Anxiety, ‘Manifesting’ and Kindness (be warned: getting into ‘nicer world’ territory here!)

I was due to write another Simplicious monthly post this week, but I hope no one minds if I skip the September post, and instead write one next month to cover both September and October. I have still been cooking from the cookbook as per usual – but have been a little preoccupied and not had the time to properly reflect on it.

I mentioned in a recent Instagram post that my anxiety has flared up again, after some weeks of being in denial about it. I’ve written before about going off my anti-depressants back in 2014, with a follow-up post one year later in 2015. Reading back over them, I realise that a lot of the strategies I had previously been using to manage my anxiety have dropped off; and I’d returned to some quite serious fear-based thinking. This might have been triggered by a number of personal circumstances outside of my control – but was not responded to particularly well by me (and my tendency to catastrophise…).

I think I’d also gotten a bit smug about it all. About ‘getting back in control’ of my anxiety, which over time led me to stop prioritising my mental health and the strategies that help me to manage it. So I’ve started to bring those things back in, in small, achievable ways. When I recently wrote a post about ‘frantic doggy-paddling’, a very kind commenter named Mel suggested the Slow Your Home podcast, which had also been mentioned to me by a friend. I’ve been listening to it in the car, and really enjoying it. Listening to it regularly in this way is also serving as a constant reminder to be mindful, intentional and to slow down. No doubt I’ll be writing more about it in the near future – the Slow Home Experiments are really interesting, and I’ve just started the October experiment on decluttering (yes, MORE decluttering!Β πŸ˜€ ). Continue reading

#10 A Simplicious Challenge: Getting out of my comfort zone

The Simplicious Challenge: I’m cooking all 306 recipes from Sarah Wilson’s book Simplicious, to see the impact it has on the way I buy, cook, consume and waste food. Read the first post here, if you missed it.

Doing this challenge makes it feel like time is flying past. I blink and another month is gone, and here I am again! Although I’m sure it’s not this challenge per se – this year does seem to be zooming past. As a completely random aside to this post, I did read an article recently which explained why it feels like times goes by quicker as we get older.

This past month has pushed me out of my comfort zone on two notable occasions, both within a week of each other (honestly, I was highly-strung all week!). They might seem mundane to others, but for me, they were distinctly nerve-wracking. The first was meeting Sarah Wilson. Continue reading

Frantic doggy-paddling… Plus, a chocolate olive oil cake, and turmeric buttons

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve tried out a couple of recipes by my fellow Instagrammer/blogger mates, which I’d love to share here. One of them is by Sarah (@redladybird3 on Instagram). Coincidentally, Sarah also happened to comment recently on an old post that I wrote nearly a year ago, about how it had then been a year since I ceased taking anti-depression medication for anxiety (and depression to a lesser extent). She commented, ‘…it just shows that graceful swan image, stunning pictures, articulate & kind comments you make, gliding along beautifully can be accompanied by frantic paddling beneath still waters sometimes’.

Well, it was very nice of her to think of me as a graceful swan (no one else does, I’m sure!). I replied that I’m more like a puppy doggy-paddling. I might be less anxious than I once was, but I’m still doggy-paddling. Occasionally, someone uses the word ‘super mum’, mainly in relation to the number of things I do (part-time work, part-time study, part-time stay at home mum, home-cook, part-time IQS helper, blogger, and, um, Netflix binger). Although I appreciate the sentiment, it honestly makes me balk. I’m not a super mum. What is a super mum? (I do think my own mum is pretty super.) I do too much. I don’t want to do so much, but I find it hard to give anything up. I get easily overwhelmed and stressed. I angst about why it’s so hard to find balance. While wanting to do less, I also feel guilty that I can’t do more. I battle against my introverted tendencies, and feel guilty about needing time away from people. Continue reading

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