Being the impossible

Why is it we are always trying to be something we aren’t. Whether it’s our identity, our religion, our work or our relationships we are always fighting ourselves.

For me I’ve always struggled with my identify mostly because I am so different to my family, especially my sister. For one I’m a lesbian which my sister or any other family member or friend isn’t. Secondly I don’t have a stable career; my sister has always known what she wanted to do and she stuck to it. Then add being Vegan on top of that and I couldn’t feel more out of place with the world. It’s almost like I just can’t keep up.

The problem is there is so much media these days that we all then feel like we aren’t doing enough. We aren’t skinny enough or fit enough, we can’t do amazing tricks or paint beautiful portraits. Not saying these people don’t work extremely hard at their skills and professions.

So why are we feeling so bad after seeing these things? Especially when we know how they got to be that way. I think a part of it is inner guilt. A lack of trying that we know we could do more but we choose not too. I know myself I really struggle to have motivation due to my bouts of anxiety and depression. I also give up really easily on tasks. Is this something I’ve chosen to be or how I am though? Is it my fault I can’t match up to expectations?

Recently I have been really looking at myself and my life. I have noticed what part of the problem is and that’s self love. I’m never seeing the good parts of myself I don’t say to myself your doing a great job raising a baby by yourself. Instead I’m always focusing on what I’m not doing. We always want more we always focus on the future and what we need to do never on the present and how much we have already accomplished.

The thing is we can’t compare ourselves with others because we are all so different. We all believe in something different we all have priorities that are more or less important and we all think differently. This doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there that have these same values as you. It’s just finding communities that make you feel more supported and safe and understood.

Maybe next time you see an Instagram post, blog or news report don’t even think about relating it to yourself because you can’t! Yes we can admire it, enjoy it or even learn from it but don’t compare your life to it. Your special, important and worthy in your own way. Learn to love your life the way it is. It’s what makes you, YOU. Love the life you live and live the life you love.

Be caring to yourself xx

Body Image… let’s update it

Recently I was talking to a women just in conversation about keeping healthy and all of a sudden it straight away turned from talking about food we both eat to feeling bad about our bodies. Why is this? Why do women feel the need to explain ourselves and why we might be overweight or in some cases underweight.

It got me thinking whether this will ever change or if it’s going to be an issue for my daughter too. I clearly don’t agree with being unhealthy however some women out there do try to eat healthy and exercise and there weight still upsets them.

Walk down a street on a hot day and there are men with their tops off; not all having a six pack either some would be a size 18 if they wore women’s clothes. Now if you had a woman do they same they would get so much critic for doing that. In fact so much so if they had the option most if not all wouldn’t take their top off out of judgement and fear.

Why do we have this problem still in our world. Back in the Italian renaissance women were called beautiful for their curvaceous bodies. Artists would make sculptures and they were seen as the norm. Now if you had that people would say it was horrible to look at.

Let’s also remember that women do have a reproductive cycle. This includes the menstrual cycle which does cause our bodies to bloat. Then most of us have babies which completely changes not only our bodies but our hormones that regulates things like our metabolism. Our breasts change and our hips widen. This isn’t anything we have done to change. It is how the female form was created. So why should we be judged for this.

Like mentioned at the start women are also criticised for being too thin too! We honestly can’t win on the body image front. Some women then feel less feminine when their breasts aren’t as big and a lot of the time will get bullied and laughed at because of it. I do know men also get judgement for ‘man boobs’ however for a man it’s not usually the daily struggle that women have to face. Also usually men will find it easier to loose this body fat than a woman would.

I think it’s time to have less body shaming and start to accept that everyone does have a different body shape or different story that has affected their body. I know that when I had my daughter my body was in a lot of pain for many months. So me trying to exercise wasn’t an option and many other women who have had babies will find that it causes them problems. To this day I have a bad back that stops me doing certain things. Even after typing in female body to the image section it comes up with lots of women exercising like that’s what we should all be doing!!

Maybe it’s because I’m nearly 30 but I’ve learnt that if someone can’t love me for me then really it’s their loss not mine. I’m proud of my body it’s been through a lot and yet it is still beautiful in it’s own form. So instead of looking in the mirror feeling sad about yourself why don’t you look at how far you have come and embrace yourself. Pick out three things you love about yourself and remember how beautiful the female body is!

Be caring to yourself xx

Gardening & Mental Health

For the last four days I have been clearing out my garden. Originally I was just going to remove a heather that had surrounded one of my palms. It then lead to weeding the border of plants and well now four days later I’ve had a big transformation of my garden.

We have been super lucky to have had such beautiful weather. The sun is definitely a mood changer for me and I am a lot more cheery and have more energy on sunny days. Today it’s cold and cloudy and all I want is to snuggle into a blanket. Since I’m sitting and not doing as much I am noticing my mood. Not that I’m in a dark place but it’s the fact I am noticing it.

Since I was born I have been a really active child always playing outside and keeping busy and this went into teenage years and as a young adult. Then I met an ex partner and I drifted into a more relaxed person. By the way this felt so uncomfortable for me. I felt irritable not doing things. While I’m sitting here writing this I’m recognising I am not a relaxing person. Don’t get me wrong I love a hot bath and a sit in the sun! But I fidget all the time it’s like my body wants to do more. I’m looking around what I can do next. I’m sure there are many of you reading this thinking I’m either crazy and need to chill out or there are the other people similar to me thinking well that’s ok to be active most the time.

So back to gardening. I’ve had such a nice time clearing out the gardening and making my patio nice with pot plants. I haven’t had a second to think of anything negative and I haven’t had any anxiety because of this business. It’s been really nice. They say that spring cleaning in the house is a good way to create a space in your mind and well for me the garden has been the same. A mixture of the sun, fresh air and clearing up has almost been therapy for me. Plus the added time spent with my daughter blowing bubbles brought my inner child out which was really lovely.

I made sure I have made my garden easy to maintain but also an opportunity to get outside more. Just going to water the plants or do some weeding will give me the opportunity to get out of my mindset and just enjoy being in the moment. It is also nice to just put the phone down too as that’s something I can struggle with when I’m indoors.

For those of you who don’t have a garden but have a window ledge why don’t you think of having some indoor plants or even some tomato plants etc. Bring outside in and try being with nature a little more instead of the daily electronics that take over our lives.

Be caring to yourself xx

Dating as a single parent

Let’s face it most of us want to have that person who we love and share adventures with. As much as we love our children it’s not quite the same as adult company. Ok it’s nothing like adult company.

Question is how do we date when we have children and there is no other parent? Well it’s complicated to be honest. I have a 30 month old and well I love her to pieces however I would like to date someone. Thing is if I do want to date I then need to find a sitter and usually it’s my parents as I don’t have a childminder that I can trust. Especially at night time. This can get difficult if you want to continue dating and trying to get your parents to keep having your child, which in my case becomes an issue.

Next you have to try and turn off mummy mode and turn into single adult mode which is not the easiest of things to do. We want to check our phones incase something has happened or bring their names into every sentence. We can’t help it we adore our children and they are in our lives 24/7 so how can they suddenly not be in our thoughts. It’s trying to find someone who understands this. People might think o well maybe your not ready to date? No actually I am a mum and that doesn’t change wherever I am. When they say children are part of the package we mean it. We can’t just drop them at any time. Does this mean you won’t get anytime with me? Of course you would it’s call making time and making it work.

What I can’t stand is not acknowledging my child at all. I’m not saying let’s spend the whole date talking about them but at least acknowledge I have a child and so my interests and hobbies might not be as exciting and staying out until 4am every weekend. Also if I want to go to bed at 9pm I will, I’m bloody exhausted! And there is a strong possibility she will wake in the night. I can’t afford to go to bed late every night or i will burn out.

Introducing your child…. well this is a tricky one. If your lucky enough to find someone who loves kids or has kids this isn’t that difficult to be honest as they are more likely to say they can’t wait to meet them so it takes a lot of stress out the situation. However if you have a child like mine I’ve learnt to hold it out. She gets really attached quickly so without being negative if it doesn’t work out then it can cause upset for your child. Maybe give it a couple months see how it goes first.

Sometimes I feel that people think single parents shouldn’t date because it’s too complicated or they don’t want to be the other parent to the child. If you feel that way then don’t date someone in this situation. Simple as that! It’s really hard for us to find someone. Not only are we looking for the person of our dreams but we also have to look for someone who is going to be loving and caring towards our children. Add being Vegan on top and it makes it even more complicated haha. On a serious note to all single parents… you deserve to find happiness and have those exciting adventures with someone. They do need to be on board that you have a child. If they aren’t don’t waste your time they aren’t right for you. Most of all just enjoy it. Enjoy the adult company and conversation. Have fun!

Be caring to yourself xx

Celebrate every success

What a crazy year it has been! I think everyone has felt a bit pants with this virus and it has lead to living a almost negative lifestyle. But there are things we should celebrate more that we fail to acknowledge.

So what sort of things am I talking about? Well it can literally be anything! It’s spring so why don’t you have a mini clear out and spring clean while your stuck inside more. Not only will the house look better but it will naturally make your mind more free of negative vibes. Cleanse your mind as well as you home!

I’m naturally an anxious person who can get into deep depression easily so for me this has been an eye opener. Recently I have left my work to look after my daughter before she starts nursery. Believe me it’s not easy being non stop all day with a little one. So to all you stay at home parents your doing a great job! Celebrate this. Have an evening where you have some treats and feel good about how your coping.

Getting your child through milestones can be exhausting. I’ve not long potty trained mine and I was knackered at the start due to the constant taking her to the toilet every hour and then changing her or cleaning up accidents. I found it mentally draining. But hey I bloody did it! So I’m going to make it a big deal. We always just brush over these moments like they were nothing but in fact they are really big moments for our little ones and we helped them get there so don’t ignore it!

If your feeling in a bit of a crappy mood then look for something you can complete however small it may be and then celebrate that you have done it.

It’s so easy for us to be hermits right now and self destruct but finding little things to make us feel better is a start to living a more virus free life.

Having anxiety I find even going outside for a walk is an achievement. For others it may be super easy but for me it can be very overwhelming leaving the house. Still if you aren’t quite there yet don’t despair you could do something else to help with your anxiety like trying a meditation session. This can also be a success.

Find one thing today that you can do. It can be cleaning the house, doing some washing, sorting through paperwork, going outside or just looking back at those times you have accomplished something like I did with potty training and just take a moment to praise yourself! You deserve it.

Be caring to yourself xx

Always saying No!

I never noticed how much I say ‘No’ until my ex partner brought up the conversation.

It’s a word that seems to be used so much as a parent that I even noticed that someone brought out a film on Netflix called Yes! It is worth a watch by the way. It’s about a family who have created a Yes day for their kids and they have to say Yes to everything. Just watching it I was laughing as well as cringing at how parents get stuck in this rut.

My daughter is 2 and a half! She is exploring everything, touching everything and just throwing herself into danger. So how do I not say no to these things? Do I change my language I am using to don’t do that please or not now if she wants to do something she can’t. It is so difficult to change your words especially when your mind is already ticking at a hundred miles an hour. I’ve read parenting books regarding it and they do say this can help.

The question I ask myself though is should I be more relax with my child. Should I stop seeing the danger in every single thing. I’m on a constant worry all the time with her because as most parents they are our world and they rely on us.

I’m sure all she is wanting is to just have fun and be herself. Of course I won’t just let her cross the road but maybe I should be a little more relaxed on other situations where really she could learn from things. Soon when she is in nursery I won’t be there and I do worry that she will hurt herself.

I think when you suffer from anxiety you are naturally heightened with danger and emotions. I’m sure there are more parents out there that feel this way and it’s not just me, but if there are any tips or good books anyone knows of to help then please feel free to comment below. The book I’ve read and can recommend is by Phillipa Perry called ‘ The book you wish your parents had read’. It’s explains many things about parenting, I found it useful when it came to teaching my child her emotions.

Let’s all try to stop saying No at everything!

Be caring to yourself xx

OCD & Parenting

I’ve recently noticed that my OCD really kicks in when I’m around my two year old daughter. Bless her she is a typical two year old that’s full of fun and learning. However I guess it is making me more aware that I have this need for certain things to be perfect and I’m trying my best to hold back.

I purchased lots of new paints and crafts for us to get creative and let’s face it keep busy!

Someone was very excited about it and wanted to open all the packets of sequins everywhere as well as all the other bits that came out the bag! Immediately I went into omg it’s all over the coffee table and carpet. She likes to get things everywhere especially her toys! So she is happy as anything and I’m sitting there thinking how I need this mess to move.

Then we started painting and of course she wanted to mix all the paint colours. My teeth were grinding and I could feel myself tense up at this. I suddenly realise what is going on with me. She is two years old, I would of done the same too! She should be mixing and experimenting with it. It’s really not the end of the world but I find myself getting into such a rut all the time lately with all these little things.

I really have to try put myself into a toddlers mind and see it from her view and stop being that uptight parent all the time. I’m sure there are many parents that go through the same thing, especially if you like most of your life to be organised and tidy.

I think each time she starts a task I will take the time to really just enjoy it with her and take some deep breaths to calm myself down. I can clean up afterwards and she will gradually start to stop mixing the paint! Well we can only hope hey haha.

To all you parents out there. Enjoy your little ones as they are and if you do get anxious about a situation take yourself away take a breath and start again. It’s ok to have feelings.

Be caring to yourself xx

Anxiety-Daily Struggle

I have been having a couple of days where I have been overwhelmed by my anxiety. It is partly PMS but also the daily struggles of life just hitting me like a huge wave and I am that person on the surfboard that is falling off.

Why are children so excited to be an adult! I can’t stand it. I had some anxiety as a child but at least I didn’t have responsibilities to contend with. One of which is my two year old daughter. Don’t get me wrong I love her to pieces. However at the moment being a mum is very overwhelming as its nearly time she starts nursery. I also have depression so just getting the energy to play can be a lot of effort.

I also have to find a job! Now what job could a single mum with anxiety and complete lack of interest do? I was recently talking to a friend of mine who lost her job due to COVID. She also suffers from depression and I was talking to her the other day about what job is she going to look for. She also had no idea what she wanted to do. She also struggles with being around people. I said to her ” Haven’t you had enough of people saying to you; just do what you enjoy!” she sent a lot of laughing emojis as she too understood where I was coming from.

It isn’t just the type of job I am haven’t an issue with it’s the hours. Know one has flexible hours for parents anymore. I can’t work full time with a two year old its too much for her and I am not that parent, I like spending time with her. Any part time work is still full days which again for my child that hasn’t started nursery its too much for her. Or when I do find a job they want you to work weekends and nights which as a single mum evenings especially I can’t do.

So is it just me or is the working world actually against people being parents! If so tell us not to have children in the first place if they are going to make it so difficult.

I was working at a supermarket previously however it was so stressful that it made me ill so I landed on being off sick a lot. These larger companies are just money makers and will employ as little staff as possible so the staff are constantly overworked. Doing that and then coming home to be a parent was just too much. My mind and body was burning out!

I feel like I can’t seem to just enjoy being a mum to a small child right now and it is upsetting as this is meant to be the most memorable and happy time for a parent and society is ruining it for me! Why don’t companies start looking at how parents need support and start creating vacancies for parents.

If you own a company or work for a good one please feel free to send me and email at sadie.annis@gmail.com or leave a comment! It would be really helpful. Or if you have experienced something similar feel free to share your story.

I think I need to find some sort of solution to this, maybe I would look for a careers coach or some counselling on the matter to help relieve me of this horrible anxiety.

Good use of daughters Lego 🤣

Be caring to yourself xx

PMS & Anxiety

This post is mostly for women however it wouldn’t hurt for men to have a greater understanding of this topic!

What is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome is a whole load of symptoms women experience before they get their period. Now most women think that they only get symptoms when they are actually having their period and bleeding. Actually the women’s menstrual cycle is usually estimated at around 28 days give or take. During this time from day one the body is constantly changing due to our hormone levels of Estrogen and Progesterone.

So what symptoms can we experience leading up to our period?

  1. Tiredness! Now this one hits me at about 10-14 days before my period and OMG I feel exhausted from it!
  2. Irritable mood. Yes that is the one everyone associates with PMS. This symptom however can really affect a person especially if they have to face a bunch of annoying people at work or are in a relationship.
  3. Headaches. I never used to get headaches at all however since having my daughter they are a monthly joy! NOT. Obviously after having a baby my hormone balance has changed.
  4. Acne and oily hair. YES another lovely symptom women have to endure. I have learnt that closer to my period usually the second half of my cycle I use a lot less conditioner to help with the oils in my hair. I also use a charcoal and tea tree soap for my face which has really helped.
  5. Bloating. Just to add to the feelings we already have with our bodies we tend to get bloated and it can be really uncomfortable.
  6. ANXIETY! So for those who already suffer from daily anxiety this symptom is really really shitty. Everything becomes really overwhelming, you want to hide away, see know one and decision making just shouldn’t happen at all.
  7. Breast tenderness. Well don’t think I need to explain this one ladies…
  8. Nausea. This is a new symptom for me and I usually have it the night before I’m due to start my period.

How can we help ourselves during our cycle?

Vitamins- I have recently started making sure I am taking all the vitamins I need along side a healthy diet. B6 and Magnesium are a must. As well as iron to help replenish yourself after bleeding.

Medicinal – Ashwanganda- Good for reducing anxiety, stress and depression.

Agnus Castus- Used to relieve symptoms of PMS

Exercise- The week before your due your period maybe do low intensity exercise like Yin Yoga. Know one wants to plan a 10k run when we all feel like crap!

Meditation- This can help those who are naturally more anxious. Just to calm the body down more.

Making plans- Maybe not make big plans or parties on the week or two leading up to your period so you don’t have that extra stress.

Self Care- Have a nice Epsom salt bath, light some candles, watch a comedy, read a book or have a massage. Take this time for yourself it is really important.

Follow your Cycle- There are lots of free apps out there which can help you follow your cycle. You can also add notes if you are trying to get more in touch with your symptoms. It is also handy to follow when you are ovulating as this creates other symptoms and our hormones change at this point of our cycle so you might see a mood dip here.

Finally share this all with your partner if you have one. They need to know what happens in your cycle and how it affects you.

PMDD (Prementrual dysphoric disorder) is a more severe form of PMS and should really be discussed with a doctor if you believe you suffer from this.

Here is a Link on Cyclical Living by Chloe Burcham. It is a really interesting article on how we can live our lives by our menstrual cycle. https://www.byrdie.com/what-is-cyclical-living

I always thought something was really wrong with me because I get all of these feelings and symptoms until I became more aware of PMS. It is usually something people joke about when someone is in a mood. To me it effects my life a lot and adds to my anxiety. Now I know more about the subject I have taken more time to self care and generally just give myself a bit of a break emotionally. Our bodies go through so much during our monthly cycle and many of us are just not aware of it. So next time someone jokes about you having PMS you are more than welcome to tell them to shove it somewhere!

P.S Be caring to yourself! xx

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Exercise Vs Toddlers

For me exercise can really help with my anxiety, giving me clarity and confidence. It’s also a chance to have that little bit of time for myself. Those happy hormones really do something!

If your are like me and have a small child or baby it can be somewhat challenging to exercise. I always remember getting my yoga mat out when my daughter was a baby and she would suddenly need a nappy change!

To small children they see your exercise time as their play time and a bit of fun, which is lovely to see them enjoying it but for us we just want to get the task done so we don’t feel as awful for having that chocolate bar!

Now you could try and do something they could do beside you if you have a slightly older child that is willing to listen to you and actually do the exercise OR if you have my 2 year old that see’s yoga as an opportunity to climb all over my back and see me as playground equipment then maybe this isn’t for you.

Easy option is to obviously do it when they are all in bed or super early in the morning if your lucky enough to have a deep sleeping child! Well might just be me but after a long day looking after our little ones or being at work I just don’t have the energy left and just want to eat dinner and watch some Netflix in peace!

I have recently treated myself to a spin bike! Well I needed the spin bike if you know what I mean haha. I manage at least 20 minutes with only a little bit of distraction. Last week I had a wall of pretend ice creams surrounding me, which my daughter found hilarious. Finding activities they can do or a new TV show they can watch for 20 minutes helps to just have that time for you. If you can manage longer then great!

Walking is also a great way for us to get exercise. It is now seen to be just as good as running, especially if you can find a few cheeky hills to walk up, raising your heart rate. Walk your dog at the same time and then you have achieved two tasks at once! Now when does that usually get to happen haha.

Now your thinking well that’s good but what if it’s raining outside! Pick one of your child’s meal times and use that for exercising. This is great if they are still in a high chair. Then maybe use that time everyday to have some self care time to workout. Put it in your diary. O I forgot to say my child doesn’t nap, hasn’t since she was probably 6 months old or less. If yours does then here is another opportunity. What about the housework? Your nap? Well it’s a valid point trying to fit this all in. Even 10 minutes of Yoga is better than nothing!

What I am really trying to say is stop feeling frustrated or upset with yourself if you can’t exercise or are not able to, as we all have the priority of our children but remember self care is also really important as a mum so make that time for yourself If you can.

I have recently learnt to be more kind to myself and as a single mum you become so lost in parenting that you don’t make any time for yourself and you can easily disconnect with who you are. Your children will prefer happy confident mummy rather than depressed and miserable. You are also a priority.

Be caring to yourself xx

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Anxiety, Exercise, Self Care