Tag Archive | motivation

Wet Weekend

As if we haven’t had enough rain here in the UK, yet more is on its way and it is pouring down as I write. Sadly, for many people in the South and West of the country the wet weather is causing much misery and I feel for those who have been flooded out of their homes and businesses yet again. I cannot imagine what such upheaval would be like and I am very grateful that we don’t live in a flood area.

For me the wet weather means a crafty day indoors and I’m sure that I will be able to turn my hand to something. I feel another page of my nieces wedding scrapbook coming on and I wonder if the gorgeous Kaisercraft papers which I ordered on Monday will turn up in the post today? Here’s hoping they do when hubby’s out so I can steal them into my stash without him noticing! Bless him, as soon as I “open my shop” as he calls it, he finds a friend to visit for a few hours, leaving me to spread my stuff all over the dining/kitchen surfaces. He hates mess and is better off out of my way than watching me wreak havoc with his über tidy kitchen.


Two days back at work and I am already noticing the fatigue brought on by the extra travelling but this will improve as I get back into routine, lose some weight and continue with my healthy eating programme. It seems to be working and so far I am 3lbs down on my starting weight. That seems a lot to lose in a short time but it’s how my body reacts and I know that next week it will be on full alert to conserve energy and my weight loss will slow down or come to a halt for a week. I am prepared for this which is just as well as it can be very demoralising to lose weight one week and nothing the next when you have been soooooo good. I have learned not to take much notice of weekly weight loss but look at longer periods like a month-6 weeks. If you keep going you will notice a trend and individuals will have their own ups and downs as their bodies adjust. It’s also a lot to do with the hormone cycle and again, everyone is different in this respect so week-on-week it can change dramatically and affect weight loss.


I find however that it’s easier to keep to my new habits when in the daily work routine than at home where temptation lurks in every corner. The first weekend is always difficult but my determination and resolve is still intact and I will get through to Monday with no blips.

Fingers crossed!


Day one done

True to form, the New Year brought a number of New Year’s resolutions and so far so good! I managed to go the whole day without eating chocolate as well as keeping to other promises made to myself. My overriding objective in 2014 is to look after myself better. Physically and emotionally I intend to be in better shape during 2014 than I was in 2013 but I know that I will have to work at it.

(Talking of work, it’s back to the office tomorrow.)

Anyway, one day down, a lifetime to go!


Mind-mapping for recovery

MapAs mentioned this morning, my one aim for today was to put together a Depression-Busting Plan to help me in my recovery. It helps to have a focus and although I need to make sure that I am not setting myself up to fail by setting my sights too high, I also understand that if I am to emerge from this debilitating fog I have to challenge myself and my lifestyle.

My GP asked me to think about changes I need to make for recovery and when I see her this week I may not have a definite plan in place but I have managed to put some thoughts down in my new Depression-Buster notebook.

I have been mind-mapping.

Following the holistic approach, I chose 6 areas of my life which need careful attention and wrote down all the ideas/thoughts which immediately came into my head. There are likely to be many more added later but on the basis that the most urgent ideas came to mind first I didn’t want to over burden myself with too much information.

The 6 topics I chose are;






Mental Health

Over the next few days I will be working on all of these issues alongside my GP and my support network so any ideas/tips/techniques that you use and you wish to share will be gratefully received 🙂


Green shoots

runner bean seeds

Today I have one aim. To sow the seeds of my recovery and devise and write-up my personal “Depression Buster Plan”. It won’t be a 5-minute fix but it will  focus on;

Short, medium and long-term strategies for recovery

Aims and goals for sustained improvement over the coming weeks

Plans A, B and C to take into account days where some aims will just be too difficult.

Rewards for success; Rewards for trying; Rewards for not beating myself up when I can’t face Plans A, B or C.

Work, exercise, diet, lifestyle and hobbies will all come under the microscope with the sole aim of reducing stress and increasing resilience.

But first, I need to get outside in the fresh air and space. Hiding away from the world might be comforting but I am in danger of turning into a troll so I will spur myself  on to spend an hour or two looking through my seed packets and decide what to plant this year.

Herbs for the kitchen windowsill, a giant pumpkin for fun, bell peppers and tumbling tomatoes for the patio and I must have some sunflowers for late summer. Everything else I will leave to my better half who is much better at growing vegetables than I am.

It will be nice to measure my progress against my seeds and plants.

Nothing forced; strong, steady, healthy growth with plenty of water, good nutrients and sunlight.


Runner bean seedlings

One day at a time…..

I am such an impatient person. Once I get an idea in my head it has to be done YESTERDAY. My unwillingness to wait graciously for anything manifests itself in many ways, for instance; I can’t be bothered to plant seeds as they take too long to grow, (and yet I love watching my garden spring to life each year), cooking is an anathema, (Why spend hours lovingly preparing a meal when I can get instant gratification by eating a packet of chocolate biscuits) and dieting? well, I will be forever on a diet if I am to shift the excess weight that plagues me. I really want to start my running programme again but a 12 week programme seems an eternity. Having decided I want to run, I want to run 5k in 36 minutes TODAY…….. 

Sadly I know that this is unreasonable and I need to stop! think! and take each day at a time. No more looking ahead at “possible” results, I need to focus on the “real” achievements I can muster on a daily basis.  So, a change in mindset is required (again). Regular readers of my Blog will have heard all this before and I apologise for the repetition and for being such a slow learner of life’s lessons but I’m getting there.

My plan of action, and I do have to have a plan, is to set myself a daily target which will increase the amount of exercise I do without setting myself unrealistic and unachievable goals. I need to be S.M.A.R.T.’er. I work long hours and travel a lot so any 12 week plan is likely to be derailed very quickly and I realise that I need to be more flexible in my approach and allow myself room for manoeuvre if I am to avoid “failure”.

Today’s goal: A 30 minute swim 

Is this S.M.A.R.T?

I guess I could be more SPECIFIC and say I will swim 20 lengths in 30 minutes, but just getting in the pool will be achievement enough today. It is certainly MEASURABLE- as long as I remember to wear my glasses so that I can see the clock. Is it ACHIEVABLE? I’ve done it many times before and being a Pisces, swimming is the perfect exercise, so yes, it is achievable. REALISTIC? 30 minutes isn’t long and I don’t have to put in an Olympic qualifying time until next week and is it TIMELY?

You bet it is.

You may (or may not like) NHS Couch to 5k (C25K)   http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx

Florence meet Chuck.Chuck meet Florence

Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration.This can come from humour, philosophy, common sense or just believing that you belong. You have a tribe. Certain people inspire and motivate you. They say things that resonate. Support and encouragement come naturally and you are not judged.

Florence my jam jar has a particular talent for seeking out people who do just that and today she has teamed up with Chuck Palahniuk, an American novelist whose quotes are sometimes a little off the wall but are thought-provoking nevertheless.

For those of you who don’t know her yet.

This is Florence, my jam jar.
She is full of inspiration and
on rainy days when things are looking bleak
or I feel a bit down, or I need motivation
or just when I feel like it
I delve in and pick out one of the tickets upon which are written inspiring and thought-provoking quotations such as.

All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.

Every woman is just a different kind of problem.

Everyone smiles with that invisible gun to their head.

Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.

The lower you fall, the higher you’ll fly.

When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?

Think on.

Florence returns with hope and love

This is Florence, my jam jar.
She is full of inspiration and
on rainy days when things are looking bleak
or I feel a bit down, or I need motivation
or just when I feel like it
I delve in and pick out one of the tickets
Upon which are written things like;

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay awhile, make footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.


Hope is the most exciting thing in life and if you honestly believe that love is out there, it will come. And even if it doesn’t come straight away there is still that chance all through your life that it will.


Two lives, two hearts joined together in friendship united forever in love.


Hope is the dream of a soul awake.


Never shall I forget the times I spent with you; continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours.


Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.


Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend’s forehead.


Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent.


To the query, ”What is a friend?” his reply was ”A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”


Hope is knowing that people, like kites, are made to be lifted up


Friends will keep you sane, Love could fill your heart, A lover can warm your bed, But lonely is the soul without a mate.


So on rainy days when things are looking bleak
or you feel a bit down, or you need motivation
or just when you feel like it
delve in and pick out one of the tickets

Florence, my jam jar

This is Florence, my jam jar.
She is full of inspiration and
on rainy days when things are looking bleak
or I feel a bit down, or I need motivation
or just when I feel like it
I delve in and pick out one of the tickets
Upon which are written things like;
“Depression is not a sign of weakness,
It is a sign that you’ve been trying too hard for too long”
Phone a friend today
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”
Tidy up and clear that clutter
“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon”
“It’s not what you have in your life but
who you have in your life that counts”
“A friend is one who knows all about you
but likes you anyway”
“You can’t change the wind
you can however adjust your sails”
“Success is going from failure to failure without
a loss of enthusiasm”
“A friend is one who believes in you
when you have ceased to believe in yourself”
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.
It’s learning to dance in the rain”
Massage your temples
I think everyone should have a jam jar so that
on rainy days when things are looking bleak
or you feel a bit down, or you need motivation
or just when you feel like it
you can delve in and pick out one of the tickets.

Be arsed……..

Sometimes in life it is difficult to feel motivated to do anything. Whether it’s something you need to do, or something you’d like to do, the inspiration, energy and enthusiasm seems to have deserted you. Perhaps you too have lost count how many times you have argued with yourself. “Get out of bed”. “Can’t be arsed”. “Turn the shower on”. “Can’t be arsed”. “Put your make-up on”. “Can’t be arsed”. “Book those theatre tickets”. “Can’t be arsed”. “BE ARSED”. “Can’t be arsed”.

Friends, family, doctors, counsellors, therapists, neighbours, teachers can all help you get back on your feet, but ultimately the responsibility to get your life back on track and to “be arsed” is YOURS.  No one else can do it for you. Small steps and achievable goals are key to bringing the fun back into your life so don’t give yourself unrealistic targets which dent your confidence further. Go for something fun, easy to build into your routine and makes you feel better about yourself and the world. 

Depression Alliance outlines 5 ways to wellbeing;   


With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Do you and your workmates share a common interest?  Do you know your neighbour?  Keep in touch, make that call, write that letter, send that text, feel a valued sense of belonging. Building connections will support and enrich you every day. 

Be active…

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Nature is good for us – being in green open spaces increases our sense of wellbeing and relaxation. Cycle to the shops. Play a game. Get muddy in the garden. Dance. If you find it hard on your own, talk to a friend, family member or work mate – help motivate each other. Go to your local library and see what activities are on offer in your area. Search the internet.

Don’t forget to eat well – nutrition is a key part of keeping active and keeping mentally and physically healthy. It doesn’t have to be boring or expensive: lots of fresh produce and omega-3 rich foods. Exercising makes you feel good and joining others helps you to feel connected. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Take notice…

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Take time to breath, unwind: yoga, meditation, listening to music, reading a book – time on your own.  Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you. 

Keep learning…

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Get creative: draw, compose music, write poetry, act, dance, paint, cook, knit… Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun and a chance to connect with other people in your community or at work.


Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Look out, as well as in. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Search on the internet for your local volunteer bureau. Explore local time-banks. Look in your library or community centre for ways to get involved. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

There are lots of things you can do with just a bit of imagination, forethought and positive thinking. So be arsed, help yourself, and do something different today.