was so intense.  Every other part of my life was great, I knew I’m a good mom, a good wife and friend, but I just couldn’t shake this silent worry and fear of ‘what if?’.  I actually remember in the past knowing people who were anxious about certain things, such as leaving the house, going in to social situations and not being able to understand why.  Often it isn’t until you walk a mile in someone’s shoes that you can truly empathise and relate to what they have been through.  So here I was, in a similar position, unable to recognise parts of myself, feeling anxious, stressed and wondering how an earth I got to this place.

Something had to give. I decided to seek some guidance and let me tell you it was quite literally one of the most difficult things and retrospectively brave things I have done.  I always had my life ‘together’, I didn’t like asking for help because usually I have everything under control and admitting this aspect of my life wasn’t in my control was a big deal.  Looking back, I had no choice, I was not going to let anxiety define me and the only way to change the mind set was to educate myself how. So after much research on the subject I made the decision to see a hypnotherapist, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  My hypnotherapist not only helped me understand the root of where my anxiety come from but she helped teach my (very active) mind how to finally relax and also introduced me to the absolute power that is NLP.  Its incredible how much of a change has been made, don’t get me wrong I have had to work at it, re-training the whole of my brain to not to constantly worry about ‘what might happen’ and ‘what if’, but I’m so excited about life and what there is to come.

I was so inspired by the transformation that occurred in my life that I am now re-training to be an NLP practitioner/ life coach and I’m so excited, it suits my path and combined with my past career in marketing and management I know I can make a positive difference in peoples lives.  I never ever want people to feel how I felt and if I can give people back the feeling of joy that was returned to me then I will be extremely happy!

Id love to hear your experiences so please feel free to share below. I believe a community of like minded people can work together to raise each other up.

Sending love

Mrs P xxx

 

 

Where has all my money gone?

Budgeting basics – Part 3

Where has all my money gone? Changing the mind set.

I recently entered a discussion online about how money seems to have a life of its own and quite literally fall through the cracks.  It really dawned on me how many of us have felt like this?  We get our wages paid into our account and before we know it we are half way through the month and the money seems to have just gone.  But where to? How can this happen and our hard earned money just disappear?

Quite simply put, the issue is mind set.  We go through life with the mentality that money can just disappear through the cracks, that we look and its all gone.  It simply isn’t true.  Money isn’t alive, it isn’t a living breathing entity like ourselves, in fact, it is entirely within our power to tell our money exactly where we want it to go. That’s right! You can literally put your money where ever you want. So, (shock horror) this must mean it hasn’t just disappeared and we must have spent it.  Lets just pause and take that in for a minute…. it didn’t just disappear. The really exciting thing about this realisation is that its totally in your power to get that control back.

Start by making sure you save every single receipt you get when you go out and about, £4.00 here, £8.00 there a few times a week can soon add up to an additional £50-£60 a week of unaccounted expenditure! That’s over £200 a month and a staggering £2400 a year! A huge amount of money when you are either saving for a holiday, a deposit on a house or even working to pay off your debt. Please don’t underestimate the power of small steps, they really do make big changes and will totally alter the direction of your journey to becoming financially free.

Have you ever felt like money just falls through the cracks? Id love to hear your story, please feel free to share below.

TEN tips to reduce your outgoings

Budgeting basics

Welcome to part two of my 5 part budgeting series! It could be saving for your dream holiday, investing in a business, saving for the deposit on your first house or paying off debt.  Whatever your reasons are for wanting to budget here are my top 10 tips to help trim down your finances and work towards that next goal.

Part 2 – My 10 tips to reduce your outgoings

1 – Be prepared to make the sacrifice

Put simply many people want to make the change but aren’t quite prepared to follow through with that with action and cut out what they deem to be ‘essential’.  If you want to save for a holiday or finally get rid of that debt, cutting back is a huge step in the right direction but YOU have to take action.

2 – Look at your TV Package

The price of TV and broadband can take huge chunk out of your monthly income with some packages being in the £100’s. If you’re serious about saving and you are not in a contract it may be worth while cutting your TV package altogether and investing in a good ‘freeview’ package.  If not, start by calling your TV company to see if you can reduce your package to the most basic one, depending on who you are with this action alone can save you well over £50 a month.

3 – Reduce your phone bill

This is one that have recently done myself.  I was paying over £60 a month for my Iphone6S, a simple look at my online billing account resulted in the realisation that I was out of contract. This gave me the option to reduce my monthly bill to £21.00 a month if I kept the same phone for a package that’s pretty much identical to my previous one! A huge saving of £39.00 a month!

4 – Cancel any unused memberships or subscriptions

If you aren’t using the gym and you aren’t in contract, cancel it! There are so many free ways you can work out. Get outside and take a walk or search ‘hiit workouts’ on YouTube and you will have access to hundreds of different accounts dedicated to helping you stay fit and healthy.

5 – Cut out all none essentials

That coffee you have every morning, the sandwich that you got from your local shop at lunch, the weekly outing to the pub for drinks. By cutting back, these are all area’s you can save a huge amount of money on.  Take 15 minutes to calculate how much a week these add up to and you will soon feel inspired to direct that money to exactly where its needed.

6 – Shop smart

Popping to the local shop multiple times a week can really increase your monthly shopping bill.  Start grocery shopping once a week by creating a meal plan, in doing this you will know exactly what you need for the week ahead allowing you to buy more efficiently.  If you have excess, you can always freeze it for the following week!  We found that doing this cut at least £30 a week off our shopping bill.

7 – Figure out how much you want it!

How much do you really want that holiday? How much to you really want to be debt free? All of these things may seem a lot to sacrifice but the decision is with you.  If you want these things you have to take action.  Quite literally the decision is in your hands.  However, what you can’t do is complain about how you can’t reach these goals if you simply aren’t willing to sacrifice in order to achieve.

8 – Don’t underestimate the power of small changes

£40 off a TV bill may not sound that much in the grand scheme of things but trust me when I say each of these small changes add up to a huge amount. In just 3 of these tips I have demonstrated how you could save well over £100 a month on your bills, that’s £1200 a year before you have even looked at other areas where you can reduce payments such as gas and electricity!  Small steps forward create big results.

9 – Change the mind set

This may seem a bit out there but I really found that being grateful for the services I am paying for changed my approach to finances.  That’s not to say you can’t be frustrated if you feel you are being ripped off in anyway but I no longer resent the fact that money leaves my bank every month.  In fact, I’m so thankful that there are companies that provide heating, that provide internet, that provide running water.  Yes, I have to pay for the privilege but I’m really so grateful they exist.

10 – Put the money you have saved away!

Don’t save from these areas only to allow it to be filtered off somewhere else.  Put it straight in to your savings account or straight towards reducing that debt. Make the work you put in count!

Have you found any creative ways to save money? Id love to hear so feel free to comment below!

FIVE tips to kick start your budgeting journey.

Budgeting basics

Welcome to the MrsPLoves budgeting basics series!  When your finances are a mess everything can feel overwhelming and even the thought of a budget can send people into a panic. This 5 part series is designed to strip budgeting and saving back to its very bare bones and start with the basics.

Part 1 – My top FIVE tips to kick start your budgeting journey.

1 – Work out exactly what money you have coming in

I believe the first step in gaining control of your finances is knowing exactly what you earn. This may be you on your own or with your partner, just take the time write down on paper or on a spreadsheet the total sum of what you have coming in.

2 – Write down every single out going

Now we have our income, its crucial to know what you are spending, this means taking the time to write down all expenses including bills such as mortgage/rent, adding up your monthly food bill, fuel payments, utilities, TV and internet, car payments, debt re-payments, even that coffee you buy every morning on the way to work. Put simply, everything that you know will be leaving your bank. This  may seem the most intimidating part but I can assure you that it is much better written down or on a spread sheet than it is muddled up in your head.

*If number 2 is bigger than number 1 we have some work to do – in this series of post’s we will discuss ways we can reduce our outgoings and get control of our finances.

3 – Create the habit

Be strict with yourself, I absolutely believe that if you really want to make a change in your life you can.  In order to truly gain control of your finances it is crucial to put aside time every single month to keep check on exactly what is going in and coming out of your bank account. No excuses. Set the date and stick to it.

4 – Change your mind set

The word ‘budget’ comes loaded with all sorts of baggage, people see it as intimidating, unnecessary and hard work but that perception couldn’t be more wrong.  Having a budget is not restrictive its freeing! Not only will you see your true financial picture so you can gain control but it shows you what you can spend guilt free! That’s the kind of spending I like! Change the mind set and soon enough you will view your monthly budget meeting as an opportunity to stop those pounds falling through the cracks and to start seeing them grow.

5 – START!!!!

I know this sounds obvious but make a start! Actually do it! Take that first step, it may seem overwhelming but it isn’t. The sooner you start the sooner you can take control of your finances and get one step closer to financial freedom.

No Fairies by Peter Stevenson

img_4366.jpg

Mr P, Little P and I love to holiday in Wales, it really is one of our favourite things to do as a family, wondering round the beautiful seaside towns and driving through the breath taking countryside suits us just perfectly.  It would be rude of course not to have a mooch around the local shops and Waterstones is one that always tends to pull us in.  Especially myself and Little P!

We usually have to make our way straight to the back of the shop where the children’s books are and will usually say yes to Little P having a new book to take home with him (unless like the other day when he chose 6!).

On this occasion there were two in particular our fancy, I will feature the second one in another review because ‘No Fairies’ by Peter Stevenson really did just capture mine and Little P’s hearts and deserves a review of its very own.

Set on a small island off the coast of western Wales , No Fairies takes you on a wonderful journey with Heledd, a little girl who loves to hear stories and songs about fairies but just cant see them anywhere so off they go to look.  We love reading stories to Little P that we can talk about when we are off on a walk and this particularly appealed to us as we spent time looking through the brambles for fairies so it really did ignite the little ones imagination.

Not only was the story itself enchanting but the illustrations are nothing short of magical.   I feel really lucky with Little P that he generally enjoys a variety of books, but at the moment they pretty much centre around dinosaurs and monsters! This of course is perfectly fine however it was lovely to read a story that I knew I would have thoroughly enjoyed not only listening to as a child but illustrations that would have fully drawn me in.

I feel like I am going in pretty high with this for my first book review on the blog but this gets a huge 5 Stars from me.  Fantastic read and very much recommended.

No Fairies by Peter Stevenson

ISBN 978-1845273491

www.carreg-gwalch.com

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Fairies-Peter-Stevenson

Waterstones link: https://www.waterstones.com/book/no-fairies/peter-stevenson

 

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19068897/?claim=3pfd4dw9259″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19260861/?claim=t8w9aeumkq5″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

My Autumn to dos!

IMG_1866

Finally, my favourite season is here. Despite my love for Spring and Summer, there is no other seasons arrival that I welcome with such excitement.  The turning of the leaves and the slight feeling of a chill in the air brings with it cosy oversized jumpers, fluffy socks, big boots and the promise of long walks over frosty ground. I just love it all.

The last couple of years have been a bit chaotic for us and now Little P is old enough to understand exactly what is going on, I intend to fill this season with plenty of festivities.

Here is my list of things that we are going to do this Autumn.

  • Take plenty of long walks – there is nothing in this world that I love to do more than go on walks with my family.  We are fortunate enough to live right on the edge of a forest so early Sunday mornings wrapped up warm with the husband, Little P and our pooch will be a must!
  • Collect leaves and do leaf art – Little P loves to paint draw and be creative so this year we are going to incorporate some of the new season into our makes!
  • Watch Hocus Pocus – literally one of my all time favourite films – the thought of cuddling up on the sofa with a blanket and hot chocolate fills me with absolute joy.
  • Buy all of my seasonal fragrances – this is a bi-seasonal tradition that I have created – every Autumn and every spring I renew all of the fragrances in my house

My current favourites are  Yankee Candle – Vanilla Cupcake

Air Wick – mulled wine & cinnamon apple – I love the diffusers and the plug ins.

The smell of these when I walk into my house really does make me happy (It’s the little things!)

  • Visit a pumpkin patch – I really want to take Little P pumpkin picking this year to choose our own pumpkins to bring home and carve!
  • Get creative with the pumpkin carving – my husband and I have always been a little bit competitive on the pumpkin carving front but this year I feel the need to step it up a notch – I have been pinning in preparation!
  • Visit a maize maze – I have seen these a fair bit on US vlogs and it looks like so much fun, our local farm has one this year and I think it would be great to take little P.
  • Drink lots of yummy seasonal coffee – this might sound like a strange one but I absolutely love it when the new Costa Coffee menu is released, their salted caramel latte is my favourite.
  • Start preparing for Christmas earlier – yes I know I am talking about Christmas already, however being prepared and organised for the festive season ahead really does give me a huge sense of achievement. This means I am going to start crafting a bit earlier (I’m going to attempt a quilted stocking) and maybe even start writing cards in October/ November.

What are your plans this Autumn?  I am always on the look out for new exciting things to do with Little P or as a family. Please share below.

Mrs P xxxx

 

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19066289/?claim=s4tqyf3343y”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Self Doubt – getting ‘me’ back

Its been a long while since I last blogged, it really wasn’t my intention to leave it this long, after two moves in four months and various other excuses that I came up with in my mind I just ‘couldn’t find the time’.  I say this in inverted commas because the truth is if I really wanted to, I could have, in between baby groups, nap times, of an evening somewhere, I could have found the time to do what I love.

I guess the thing is… I really don’t know if I am good enough, I’m worried what people will think about what I write, if I come across as not articulate enough, not interesting, not quite there in people’s estimations. I surely can’t be the only blogger in the whole world who thinks like this when they start out? Am I?!

I do want to mention that I am extremely happy with my life, have an amazing husband, beautiful son and wonderful family.  I’m a very happy/positive person and absolutely love being a stay at home mom which is why I often feel guilt for even feeling this way in the first place! However, this is the way I feel, and as little P is 2 in October I am now on a mission to start getting parts of ‘me’ back that have been somewhat absent since I became a mama.

Before I was a SAHM we made the big decision for me quit the corporate world where I managed a marketing department for a company and go part time while I studied to do an English degree.  When little P came along, for various reasons that deserve a whole different blog post I couldn’t complete this and I fell into being a stay at home mama.  I absolutely LOVE this but it just seems that all of a sudden the other aspects of my life where I was a strong business woman have suddenly disappeared and along with that my confidence in these areas.

Amongst the chaos of both house moves I really have been able to do a lot of self-reflection and this seems to be a theme throughout my whole life at the moment.  I self doubt and lack confidence in what I do and sometimes even in what I say.  One of the only areas that this doesn’t translate to is my life as a stay at home mom, I am confident in my ability to parent and to be a good mama to little P and to keep my home together.  However I want more……

I want my self belief back! So I guess this post is the first step to reclaiming these parts of me.  Next step is to continue posting and building my blog, I really would like to make it a success and heck to maybe even help someone out there with the things that I write!

I firmly believe in championing those around me, stay at home mom, work at home mom, working mamas (and of course dads) I thing you are all amazing and really would love to hear your stories of feeling or over coming self doubt, please comment below to share.

Mrs P xxxx