Tag Archives: Changes

Here’s The Thing About Depression…

Here’s The Thing About Depression...

Here’s the thing about depression… it can strike at any time, for any amount of time, and sometimes there’s not even a legitimate reason, it just happens. In today’s post, I discuss how I have been dealing with it lately.

Lately, my life has been pretty great. I started a wonderful new job at the beginning of the year which I love; I’m getting on top of my diet and my fitness routine, I’m happy with my social life (it’s busy but not too busy) and my relationship with Scott is as strong as ever. That’s the thing that I’m struggling with… my life is lovely at the minute and I can’t really complain. I’m not stressed on the daily anymore and I’m able to switch off a lot faster than I ever was able to before. Unfortunately that depression switch can turn itself on at ANY point, and I’ll admit that I still struggle with that..

I tend to hide away from my depression because in my head, if I hide away from it, it’s not there. I find it hard to give myself some compassion that this is something that I will likely deal with for most of my life. I can’t hide from it, I can certainly control it with the correct treatment but sometimes you can’t control everything. It slips in when you least expect it and it’s difficult to understand why, especially when we live in a world that we’re always told that “someone has it worse than you” so automatically you feel bad that those feelings slip through the cracks and sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t complain. I have a roof over my head, I have a warm bed at night, I have food on the table and I have a body capable of movement; that’s what everyone desires right?

wp-1580680048986.jpg(Capturing the beautiful pink sky a few weeks ago in Belfast City Centre)

That’s the thing with depression… it comes in many forms and it’s not just feeling sad. Most of the depression I have lived with has been multi-functioning so I’m fortunate that I can get up in the morning, go to work every day and carry on with my life, but that didn’t mean I didn’t struggle. When I was unemployed, getting out of bed was sometimes the hardest thing to do that day but that particular feeling hasn’t been very strong in quite some time. Wanting to sleep more, emotional eating with the sweet treats, not being interested in activities I used to enjoy (Ie. the gym or writing blog posts are two of many), not wanting to meet up with friends and simply staying at home are what I am dealing with at the moment and these are especially tough during the weekend. I’m very lucky that I love my job so I have a distraction during the week, but once it hits home time, I have started those feelings come back again and as I mentioned, the weekends are a little harder to deal with, and I think it’s because I don’t have that “going to work” mindset.

Scott is pretty quick to notice my change in behaviour and when I beat myself up for letting it get to me, he’s also very quick to say “you have something that sometimes you can’t control, and that’s okay” and it truly is a control mindset. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t touch alcohol; I like to be in one hundred percent control of my mind and body, so having an imbalance that I can’t control all the time, that’s very tough for me. I know that having bad days or bad weeks comes with the territory and I know that if it was a friend in this situation, I would be talking so differently, but we tend to be so much tougher on ourselves, rather we would be to a friend.

wp-1580680221534.jpg(Down by Jordanstown beach during the Summer)

I still have quite a hard time coming to terms with the fact that everything can be fine yet my head tells me a different story, Scott has described it as life being great but it’s almost like my head is looking for something to go wrong, which sounds like me. I’m normally looking for the negative in things so that theory sounds correct. It’s tough when you have all these things planned out for after work or during the weekend but within a snap of your fingers, you just want to go home and sit in silence or go to bed early. Not only do I feel sorry for myself, I feel bad that I’m changing plans for Scott too. He always says not to worry about it because he is very understanding but when we don’t get to do what I had originally planned, it’s really frustrating for me.

I know this didn’t really have a start, middle or an end like most of my posts do, and while this conclusion wasn’t planned, I guess it’s ironic that this whole process hasn’t been linear either so why should me talking about it be also? Anyway, as always, thank you for taking the time to read today’s post, I really do appreciate it ❤️

Four Mindset Changes To Help You Get Back On Track.

Copy of Testing Out Six Tidying and Decluttering Methods

Writing your first post after almost six weeks definitely feels strange but I’m glad to be back at it. If you have been following me on Instagram or even reading my previous posts, you’ll know that I had an incredible trip away to New York and Toronto but during this time, I chose not to blog and even when I came back, I took a scheduled break. Today’s post is Part One (of two) about how I’m changing my mindset to get back on track and while I took a break from the blog, this topic isn’t specific to that; this is more on a day-to-day life aspect. 

“Recognizing that you shouldn’t feel guilty.” 

Yes, you read that right; from the guilt queen herself, recognize that you shouldn’t feel guilty. For me, only up until recently, it was hard for me not to feel guilty about anything but it gets pretty exhausting carrying that around all the time. For the majority of the time, I try my best and sometimes it’s the right thing and sometimes it’s the wrong thing. I’ll give you an example; when we were away, I’d say our food was a really good balance of healthy and indulgent but not once on our trip did I think “I shouldn’t be eating this” which is a huge step for me, because it was important for me to enjoy every moment when I was there. I didn’t want to carry food guilt when I was trying to enjoy myself, and I think that’s understandable for a lot of people. There’s also so many activities that we didn’t get to do but I know that I have to understand that there was no way I was going to fit in everything I wanted to do, without feeling exhausted. I’m constantly reminding myself that I had an incredible trip that I never thought I would go on and I’m so grateful for that opportunity that I refuse to let myself feel annoyed about places or activities we didn’t get to see, because we did get to experience so much. 

“Choose what your priorities are after your break.” 

We all know that in order to progress in life or move forward day-to-day, we have priorities and everyone is different. Some have career focused goals that need more specific priorities than someone who is training for a gym competition. For me, I wanted to focus on two; getting my food back on track and exercising on a more consistent basis. The holiday was absolutely perfect for exercising because we were walking around 25,000 steps a day so we were constantly moving but it showed me that I hadn’t been on top of my game with exercise back home. It was the same with food; we treated ourselves when we were away but I wasn’t preparing food as well as I should have for my work lunches before that and I was using too many single use plastic options for those “lazy” days in work and I wanted to stop that. 

“Easing yourself back in step-by-step.” 

One of the biggest mistakes we all make is rushing into new things especially new habits and when we rush, we fail to give ourselves enough time to fit our new habit into our lives. We want it to be perfect right from the get-go no matter what habit we want to implement but unfortunately when we have that attitude and something goes wrong a day or even a week in, we’re discouraged instantly. That’s why we have to start slow and making sure consistency is key, rather than putting pressure on ourselves to live this perfect life change from the get-go. For example, as much as I would have loved back into a super focused gym routine six days a week and have every meal planned out; that wouldn’t have worked for a number of reasons. 1) That’s too much too fast and it’s much easier to commit to the gym or an exercise two or three times a week and build from there. 2) Planning out every meal sounds like an absolute dream but you have to remember that life happens, so planning out your breakfast and lunch still gives you that stability and having dinner be more spontaneous, still lets you let go of that control just enough. 3) Does taking on too much after a break not add extra pressure to your plate? Is it better to feel extra pressure or is it better to take your time and be able to navigate your lifestyle change easier? 

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” 

I’m more aware than anyone when it comes to setting goals because I used to be a chronic goal-setter but that sometimes held me back but while I would set all these goals, I wouldn’t have a plan in place to go through with them. Failure is essentially my fear and I always felt I had failed if I didn’t do something I had planned out as a goal. With years of knowledge, I know that the goal isn’t the be-all-end-all, it’s more to do with the step-by-step plan that you put in place to get to the end. For meal prep, I know I need to have a specific shopping list of ingredients, I also know that I need to plan out at least two hours of cooking time (including chopping) and I know I need a container to put the bulk meal into. It’s little easy steps like that that can help or hind your progress.  

victoria-wilson-34(Photography by Jess Lowe Photography)

In order to explain more in-depth about what I’ve been doing since I got back, I’ll write more about that in my next post to give you an example or two because this is part of my two-month goals essentially. At the start of the year, I explained that I was changing from three month goals to two months, but I missed March completely because I didn’t want the pressure of having a “goal” while we were away and I knew that April was my “getting back on track” month and that’s why I thought this two-parter would be a fantastic way to reflect that.  

Do you have any tips for getting back on track that you think I should know about? Let me know! I’m over on Twitter and Instagram but if you love blog comments, you can find them down below too. Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post, I really do appreciate it! 

How Often Should We Re-Evaluate Our Content?

victoria-wilson-29(Photo Credit: Jess Lowe Photography)

Over the last year, my blog and the content has changed quite gradually. In today’s post, I’m going to talk about how my content has changed and how I think it’s important to reflect on your content and what you have learned from it. 

I’ve had quite a few blogs over the last number of years but this particular blog, I have had active for almost four years. My first post was about to celebrate the 2015 New Year, and while I’ve went back and deleted some older posts over the years, I have seen some true growth since then. Currently I have a little over 200 posts from that first date, and over four years I can admit that that isn’t a lot. I took breaks, I stepped back, I had no motivation, I had no ideas and then there were weeks where I was absolutely killing it.  

260717WC3_031.JPG(At the Linwoods Protein+ launch back in July 2017. Photo Credit: Press Eye Photography)

I’m pleased with where my blog has taken me over the last number of years. I have connected with online blogger friends, I have had the chance to attend blogger events and very recently, take a trip and explore it for the purpose of the blog. I’m very lucky and I’m so grateful for those opportunities and the forthcoming opportunities that may arise.  

IMG_20170615_184655.jpg(I got the chance to be a part of Super Valu’s #LetsCookNI campaign back in June 2017)

20170703_122328.png(Getting to meet up with these girls is always a pleasure!)

20180330_181805.jpg(I got the opportunity to stay at the lovely Dufferin Coaching Inn for the evening over the Easter weekend in 2018)

While it has given me external opportunities, it has given me internal opportunities. I always knew I had a love for writing but I never knew how to channel that and now I can delve deep into topics that I ponder and think about on a daily basis. When my mental health is in a bad place, I put myself out there and speak about it. It’s uncomfortable, it’s negative and it brings you back to a place where you didn’t want to be. I questioned whether I wanted something so raw out on a public platform, because I didn’t want to give the impression that I wanted sympathy, I didn’t. I wanted to put my experience out there for others to relate to it, it was hard to justify my reasons for being so personal. 

I started out as a beauty blog but my heart was never in it. That’s why my other blogs failed, and if I had my perfectionist way, I would delete all the older blog posts that don’t relate to anymore and curate this blog with the posts that go with my values now. That’s not a learning curve though, you have to be willing to live with those posts that you wrote before and let them be. Once I stopped talking so much about beauty, I concentrated on lifestyle and food. More recently in the last year and a half, I’ve opened up to talk about more than lifestyle. I use the blog as a process tracker for my running and as I have mentioned, mental health is spoken about too. 

I started a weekly Sunday series called “Sunday Saves” and the main aim for this was to celebrate other bloggers and showcase posts by them that I loved. I’m so happy that I achieved my aim with this series but unfortunately, I feel like the concept no longer serves my blog. While I still stand by each and every blog post that I talked about, I need to move onto something new. Mind you, I don’t know what that will be yet, but I’m always open to new opportunities. 

victoria-wilson-71(Photo Credit: Jess Lowe Photography)

My future plans for the blog in the next year are to talk more about chatty topics including mental health and to start talking more about food. I have a number of key recipes I always stick to which I would love to share so that’s definitely a passion that I want to incorporate into the blog at some point too. I want to continue sharing my growing love of running and try to explore Northern Ireland more too because there are some lovely little spots that I haven’t been to yet. 

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post; over the last few months my blog has taken a back seat but it’s still something I love writing content for and I think it’s healthy to re-evaluate if you don’t feel like your current content fits with what you truly want to write. 

SS: Sunday Saves (#80)

sunday-saves

Good morning everyone and Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend so far. Today I’m back on the blog with the eightieth edition of my Sunday Saves; if you’re new to the blog and you don’t know what my Sunday Saves are; it’s when I talk about three blog posts I’ve read during the week that I either relate to or I find interesting. I believe bloggers should support their fellow bloggers and this is just my little piece of that puzzle each week. In today’s post, I’ll be talking about winter changes, a different view on the phrase “everything happens for a reason” and asking ourselves if we are relatable enough.

1) Sophie’s Makeup (The Changes I’ve Made In Prep For A Cosier, Happier Winter)

Sophie’s post is something we all strive for in the winter months. Hot water bottles, cosy blankets, fresh sheets, Christmas markets and gentle yoga are a number of suggestions that Sophie talks about in her post. We all like a little change when it comes to this year so if you’re looking for inspiration, you know where to go.

2) Anticallacy (Everything Doesn’t Happen For A Reason)

“Everything happens for a reason” or does it? Well that’s what Piper is discussing in her post and I have to agree with her. I try every day to think positively, and while it’s hard, when something bad happens, I try and tell myself “everything happens for a reason”. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I love Piper’s commentary on this subject because it really feels that there are so many layers but there’s not, and it’s about opening your mind to simplify it down. Bad things simply happen for no reason, and it’s something that I’m trying to believe rather than have my mind go in overdrive trying to explain something happening.

3) London Damsel (Are You Unrelatable?)

A constant battle with bloggers; Are we relatable? Do we want to be? Do you want your Instagram feed to be filled with people who have the exact same interests as you? For me, I follow different blogs because they gauge my interest in various aspects. I might read someone’s blog who really inspires me to be more adventurous with Autumnal styles. I might read someone’s blog who gives me the low down on the latest budget friendly skin care. At the same time, my fashion sense isn’t one of my strong points and I don’t know very much about skin care in general but those blogs draw me in because I’m taking away something from their blog posts. Maya talks about being yourself and producing content that you are passionate about, rather than what you think others will enjoy.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post; remember to take a look at today’s choices and send them some love on social media. If there are any posts you want to send me, please do over on my Instagram or Twitter socials! 

So what happened after Veganuary?

At the beginning of January, I lay out my New Year’s Resolutions for the year and the first one was to complete Veganuary, which I’m very happy to say that I did! So today’s post is giving an overview of the month and what happened next. If you want to read about my journey to vegetarianism, you’ll find it here and if you want to see a typical “What I Eat In A Day: Veganuary Style” you’ll find that post right here.

So what were my thoughts on Veganuary? I really enjoyed it but I didn’t expect not to enjoy it. I only accidentally messed up twice and both times were with food I was given at Christmas; jellybeans and fudge to be exact. I was a little annoyed at myself at the time but reflecting back on it, I tried my best, I didn’t do it on purpose and I was able to move on without thinking “I had ruined everything.” That is a massive step for me.

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I didn’t have a lot of challenges throughout the month. If I was going to restaurants, I rang in advance if it was somewhere I haven’t been before but I believe throughout January, I mainly stuck to restaurants and cafes I knew I would be okay in. I did slightly miss my cups of tea with milk, it’s a habit I have had for almost twenty years so to be without it, it was definitely different but I quickly got past it.

A few family members did ask me “When was I going to eat real food again?” Because fruit and vegetables aren’t real food apparently. Having to defend my point almost everytime I seen them for, I would say, a month and a half got very tiring after a while. When you grow up with the concept of meat, potatoes and two vegetables on your plate for so many years (and I believe this is why a lot of the generation above me still haven’t come to terms with a vegan or plant based diet), depending on who you are; it can take a while to get your head around the fact that when you take away the meat (and the potato for me of course!) then what do you do to substitute that. From that point of view, it’s understandable why some people have a hard time with that.

So February 1st came and I thought I was going to go back to eating my regular bread (You’d be shocked to see how difficult it is to find gluten free bread that’s also vegan), back to my regular cup of tea that I’ve grown up with ever since I started watching Coronation Street with my rich tea biscuits at the old age of seven or even treat myself to a lemon cupcake that I love finding in the Sainsburys Free From aisle. I couldn’t have been further from the truth…

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I had zero urge to drink another cup of regular tea, I wanted to stick to my gluten free vegan bread and the cupcakes no longer fell into my basket. I don’t mind not being able to eat most of the cakes in the Free From section and I don’t mind having a green tea instead of a regular tea (I love green tea anyway!).

The one thing I have changed though is I don’t call myself a vegan. I’m not a fan of labels but I think in a diet context, it can get very complicated. Having a plant based diet and being vegan are of course, two very different things. I haven’t changed all my make-up to cruelty free, the same goes for my body, skin and hair care and I haven’t made that transition with my clothes and shoes yet. So right now, I don’t feel comfortable saying I’m a vegan, I prefer to say I’m eating a plant based diet. When I’m talking about my diet to someone who doesn’t know a lot about eating vegan or when I’m perhaps calling a restaurant, I will state I’m vegan, just to make things less complicated. (See, it can be complicated!) Another example is when I’m hash tagging on Twitter or talking about it online in general, then I will use both terms, just because I know people will look for tips for transitioning to becoming vegan and my plant-based experience will help if I use vegan in a diet sense (Again, just a little complicated, right?)

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Overall, I’m really happy eating a plant based diet and I’m so glad I’ve finally made the transition. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time now but leaving at home and not having as much cupboard and fridge space for all my food made it difficult so I knew when I moved into my own place, it was the perfect time to start.

Did you take part in Veganuary? What did you find the most challenging? I’d love to talk to more people who took part in Veganuary so leave me a comment below or tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake on Twitter or @RetroSnowflake on Instagram.