Accepting failure….

Is failure truly what it implies? A feeling of defeat, frustration and nonfulfillment. The dictionary would have you believe so. With the word ‘failure’ such a prominent word in today’s society, it’s time to approach the word and it’s incurring feelings in a completely different way. Why not put a tag on it, flag it as a word that no longer means the same in your vocab!
Failure is a means in which to build upon. To train ones mind to view a single word among thousands as something new should be easy, right? The answer is yes. Don’t hold on to your failures, either let them go or use them to grow as a person. A simple train of thought, ‘you can never fail, only learn and improve’.

 

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Fitting it all in….

The general consensus is that eating well, frequenting the gym and general focus on oneself is time consuming and there aren’t enough hours in the day. Whether that be from those of us who go out to work, work from home, or even those who have zero work obligation. The thought that there is no time in which to grow as a person, focus on numero uno, is frightening to me. To have a ‘selfish’ few hours, even an hour isn’t a lot to ask in my opinion. Because in turn it will be a ‘selfless’ act! Being in a better mind space, a happier you will benefit those around you and your presence around them in this better state will, in turn, boost your drive to become better.
‘Better’ is a pit of vast variation. By better I don’t mean a superhero, an aesthetic god/goddess, or the reincarnation of Buddha! It’s not about looking better, but feeling better. Interacting better. Holding yourself better. And I repeat ‘FEELING’ better, a smile plastered on face no matter the task at hand. A lifted – even transcended – mind, body and soul!
Any who, I digress….
It’s about time management, ignoring unwritten rules, timetables and regimes. This isn’t to say your inner rebel has to break free and conquer. No no no. It’s about being aware of the time you have for ‘you’. An hour for lunch isn’t just an hour……an hour is as long as it is……60 minutes……3600 seconds. No matter how you take it apart an hour is an hour. But it’s a hell of a lot longer than your ‘lunch break’ thinking will let you believe.
A study I have been reading suggests breaking it down to 10 minute increments, manage smaller numbers. The idea is to plan each increment; eat for 10, get to the nearest gym in 10, workout for 20 (you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish), shower for 10 and get back to the grind in 10. A basic example.
Challenge yourself to make the most of every minute in a day. Make meals in advance or have a written idea of what you want to do/accomplish in a day. Personally I haven’t quite achieved perfection in this experiment but I am seeing positive results.
Overnight oats with an array of fruits was a revelation to me. I knew my breakfast was waiting for me, healthy, full of micro and macronutrients for the start of my day. I set myself an average 8 hour work day. Writing for 3 in the morning, grinding out whatever I could, whether I used it or not. A 15 minute break, I made a spiced tuna, avocado and asparagus wrap ready for my lunch. In this break, the fun wasn’t over however, I whacked YouTube on and watched something to make me chuckle and lift my spirits. Back to the keyboard, a further 2 hours of word spewing and eye squinting. Tuna wrap here I come! Polished off in a matter of minutes, I had 56 left of my hour. After taking the dog for a run, shattered and soggy, 37 minutes were remaining. Now it just so happens, this is where my productivity waned. A 10 minute shower turned to 20 and the remaining 17 were pissed away doing nothing. Granted in some cases this would be fine, a bit of chill time is great in fact. So maybe this was a success, maybe it was just what I needed before getting back to the grind.
For the remaining 3 hours, plus a few extra voluntary, I wrote some of the best work I’ve done to date, including a previous post and more than a few chapters of my ongoing novel. What I’m trying to get across is that no matter how little time you have or even too much time on your hands, look for the positives in doing zilch if that’s what you do, but utilise or see the benefit from every minute in a day whether filled or chilled. Appreciate that, again, it’s all a work in progress. Whether you wing it or plan, put the mental effort in to get the most out of your day. Highs and lows are inevitable but at the end of the day, an hour isn’t just an hour, it’s an HOUR !

A year & a half, still healing…

Two years is creeping up and I have mixed feelings with my progress…
Today is a bad day….struggling to see the point.

Thinking back to those months up to and that day itself scares the bejesus out of me. Memory of the events has long been blurry, but the intense feelings haunt me. Nightmares and twisted dreams that I’m back there, choosing a different path for my recovery, having hit bottom only to fall deeper. Even vivid flashes of my possible demise.

After being offered a bed on the psychiatric unit or daily out patient treatment, I chose to be with my brother. My idol, my voice of reason and his calming presence, a place I felt safe. My mum and brother, rocks amongst the boggy terrain I found myself in. My mum was/is a constant strength, keeping me afloat, my head above the surface as I involuntarily tried to draw myself deeper.

Daily visits from the emergency home care team a saviour, like David to my Goliath like mind fog and torment.

But where have I come?? How can I rate my progress of healing?? Am I failing at moving forward?? How far should I have come?? Questions I dare not ask other than rhetorically. Does anyone even have the answers I seek with trepidation?

I guess I should view any progress as positive…..yes? Maybe….I don’t know. The line in which I try to follow to get better, be better and feel better is still a littered mess.

Looking back, I do see a difference but the road continues to curve and twist, potholes a plenty. I go days now, even weeks of happy smiley me. Tis good. I guess this is why I question my journey on low days…..why the vast separation between good and bad, smiles and frowns?

Hopefully one day the answers will be there. The solutions will illuminate themselves and a peaceful brain will prosper…

Smiles, a gauge to live by?……

A smile is a huge indication of joy, amusement and a general good time. In a basic look at things, life is a collection of smiles and frowns….
Frowns are inevitable, unfortunately, this is a given, the cruel reality of life. But smiles can be created, often via serendipity….A fortuitous happenstance. What you hear, see, do or say can produce an involuntary and true smile.
So I put it to you, and myself……what can the food we eat contribute to gaining smiles. Can they be a catalyst? Or perhaps the sole reason for a happy face? Find what food makes you smile, I will too. Now I can guarantee there are going to be the obvious bad foods that make your tum purr with delight, but the smiles don’t last, often replaced by frowns and regret. Don’t ignore these foods! These will go in the indulge your ass off pile!
Split foods in to three basic categories – foods you know are good for you and you actually enjoy eating. Foods you know you shouldn’t really be scoffing but every now and then you just dunnee have the power cap’n! And then those foods you can’t stand but know they will be good for you.
The fill yo’face bad foods will inevitably bring smiles and frowns, this is where allowing yourself to indulge, without a side portion of guilt, will set you on your way. This is the place to start. Not with crash diets, fads, and/or ‘fat free’ garbage! Start with the foods you struggle to resist. Hold onto the fat smile they plaster on your face. And play a game of ‘f@#k off’ with the frowns….trick is to let them go first ;).
Then turn your attention to the nice, edible, healthy foods. The base of your diet has to be enjoyable! I’ll pass on what I have learnt, which foods are scientifically proven to turn it upside down . This whole process of learning, planning and smiling has helped me grow as a person. Granted, still a secluded scaredy cat, intolerant to the outside world! But I’m happier. Tis a good thang.
Now those dirty ‘orrible eats. Forget them. Unless they are in my importanté list…….but I can help with that, sneaky sneaky I am with the tricks…. seriously though, why force something down you cannot stand?? Well if you learn to make these things tasty and enjoyable then yeah, buck up partner! Get it down ya! Even shite foods can be made in to smiles foods…
Part 2 coming shortly…….

H2O’really?!

On reading a few statements about the benefits of drinking 2 litres of water a day, I decided to do an experiment…..
Studies show that drinking this amount of water throughout an average day (more if exercising or on hot days), the brain will function at a higher level, the body will feel more energetic and in time skin and hair will make positive strides too. Now in no way do I dispute this, but it seems too simple. Can the regulation of water intake, regardless of the rest of a persons diet, have noticeable positive results?
My experiment went as follows….
Week 1 – Live as normal, my not so healthy lifestyle, eating and drinking when I feel I need or want to, but measure how much water I consume.
Week 2 – Continue my ‘not so healthy’ lifestyle. Eating when hungry, minimal exercise and a mix of nutritional meals, fruit, bad snacks and fast food. Whilst ensuring my consumption of water is 2 litres per day.
Week 3 – Adapt my lifestyle. Cutting out the fast food, keeping snacks to a minimum and not so sugar filled. Increasing my intake of fruit and vegetables without being too precise. Still minimal exercise, as this test is to see how water effects my general brain function.
The results were vastly different. A longer study period may have shown even greater differences.
Week 1 I felt my usual sluggish, up and down self. Bad days I hardly drank anything. Food was not on the agenda either, eating garbage when I had the energy to order online. Ups were super high followed by crashes. I was drinking around a litre a day on average, maybe just under.
Week 2 left me a tad flummoxed, rendering me wanting to get active but not having the energy to do so. Peeing a hell of a lot more, but generally feeling better. Moods were still erratic, ups still ending with crashes, but downs not so bad. Whether that be because I was keeping track of my water intake or because the water was making the difference I do not know.
Week 3 produced a spike in energy levels, ups were more frequent and lead to fewer crashes. Down days, well the singular one I had with an hour here and there throughout the week were easier to cope with.
With a simple change, increasing water consumption, I noticed decent positive results and it was easy to do. It’s a start to a smiles diet everybody can benefit from.

 

 

Morning face therapy…..

Good morning, face?? Yes, this is a thing. Those of you with friends are more likely to enjoy better moods, less depressive episodes etc, than those of us who dwell in self amusement and company.
Humankind react positively to the sight of another’s face, a happy one of course. The theory goes like this…… To start the day off with a smile, you must see a smile. Now obviously, if you don’t manage to do this it doesn’t mean your day is doomed. It’s a general sort of idea, those who see a face will have a higher likelihood of a good mood.
Now, for those of us who have no friends, detest interaction or are socially inept….have no fear! As with seeing a face directly, the theory works indirectly also. A video or photo will do the trick, choose an interesting vlog or a memorable bunch of photos.
Start the day right, start it with a smile 

Smiles, food and the mind…

At the age of 27 I had a mental breakdown. Lost my mind and my way completely…..
That was 6 months ago. Now 28, struggling to come to terms with where I’ve ended up, I’m striving for a touch of ‘normality’. What ‘normal’ is? I’m not quite sure.
Food was a huge part of my life, whether that be cooking for others, creating and writing recipes, or just eating out. I find myself at a crossroads……..well a dead end really. The prospect of seeing other people scares the bejesus out of me, let alone cooking for anyone. I honestly cannot see myself cooking and creating like I once did. That part of me has been tarnished, overshadowed by various happenings and memories.
My new story starts here, written words, my mind on paper. Food is still something that intrigues me, for different reasons than before. Still struggling with mental health issues, severe anxiety and an occasional drop into what I call a ‘breakdown phase’. A recurring feeling of confusion, despair and not knowing how to shut my head up! I find the relationship between the food we eat and mental health fascinating. The sheer vastness of choice we all have, most of us not knowing that a certain choice could result in smiles or frowns, elation or sadness. Granted, society today knows all about the foods that make you fat, or give you energy. Even studies on what foods can contribute to migraines or what foods to avoid when pregnant. But what food puts a smile on your face? Or can an environment in which you eat effect your mood? Maybe satisfying a naughty craving now and then can improve a persons mental stability, whilst also teaching will power to only indulge in moderation. Can ignoring a craving over and over have a detrimental effect on a persons day or even the way they treat others?
This is what I intend to figure out. Or at least try to. I’ll take you along with me on a journey to find the happy smiley food, places and habits, to help you as well as myself, to have a happy mind and a full tum.

This was written 2 years ago, only recently have I found the confidence to put it out there…..let’s move forward, smile, it’s the only way xx