Categories
stress management, stress, health and wellbeing, life coaching, Transformational Coaching, work-life balance, personal development

Stress. Causes. And how to manage those stress levels; getting that spark right back!

Hello there you!

Are you feeling stressed? What are the signs when it raises it’s ugly head for you? Are you feeling tired, are you going through massive changes in your life at present? You probably have so much going on in your mind at the moment. Juggling way too many balls, would that be right?

Stats

According to the Mental Health Foundation UK, over 74% of adults have felt stressed and overwhelmed in 2021 (this is no surprise with COVID). A high figure to the amount dealing with stress.

There really are so many contributing factors to raising those stress levels. I know myself when stress hits – as those palpitations start as I’m about to fall asleep at night, my head is full of worry and I struggle to relax (avoid Caffeine or keep it a minimum) However, stress can work in your favour throughout certain times of your life. Should it be right before an exam, reaching a work deadline, running a marathon or situations where you need to be focused (Smith, 2022). Stress could help you during these times as you want to perform at your best (Smith, 2022). But, it’s learning how to manage stress levels and to be aware.

So what is stress and what are the triggers?

It’s when your body goes into the fight and flight mode and as a result your cortisol levels go way way up. Cortisol is the main stress hormone and works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood (webmd). It also increases blood sugar and regulates blood pressure. 

Do you have a poor diet? Are you an overthinker? A perfectionist that compares yourself to others?What is your working environment and relationships like?  Are you sleep deprived? All these tend to make you more prone to stress (Oh I can tick quite a few myself but I’ve learned how to manage those levels and to recognise the signs)

Oh do I know when I’m stressed as I feel irritable, tired and just not myself. And, I always crave that chocolate, or junk food in general (and that raises those blood sugars to a high level) I always get a head cold and those beautiful little bad boys called ‘cold sores’ always make an appearance too! I know it’s time to slow down and look after my own body when I get all these symptoms. Getting a proper nights sleep really is the key!

So how do you manage stress?

  • Rest
  • Exercise regularly as it regulates blood sugar and lowers those cortisol levels  (even a long walk in nature or a swim. It doesn’t have to be strenuous)
  • Plenty of early nights (aim for at least 7 hrs)
  • Eat healthy foods i.e fruits, green leafy veg, eggs, yoghurt, wholemeal instead of white. Nuts, meat and oily seafood
  • Take a b vitamin
  • Journal and write it out
  • Avoid caffeine just before bed and limit the amount you take throughout the day
  • Take a break from social media if it affects your mood as that can be a big one (very guilty of that myself but I’m aware of it and have cut way down).
  • Breathing exercises are a great tool for pausing and to reconnect with yourself. Inhale deeply through the nose for 3 secs, exhale slowly through the mouth for 4 secs (give it a try)

Long term problems

Stress really can take it’s toll on the body, making the risks higher for hypertension, stroke, heart failure, digestive problems and many, many other problems (mayoclinic)

Listen to your body

Check in with yourself

For a more stress free life

You owe it your body and mind

Conclusion

If you are feeling stressed at the moment (oh there is so much going on in the world it really is inevitable at times to feel highly stressed and overwhelmed) take a step back, look at your diet, changes that are going on in your life and remember: REST, SLEEP, DIET and EXERCISE are all key to reducing stress and controlling your cortisol levels.

You owe it to your body and yourself.

How are your stress levels at present?

Be kind to yourself!

And breathe…

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 hadn’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, sunsets and mountains: are all breathtaking views that are food for the soul! Absorbing the “present” moment!

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
mindfulness poetry community relaxation wellbeing

Autumn. Those colours, the cosiness and a little piece of rhyming poetry

Ah hello there you!

Do you like Autumn? I do. It’s such a lovely time of year. Plus October is also my birth month. Watching those colours in abundance and the crispy leaves crunching as you walk along the streets, is such a beautiful mindful experience (ok, it can be annoying when they blanket your garden and you have to fill bags full of leaves)

I love wrapping the girls up, taking them to the park to run through those leaves while picking up the remaining conkers that are still lying around. I also enjoy Halloween and getting the girls all kitted out and carving that pumpkin – oh I loved a good Halloween costume party myself back in my going out days!!

Poetry and mindfulness

I wrote and posted the following poem as one of my first blog posts back in March and I’m sharing it again (being Autumn and all; I wrote it last Autumn) as I’ve been practicing mindfulness during this pandemic and it really helps to be present and to ease any overthinking/worrying… My goodness, the difference when you adopt a new exercise into your life and start to focus more on “yourself”. I’ve fallen so much in love with writing during this pandemic.

Lost in the moment of life and it’s art

A Flock of wild birds
they fly in chilled air
I walk, embracing
the earths open heart.
A seagull it sweeps,
alone with no care
lost in the moment
of life and its art.
The ring of church bells,
white tracks,
a blue sky,
children,
they giggle
dog walkers pass by.
Bare trees that stand tall
with nests where birds grew,
leaves lying crumpled
and soggy from dew.
Clear beads as they rest
on blades of green grass,
autumn alive,
soft clouds as they pass.
A squirrel,
It dances,
I watch, he’s aware,
Its bushy long tail,
he captures my stare.
This vision absorbed,
the rush is no more,
nature alive
unlocking my core.
Connections so strong
I open my heart,
lost in the moment
of life and its art

Bernie Egerton


Thank you for stopping by to read my post. Don’t forget to look out for all those colours changing when out and about: absorbing that beauty and feeling those leaves crunching beneath your feet as the leaves fall!

What is your favourite thing about Autumn?

Have a beautiful day!

 

Categories
journaling, gratitude

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

Hello there you!

Do you journal and practice gratitude?

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 you can introduce into your life daily, to focus more on the positives in your life. 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. But the benefits to your mental and physical wellbeing can be huge when focusing on the good in your life.

I started writing a journal during Covid and I finish each entry with a gratitude list; finding it helpful to be more present and focused (relieving stress and anxiety). It’s a great stress management tool.



5 Tips to help incorporate journaling and gratitude into your life.

1. Write, write, write! When putting pen to paper and writing in free flow – it helps you to process any overwhelming thoughts and it’s good to let it out. Get yourself a good journal.

2. Try not to get too focused on having to write everyday, but try to write as much as possible into your journal and always have that journal in a place where you can see it (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. 


Benefits to your overall wellbeing

Journaling can be great for your wellbeing; a good way to process your thoughts and to also document the ups and downs in your life. We all have those ups and downs – my goodness you’re only human after all.

Writing really is cathartic and practicing gratitude each day is a way to appreciate the little things – when you stop, listen to yourself and become more self-aware and present.

Being in the present moment really helps if you are feeling anxious/stressed and are constantly worrying about what’s going to happen.

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 daily life going forward❤🙏

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
the eighties, nostalgia

Nostalgia. Eighties music, fashion, movies, sweets, fancy paper and those cereal bike reflectors!

I was born in 1980, so technically speaking, the nineties were my going out years. I loved the nineties music, but there was something special about the eighties – and it’s my favourite era for music. I always have the eighties station on: blasting from the kitchen while cooking and having a little boogie with the kids!

To me; I think it was listening to the radio as I was growing up. Oh, can those tunes hit you like nothing else and touch your soul – and that keyboard sound. When Foreigner comes on, A-ha, Africa by Toto, True by Spandau Ballet, The Police, Phil Collins, Madonna, Womack Womack, Kate Bush, (she is amazing, certainly has me running up that hill when listening to her) so so many to mention and it takes you to that place emotionally (like a lot of good music does)

Tapes and walkmans:

Do you remember recording songs off the radio by tape? Trying to stop it just before the bloody djs voice butted in? Oh the memories. I loved my little walkman, and carefully fixing those tapes with a pencil.

Fashion:

The fashion, the crazy hair styles, watching aerobics on morning breakfast t.v while the instructor wore neon shiny shell suits, while rocking a curly mop of hair (I had a neon pink and blue one when I was 9 and thought I was the best thing ever since sliced bread when I wore it) And let’s not forget those puffy shoulder pads (the puffier the better and my mum used to rock that look with her permed hair) If I could go back to being a teenager then, I absolutely would. I would go all out and have the biggest hair style ever and puffiest shoulder padded blazer imaginable!

Years ago I held an eighties house party and went all out – it was brilliant shopping for everything eighties related and I was in my element

Movies and t.v shows:

The movie I couldn’t get enough of as a child was The Goonies. Do you remember it? I must’ve watched it hundreds of times with my brothers. It was like every little childs dream to go on such an adventure and to end up on that pirate ship, rocking a pirate hat with treasure at the end. E.T was also the first movie I seen at the cinema and I loved it.

Worzel Gummidge (the Scarecrow and Aunt Sally), The A-team (was the only girl with 2 brothers, so I had to watch) and Knight Rider were some of the shows I enjoyed.


Love this movie… Such a classic!

Sweets and collecting that fancy paper:

Remember the penny sweets, that would nearly take your teeth out? (Oh I did love penny sweets) sherbet that blew your head off with sourness and the chewy bars that would nearly clamp your mouth shut when eating.

As a girl in primary school we collected fancy paper, fancy rubbers and would swap with others (you’ll know well what I mean if you were a child of the eighties) The collection of fancy goods you had was ridiculous and you never used the papers or rubbers (they would sit there looking so pretty in a jar) The boys would have the football sticker albums and the swapping was endless.

Cereals and bike reflectors:

There was nothing like that feeling when you would sit with a box of kelloggs cereal in the morning and shake the life out it until that spoke reflector fell out into your bowl. My bike was full of those gleaming little bad boys!

Google image

The Eighties were so special:

Between the music with that keyboard sound, puffy shoulder pads, Charlies Angels hairstyles, walkmans, fancy paper, the retro sweets and The Goonies; It really was such a special time growing up in the eighties. I loved shaking that cereal box to see what hidden treasure was inside. The bmx with scopes covered in reflectors was just the business. I would’ve loved to have been a teenager growing up in the eighties; so I could experience the cheesy ‘disco’ scene.

Memories you will always have and back in the day before we all had our heads stuck in a phone and social media. They were good times.

Were you a fan of the eighties and were you an eighties child, and what sticks out most for you?

Thank you so much for reading my nostalgic post and “hey you guys” hope you have a great day.

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 it’s too late to nip it in the bud.

For me, stress leads to cold sores. They’re awful – hideous in fact and 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).

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
poetry

Poem: A new way of life

Hello you!

The following poem was the first poem I ever wrote, just after the first lockdown in England last year. I started writing to make sense of such a daunting situation. It was also the start of my beautiful journey with poetry and writing, which is very cathartic.

Most restrictions have been lifted today (19/07/21) in England and everyone is feeling mixed as cases still continue to rise. How are you feeling about it all at the moment? Its so normal if you’re feeling a mixture of emotions.



Thank you for reading, and hope you have a lovely day (sun is shining here in England 😎)

Continue doing what ‘you’ enjoy!

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/focused 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.

Categories
family motherhood personal development wellbeing

Reminders, and a poem about the balance, changes you go through when becoming a mummy/parent!

Hello you!

I wrote the following poem a few months back after joining a poetry writing group for mums. Since the beginning of this pandemic (when I started writing poetry) most of my poetry was written about Covid and nature.

When I started writing about motherhood, it made me think of the changes you go through when becoming a parent; but also the pure joy and unconditional love that you have for your children.

Parenting is hard, it’s rewarding, full of surprises and it’s a pick and mix of emotions: and throwing a pandemic on top of it all? Well. But the laughs from your little people, their little funny ways tugs at those heart strings like nothing else. And you would do ANYTHING for them..

I often sit back and watch my 4 and 2 year old girls playing, to absorb those precious, precious moments that flash by in an absolute heartbeat! Savoring those little moments, that you will never get back. Hugging them to pieces: without the rushing about and before they tell you to ‘get off’.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s to stop trying to be a perfect parent (that’s impossible) and to enjoy every moment. Doing the best you can is the very best you can ever do.


Poem:

Reminders

I often look at the bride beaming down
from the canvas photo –
two stone lighter, a wife,
running enthusiast: not yet a mummy.
I often look at my tummy; it sits like a bag of wheat,
my thighs dimpled like an orange.
I often look at my ashen roots,
reflecting every bit of my years.
I often look at how I indulge in chocolate,
A withered flower blowing with those gales

The beaming bride? Two stone lighter,
but gaining two of the most
precious gifts to run after.
My bag of wheat? Two beautiful little cakes were created.
My ashen roots? Life doesn’t stand still
and there’s no cheating that
(a trip to the hairdressers does pretty well!).
My chocolate craving?
A tired mummy, lockdown mummy, craves that chocolate:
In a lower gear –
while sipping that obligatory glass of gin & tonic.

Reminders of life. A wife.
A mummy. Lockdown
and my birthing tummy.


So here’s a toast to you as a parent, the juggling act that goes along with it and YOU are enough.

Have a beautiful day, savouring those moments with your little blossoms and also being kind to yourself throughout the process.