SS: Sunday Saves (#63)

sunday-saves

Good morning everyone and welcome back to another edition of my Sunday Saves! If you’ve never read a Sunday Saves before, I choose three posts each Sunday that I’ve found throughout the week to talk about. This week I’ve decided to have a #NIBloggers special, and if you’re not sure what that is, it’s a hashtag used mainly on Instagram and Twitter for Northern Ireland bloggers. Being from Northern Ireland myself, I always think it’s great to highlight local bloggers as well as national and international bloggers. So this morning I’ll be talking about Instagram worthy feeds, becoming more ethical and tattoo stories.

1) Retro Rose (Is It Insta Worthy?)

Miriam Rose’s post about Instagram is something that I think we can all relate to. She speaks about some of her thoughts on Instagram including if you have nothing to post, that’s perfectly okay. I went through a period of panicking when I didn’t have something to post at least twice a day and I see on Twitter other bloggers who worry when they haven’t posted in a day. I soon came to the realisation that just because I don’t post in a day, it doesn’t make me any less of a blogger (or a person). She also talks briefly about themes and keeping to the same editing style which in all honesty, that wouldn’t be my cup of tea but whenever I see someone who has kept to a certain filter or style, I praise them because they have almost the perfect feed.

2) Lauren The Day Dreamer (Why I’m Trying To Be More Ethical)

I love that Lauren has decided to try and become more ethical! It’s something I’m trying to do myself; I haven’t ventured into any charity shops to buy clothes yet but I’m in the same boat as her. I tend to wear the same clothes over and over again and I’m definitely nowhere near as fashionable as Lauren so my sense of style could be labelled as boring but comfy clothing but I think I need to have another look at my wardrobe to see what I actually need and what I actually wear. Shopping elsewhere other than my regular H&M might even open my style habits up further too!

3) Sarah Louise Writes (My Tattoo Story #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek)

We all know that I love scrolling back on people’s blogs, not just looking at their latest posts and this is exactly how I came across Sarah Louise’s post about her tattoo. I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t know if I’ll never have one because I’m too indecisive, I’m more of a piercing woman myself but I loved her story behind the tattoo. I’ll let you go to her post to read her story in full but I think it’s so special to hear about the stories behind people’s tattoos because not many people open up as much as Sarah Louise has, especially when it comes to mental health.

Thank you so much for reading my post and remember to go to the featured blog posts to give them a read too. To catch up on my other Sunday Saves, click here and you’ll have another sixty two to keep you busy. If you want to keep up with what I’m up to during the week, I’m over on Twitter and Instagram. Have a wonderful day! 

Training for a 5K Run: Running and Negative Mental Health?

Have you ever had a negative run or ran when your mental health was very low? There’s a saying that goes “The only workout you regret is the one that you skipped” and when you hear people telling you that exercise is one of the the best anti-depressants, one would assume that the majority of your problems go away if you just “run it off”. 

Mental health is something that I talk about on the blog sometimes but in general, I try to keep my “online presence” very positive, or as positive as I can be. I made the decision over the last year to not be so open about my negative mental health because it’ s very personal to me and because it can be very hard to deal with, I struggle to share that with the people around me, never mind the Internet. 

Today I’m going to open the lid of that box and share my experience of what it was like running when I was at a very low point. 

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Scott had planned out a run for us but I didn’t know where it was or how long it was going to be. It was a Friday night so while I should have been happy that I had finished work for the week, I could relax and enjoy my second run of my 5K training; that reality couldn’t have been further from the truth. 

He was my only motivation getting ready because I knew he was looking forward to it, and I had been all day up until that night but all I wanted to do was lie in bed and cry until I fell asleep. He brought me down to where we were going to run and it’s actually a really nice towpath that we’ve walked before so I was familiar with the scenery. 

I’m a tracker. I like to track my progress in almost everything I do and running is no exception so when my fitness tracker wouldn’t work, that made me feel slightly worse that in the end, I gave up with it. It came round eventually but I really didn’t care at that point, I just wanted to run. 

20170610_094301(This part of the path is further on down but I took a few photographs from our last visit.)

People say running is good for your mental health, it clears your head and helps you gain perspective on what’s going on negatively. Mentally, running made everything worse. I can’t describe when you’re in such a negative place how many little moments, big moments, negative thoughts, self-critical thoughts and imagined scenarios pop up in your mind.  I lost count; it’s a very scary place to be in because you feel out of control and that night I was. I tried to control my breathing but then my breathing started to get so short and quick that it was almost turning into a panic attack. I cried quite a few times on that run, and I really tried to hide it but I don’t think that worked on Scott. 

I knew I was running faster than the first time and because I was embarrassed of my time last time, running faster gave me that motivation to not get that time again. I felt like I was running away from everything; I was running away from my responsibilities’, my past, my scenarios that I made up in my head that had become so real, my thoughts, my emotions and I thought the faster I run, the faster my head won’t be spinning with these thoughts.  It’s like being in a trapped room that you can’t get out of.  

He stayed quiet for most of the run which is what I needed. I know there are the type of people who want the comfort, the cuddles and the supportive words and I admit, I can be one of those people sometimes. More often than not, I just need to be on my own, in silence while I try and let the very negative emotions pass, and if I need to cry, then I cry.  

I started to crack almost half way through thinking I couldn’t do it anymore, I almost just sat on the ground and cried but I felt like I would have disappointed myself if I didn’t finish the run. I continued with Scott until less than a mile away and I was so close to saying “can we just stop now?” when his phone lit up and said “only 0.85 miles to go until your destination”,  and I just knew I couldn’t quit then. 

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We finished the run and Scott asked me did I know what pace I was doing or did I even know what time we had hit. I didn’t know because I wasn’t paying too much attention to my watch or even the time. We had knocked off six minutes from our overall time, so almost two minutes from each mile which was incredible considering how disappointed I was with our Monday night run. It was actually around the 36 minute mark from his phone but I didn’t hit my watch off at the 5K mark, so I did in fact do the run in faster than this. He kept saying how proud he was of me and how well I done, and it was genuinely so lovely, I’m glad I made him proud despite how I felt.

So did I feel better once I finished my run? Physically, yes. When you finish something like a run or a really stressful workout, you do get this wave effect that passes through your body and physically, it feels like it’s breathing a sigh of relief. How did I feel mentally? Nothing; zero, zilch. I still felt sad, I was disappointed in myself for not being able to control the way I reacted to my feelings. I was tired but it wasn’t from the running. 

I understand that this training series is meant to be about my running progress and how excited I am about my first trained 5K but I would feel like an absolute fraud if I either didn’t tell you about the run at all like it didn’t happen or I decided just to leave out how I really felt. My mental health is something I’ve struggled with for over a year now and this was one of the many days where it bared everything, so while it might not be the nicest thing for me to type out and relive, it’s an experience I got through, and at the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing?

If you want to catch up on the first post, that was based around my first run and it was a general introduction into what I’m training for, so you’ll find that right here.  Thank you so much for reading, I know it wasn’t my usual content, but I appreciate you listening to what I had to say.

SS: Sunday Saves (#56)

sunday-saves

Happy Sunday everyone! While I’m writing this, it’s such a gorgeous day outside, always a sure fire way of being in a better mood eh? In today’s post I’ll be talking about cleaning your home and mind, habits of grateful people and being more mindful as a non-vegan.

1) Suzie Speaks (50 Things To Remove From Your Home and Your Life)

Judging by the weather (most of the time), I’d like to think we’re coming into the Summer and one of my favourite things to do during the Summer is do a massive clean. I know a lot of people like to do a Spring clean (in the Spring of course) but for me, it always goes back to when I was in school and you would have a huge clear out before heading back to school in September. Suzie highlights fifty things that you should remove from your home but also from your personal life, so not only are you cleaning your house but you’re also cleaning your mind, to a certain extent.

2) Hack Spirit (The Top 9 Habits Of Grateful People… Even In Tough Times)

If you’ve been reading the blog lately or following me on my social media, you’ll know I have started to get into the practice of gratitude. It’s such an important practice for me especially when my day isn’t going as well as I had hoped it would. Gratefulness brings me back down to earth. That’s what I found so interested about this Hack Spirit blog post about habits of people who are grateful even on the tough days. It’s something we should all take into consideration, both on the good days and the bad.

3) The Zombie Said (5 Simple Ways For Non-Vegans To Help Vegan Causes)

I prefer to call myself plant based rather than vegan because I’m quite open about not having changed all my clothes, make-up, hair care and skincare over to one hundred percent cruelty free. I really liked the way Steph came across in this post, it’s not preachy or forceful, it’s just giving you a few simple tips on how you can be more mindful when it comes to spending your money on products and perhaps promote a positive change if you can’t commit yourself to being vegan.

Well that’s all for today’s Sunday Saves post. If you’d like to catch up on my other Sunday Saves, you’ll find them here and let me know your thoughts on today’s post, either down below or over on my Twitter!

SS: Sunday Saves (#51)

sunday-saves

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend so far! So with this week being Mental Health Awareness Week, I thought it was quite suited that my Sunday Saves would be themed around Mental Health. Just to add, there were so many bloggers addressing Mental Health Awareness Week which I think is fantastic and it was so hard to choose just three posts to feature this week.

1) The V Nice Life (High Functioning Depression)

A lot of society have painted depression with one paintbrush stroke but depression can take many forms and Sarah talks about high function depression which she suffers from. I didn’t know a lot about the high functioning side of depression so it’s a fresh perspective on the condition, so if you’re not too sure what exactly it is either, I’d recommend Sarah’s post.

2) Parenting, Pasttimes, Prosecco (Has Mental Health Tested Your Parenting Life?)

Having a mental breakdown has only happened to me once or twice in the past year and I can completely understand where Sarah is coming from. It really is just built up over so long and you become completely uncontrollable. It’s a horrible feeling that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I think it’s fantastic how Sarah has written about her experience and especially being in her family situation at the minute, she deserves a medal.

3) All About Aoife (YA Mental Health TBR List)

I loved the idea of this post! Aoife has put a list together of the young adult books she’s hoping to read soon but they all have a theme based around mental health. She even gives you a little description of each book too, so you don’t have to go look up each one to find out what it’s about.

Well that’s all from this week’s Sunday Saves! I hope you’ve all had a good week and if you have any posts you think I should read, please tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake.

 

I can’t fake this.

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Normally on a Sunday, I would be sitting here wishing you a lovely day, I would talk you through some of my favourite blog posts I’ve found during the week that have inspired me and everything would be dandy.

Today I can’t do that. I can’t force myself to write a post about inspiring and motivational blog posts when I couldn’t feel any further from that right now.

Yesterday was not a good day for me, emotionally and mentally. The night before, I had such a lovely night with my friend but I sat up an hour before bed in a complete panic with my anxiety sky high. I had no idea what I was worried about, but I was so panicked that I felt like I couldn’t go to bed.

That night I had a horrible dream, well I would say more of a nightmare. It knocked me for six the next morning. I lay in bed for an hour after waking up feeling very teary and very stressed.

I then felt quite ill walking to the gym, I stayed in the gym for ten minutes before I told myself I wasn’t going to feel any better and left.

My FitBit was really low on battery and didn’t pick up my half an hour walk to the gym (or most of the walk back).

I was walking home from going to get groceries and could feel like I was getting a lump in my throat, my breathing was getting heavier all of a sudden and I just wanted to cry. If there wasn’t a queue of cars right down the long road I was walking down, I probably would have.

To top it off, I went into the city centre with my Mum that night; we were heading to a concert and every restaurant we walked into was fully booked so we ended up in Starbucks with two teas even though we were both really hungry.

These may be classed as first world problems and to most people, they might all sound like little problems that aren’t a big deal. I completely understand that there are many horrible and bad things happening in the world right now so I know some will be thinking  “Oh no, you couldn’t go to a restaurant and get fed.” or “Oh no, your expensive tracker didn’t work.” First world problems or not, they had an effect on me. They had a very negative effect on mind, my body and my overall well-being; at times I felt like I was trapped in my own head and my own body and when I wanted to leave, I couldn’t.

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Being true to myself is something I wanted to make a priority in 2017, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m admitting that the world got to me and because of that, I won’t pretend to be in a good mood and tell my readers how posts inspired me or write a post that I don’t feel connected to. Who would that serve? What purpose would that have?  I could fake it and say I’m in such a great mood (but I won’t because I’m not). I could fake it and say ” I loved <insert blog name> because it was so motivating and I can’t wait to try this too (but I won’t because that would be a lie). That won’t help me and pretending that I’m happy and chatty and wonderful just to motivate myself for a blog post certainly won’t help anyone else either.

It’s okay to feel like the world is against you. I thought that and I acknowledge now that the world doesn’t hate me and it’s not trying to make me cry on purpose, but for that moment in time, that’s all I wanted to do. I acknowledge that my mental health is a priority and I acknowledge that these are signs to a more negative side of my mental health as a whole.

I’m sure my Sunday Saves will be back next Sunday but if you ever feel like I did, just know that it’s okay, you’re not alone and that feeling will not last forever.

Thank you for reading ❤

(Top Photo Source: Pexels.com)
(Bottom Photo Source: Unsplash.com)

SS: Sunday Saves (#37)

sunday-saves

Happy Sunday morning! I hope you’re having a lovely day so far! If you haven’t seen my other Sunday Saves, you’ll find them right here. This week I haven’t focused on a theme so it’s just the best posts I’ve found this week.

1. Blog Eighteen (Yes, you can live for the moment and document it.)

How many times have you been told, “Do you have to take a picture of your food? Why don’t you just eat it?” Thankfully most of my friends know I’m on Instagram so they don’t have a problem with it but I’ve had my brother in particular who doesn’t get why I want a good picture of something that will be gone in ten minutes. It’s a good point to make but at the same time; whether it’s a photograph of your food or a photograph of your walk at the beach, it’s so lovely to have a memory of it. Lisa feels the same way as me in her blog post and she really talks about why it’s not such a huge decision between “living in the moment” and “documenting the moment”, you can do both.

2. It’s Becca Jayne (Some things are meant to be.)

“Life works in weird and wonderful ways” is a philosophy that Becca says she lives her life by and it’s something I’m trying to transition myself into changing my mindset into too. She talks about it more on a relationships level but for me, right now, I would rather spread it across all aspects of my life mainly because my focus is on myself and more importantly, self improvement. “If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.” Another quote that I would love, right now, to believe but I have a hard time getting my head around it. I guess that’s part of self improvement right?

3. Jemma’s Simple Life (Mental Health & The New Year | How To Beat The January Blues)

January is a pretty tough month for us all. Whether you’re not looking forward to going back to work, waiting for the dreaded January bills popping through the door or whether heading back into the cold weather is filling you with dread, it’s something that we all feel one way or another. Jemma shares her tips on how to deal with the January blues; getting outside of the house aside from going to work or planning something in the future so you have something to look forward to, are just some of her tips. I think it’s really important to make sure to notice the signs of a drop in your mood and use some of these ideas to help yourself, it only takes a step or two a day.

That’s all for today’s post! Remember to give everyone’s links a click and if you have any posts you think I’d like, tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake. Thanks for reading!

(Blogmas Day Sixteen) 8 Life Lessons 2016 Taught Me

Welcome to Blogmas Day Sixteen! There’s just one more Blogmas post left now!

So today’s post is Part Two of my 2016 series. If you’ve missed Part One, you’ll find it right here and that was Blogmas Day Fifteen. This post focuses on life lessons I learned this year, and I’m going to be completely honest, this is my most personal post to date on the blog. It’s very open and honest, and you might see it as a negative post but most of my life lessons I learned from the year, came from negatives experiences. That’s just the way it worked out.

Sometimes life is shit.

Yep, there I said it and let’s be honest, we all think it. Life is truly shit sometimes. People will drag you and make you feel like shit. Everything will become too much at times and you won’t know what to do. You’ll want to just crawl into bed sometimes, not talk to a single person and just sleep. You have to be your own positive influence in the end and teach yourself how to find the balance between letting yourself be upset and picking yourself up again. I understand that for everyone that is completely different and is a lot easier said than done.

People make mistakes. You are human.

Ever done something you regret? Ever done something you wish you could take back? Ever done something that you still makes you upset and want to block it out of your memory for good? Congratulations, you’re a human being! Learn from your mistakes, understand why you made them or why they happened, but never allow your mistakes to be held over you like you’re the only one to ever have made them.

Your past does not define you.

I have a past. You have a past. Your next door neighbour has a past. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has a past. We all do, and again, that is totally okay. Regret your past or embrace it, that’s up to you but at the end of the day, you have to move on from it. If you’re ashamed, you have to tell yourself that you aren’t that person you used to be; you’ve changed, you’re working every day to become a better person and that’s better than doing nothing about it at all.

Therapy was the best investment I have ever made.

I have been going to therapy for just over a year now and it truly is the best investment I have ever made. Everyone’s experience is different but mine was life changing and eye opening; I learned more about myself than I ever thought I could. I learn in every single session and I bring that experience into my every day life. Therapy was there for me when I was having the greatest days riding on Cloud Nine and it was also there when I felt like I couldn’t cope. I owe so much to this year to my counsellor and how she has helped me through the good and bad times.

Crying does not mean you are weak.

One of the most important lessons I learnt in therapy is that crying does not mean you are weak; crying is your body telling you have something to let out and let go. You build up so much emotion and so much tension, where else is it meant to go? It’s natural to cry, don’t be ashamed of it.

Heartbreak is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

I went through a break up this year, not something that I decided to share a lot on social media. It broke me into a million pieces, it was really really hard. Now don’t get me wrong, I used to be engaged to a guy I was with for six years so this wasn’t my first relationship (It was only my second) but this relationship was nothing like my previous one. Nothing can prepare you for the heartache (pre and post break-up), the constant stream of tears, the flowing stream of thoughts of blaming yourself and the what if’s, absolutely nothing can prepare you. It’s hard, it sucks (I really wouldn’t wish it on anyone) but you learn more about yourself than ever before after it.

Friendship is so important.

My friendship group this year became rock solid for me in the past six months and I am beyond grateful for everyone who has been there for me. I gained a new best friend, Leonie has become my rock, she’s the best ❤ (and thank you for reading my blog Leonie!), Toni and Andrew have listened to my stories over and over again along with lots of tea, Caoimhe was there to comfort me with nights to Pizza Express and a tearful night over Indian food and finally Eoin, who I missed so much and I’m so glad to have back in my life again. Never ever underestimate your friends and how much of a positive influence friends can have on your life, in the good and the bad times.

You will be okay.

No matter what you’re going through, you will be okay. If you miss your bus, if you go through a break up, if you have a horrible day at work, if you feel like you can’t cope with what life throws at you, you will be okay. When you’re going through something at the time, you don’t believe it. You think that you’ll feel this forever and that it will never go away, trust me, it really really does become better.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post, it was quite a big one for me and despite how it looks, my year wasn’t all bad, but at times I definitely felt like it had completely defeated me.