Tag Archives: Advice

How to Cope with Stress and Depression at Work

This week I wanted to talk about something that isn’t really shared much, but it should be. I have done previous blogs around mental health and depression. This time I thought it’d be important to highlight something that affects a lot of people. Depression at work. How on earth can you spot something like that? It’s a valuable question to ask because quite often a person might simply shrug it off as stress and think they’re just having a bad day. I personally want to talk more about it so people are able to identity depression or stress at work before it gets worse.

Depression at work can slowly creep up on anyone at anytime. In fact, one in six New Zealand adults were diagnosed with a mental disorder in 2013. What’s even more shocking is to know millennials are more depressed at work than any generation. These findings shed some light on why young people or adults might be more afraid to voice their concerns about mental illness because of the stigma around it.

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I’ve talked about the stigma around mental illness in previous blogs but you an imagine how daunting it’d be to share this kind of information in a work environment. A perfect example of this was when I used to work in customer service. The supervisor at the time was talking about an employee’s mental health like it was any other topic. They were gossiping about them and I was listening in horror. That employee had obviously disclosed this information in private and it was been shared with other people without their consent. Not all work places are like this but it could be one of the big problems around mental health and work places. People don’t know how to talk about it or address it.

Employees might not want to tell their boss about their reasons for wanting a day off, so it can lead to people showing up to work 9-5 five days a week. Yet they’ll perform well below average and won’t really seem like themselves. When things start to get out of control there are unfortunate consequences which can eventually lead to losing a job or leaving because you feel completely miserable. This isn’t enjoyable for anyone to go through because a common feeling with depression is guilt, so if you fail in your work life, it’s an ongoing vicious cycle. I’ve been hesitant to open up about my own experience but seeing other people on my news feed be courageous and say they left their job because they were experiencing depression, or struggling, made me want to do the same.

My experience only really happened towards the end after a few months. I had a great team I liked working with, an awesome job, and a healthy pay check. Yet I wasn’t healthy myself. This isn’t to say oh hey I got a new job and it made me depressed. That’s not how it works. Things in my personal life had seeped over where I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I was stressing myself out over little things. So if you aren’t getting enough sleep you aren’t productive at work and you don’t eat properly and so on. I had of course tried to sort out those things in my personal life and things would seem fine but then there started to be more grey days than good days. Eventually it all became too much.

lose itAfter performing well and achieving accomplishments I had gotten worse. I wondered why I couldn’t complete even the most basic tasks. I would drag myself to work and as soon as I walked in the door already I would feel like a failure dreading the day ahead. Surely this wasn’t normal. How could I be feeling this way when I’ve had many jobs in the past and thrived in busy environments? The worst thing to do is to push it aside and pretend it’s all rainbows and sunshine. I was afraid to jeopardize my new position and lose everything. I know I’m a good writer it’s what I love to do and what I want to do for a job yet my weakness was I couldn’t admit I actually had a problem. Partly because I’m a bit stubborn and pride got in the way where I thought the dark cloud would pass.

While you might not have experienced depression like I have, you’ve most likely had a bad day. Depression, however, isn’t just a low day that goes away. Everyone can feel sad, grumpy, or moody every once in a while. With depression these feelings can continue for days, weeks, or even years. It’s a lonely and horrible place to be. Plus, it can seem almost impossible to tell the difference between stress and depression at work if you haven’t experienced it before. So here are some common symptoms of stress and depression at work, but again everyone might be different:

Stress at Work 

  • Increased anxiety and irritability.
  • Impaired sleep and concentration.
  • Verbal or physical aggression.
  • Reduced attention span and impaired memory.

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Depression at work

  • Low, depressive mood with negative thoughts about self and others.
  • Numbness, emptiness and despondency.
  • Lack of interest in life and motivation to do things.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Lack of appetite, or comfort eating.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
  • Feelings of guilt.
  • Self-neglect.
  • Anxiety.
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm.

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Getting Help 

If you’re experiencing stress at work it could be to do with your work load or other areas of your life. It’s much easier to pull yourself out of stress if you get help early and simply talk to someone about it to avoid getting burnt out. Decrease your workload or take the time to find a healthy balance. A bit of stress is good if it keeps you motivated where you meet deadlines, but not if you’re falling asleep at your desk and chugging a crazy amount of coffee each day.

Of course it isn’t just as easy as saying you can pull yourself out of severe depression because you can’t. I’m not saying it’s an easy road to recovery but the first step is admitting the problem otherwise it just goes on and on. Reading the symptoms now you may think it’s easy to spot the problem but I was experiencing some of these things without actually knowing it for at least a year. I now look back and realise I can’t blame myself for something that was out of my control. Having a mental illness isn’t your fault.

The best way to get better is to seek the help you need either through counselling or medication depending on how severe the depression is. Little things like exercise and doing things you enjoy can help with depression. Other things like meditation and getting rid of negative thoughts. Even knowing what triggers your stress or depression is a good step towards self healing.

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Walking up Mt Eden for some exercise

Most of all don’t push yourself or ruin your mental health. If the job isn’t working for you perhaps take a break for the sake of your sanity and as hard as it is, leaving a job can sometimes be the only option. There will be other jobs and opportunities in the future, but you are your number one priority. People sometimes ask, “what if that situation happened again?” well, I now know the symptoms of stress and how to handle it. Right now I’m in great health and have overcome depression, but I probably wouldn’t recognise myself a few months ago.

Some people with mental health can hold down jobs quite easily and for others it might prove to be a lot harder. Since we spend a lot of our time at work feeling supported at your job is important. You don’t need to yell it out in the middle of the office that you have anxiety or depression or whatever it is, and you don’t have to disclose your mental health situation to your employer if you don’t want to. Yet chatting to the right people and those who you feel comfortable with can bring a feeling of relief. Whether it’s family, friends or a partner, people who can support you are those who truly care about you no matter what.

If I have any advice for someone who might be going through stress or depression don’t suffer alone. Dealing with depression or mental illness isn’t a weakness. There are the old feelings of will people pity me if I tell them, will they think differently of me and not think I’m capable of functioning properly. The fear of feeling vulnerable in front of others and not wanting to draw attention to myself. When I began to think more positively I realised I wasn’t alone. There are others who have gone through a similar situation or know someone who has.

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Remember you’re valued just as much if you open up to people about a mental illness. Having a mental illness often feels like you’re trapped in your own mind and in a emotional prison. Or that you’re in a fight and it’s you vs you. It won’t happen over night but gradually you’ll get better and win the fight. Just like when you heal from an injury or a broken bone, your mind is also healing, day by day you become stronger until you’re ready to get back on track.

The Mindful Minute Challenge

Exciting things are happening in the mental health space, especially in New Plymouth. Last week I got to sit down and catch up with my lovely friend Natalie who has been super busy! In between a delicious coffee and some lunch she told me about her latest project. It’s a beautifully designed book targeting mental health, which means the content is even more important. This book is going to do amazing things for the mental health scene in Taranaki for a wider audience.

If you currently know someone going through mental illness, or if you’ve experienced it yourself this book might be exactly what you need. It’s a productive and hands on approach to encourage people to feel brave to talk about mental illness with friends or family. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Check out our chat below to find out what’s inside Natalie’s new book:

Tell us the name of your book

The name of the book is, The Mindful Minute Challenge. The book is a multimedia/ educational resource that challenges readers for a month to engage with their mental health for a few minutes each day.

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What inspired you to write your book?

Inspiration came from a web series that I created on my YouTube channel this time last year called ‘The Mindful Minute Challenge’. This web series documented my journey of challenging myself for a month to look after my mental health and mental well being by asking myself daily insightful questions. The web series was a success with viewers who enjoyed the daily uploads with a focus around mental health, which isn’t discussed as much as it should be.

The idea to turn this web series into something tangible arose. It aims to encourage others to partake in the challenge through whatever communication medium suited them whether it be through reading, writing or watching the educational videos.

Who helped you create your book and how long did it take?

During late 2016, the opportunity of working with Werry Workforce Wharaurau came up. They are a national centre for infant, child and adolescent mental health, led by Dr Sally Merry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, and situated within the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland.

They were looking for a creative project that encouraged the awareness of mental health and well being for youth. For four months we worked collaboratively on the project to ensure it would meet our aims and the needs of our target audience. One big aim was to ensure the language used to promote positive mental well being was going to be suitable as using the correct language when discussing mental health is of high importance to reduce stigma that’s associated with mental illness.

This link is the creative project we made on their website.

Was it quite fun putting the book together?

Yes the book was a lot of fun to put together. I’d never done a project like this before but I love a challenge. Learning how to use the software and what it takes to create an e-book and hard copy book. I learnt a lot about the creative process of putting a book together, I don’t think I’ve ever looked at so many variations of the colour blue and also types of paper before! Being a creative person I loved putting the design elements of it together. The aim was to create a scrapbook/diary kind of look to the book that was bursting with colour.

What can readers expect to find in it?

Because it’s an an educational resource readers can expect to find a variety of elements to the book. We aimed to not make the book to text heavy. It’s a light read that poses daily questions, and space for readers to write their ideas down as well. Readers are encouraged to use the book in collaboration with my YouTube channel and watch the daily video that ties in with the daily question.

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Do you have a main target audience?

The main target audience is for youth aged between and 13-25. But I feel people of all ages may gain some insight from the resource.

Is there a particular message you hope to get across?

The main message I hope to get across is to assist in talking more about mental health, mental health awareness and mental illness. By releasing these resources they’ll act as a guide to anyone who may find them of use and a stepping stone to talk about mental health in a non-confrontational format.

Another aim of the book is to help people talk about mental health in everyday circumstances. Talking about mental health can be scary (as mental health is so personal to each and every individual). However, having the correct educational tools set up, resources created by youth for youth and surrounding yourself with strong support networks may be a formula for assisting in reducing mental health discrimination.

Do you plan to publish your book nationally?

Never say never. If an opportunity arose where this was a possibility and it felt like a suitable fit then I would for sure consider taking this on board. The Mindful Minute Challenge itself has evolved in such as short space of time (less than a year) and many opportunities have arose from starting the challenge in the first place (that I would not ever have imagined to come to light). I’m very grateful for this chance indeed.

Can we expect to see a series or sequel in the near future?

Yes a series and or sequel will be on the cards. The wheels are in motion for different versions of the resource to be released, this may be late 2017 as we are in the first stages of new development. It’s hoped this resource is just the beginning.

When is your book available to purchase and how will others be able to purchase it?

The e-book is available to download now via this link. Those who are interested in purchasing the e-book version will need to ensure they have the correct software installed to ensure they can open the book due to the book having written and video media components. I’ve found Adobe Digital editions the best software to open the book.

The price of the E-book is listed in USD for $8.63 which roughly equates to $13 NZD. The hardcopy book will be available to purchase early April 2017 and I’ll be accepting pre-orders soon.  The price of these books will be between $25-$45 NZD.

What are you currently working on at the moment?

Currently I’m working on a project with World Merit 360. I’ve been lucky enough to have been selected as one of 360 people from around the world to participate in the world merit 360 program in 2017. World merit 360 is an opportunity for individuals to help in changing the world by focusing on the United Nations Sustainable development goals.

The sustainable development goals are universal goals to call action to end poverty, protect the planet and help ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity for future generations to come. There are 17 goals and the goal my team and I will be focusing on is Good Health and well being.

In August 2017 I will be travelling to the United Kingdom to meet my team of my global goal and teams from the other 17 global goals. I’ll be helping to write an action plan 003 which will be presented to the United Nations themselves.

If you’re interested in following Natalie’s book release dates and projects keep an eye out on her Twitter, or subscribe to her awesome YouTube channel

Twenty two

Well I’m now twenty two. There have been plenty of milestones and great memories. A few fashion disasters, and a mullet at some point in my childhood due to an accidental hair cut. Most of all in this post I wanted to share a few things I think are important.

1) Believe in yourself. You have to start by raising, and building yourself up when others don’t believe in you. The people who achieve amazing extraordinary things are the ones who were told they couldn’t do it. Be confident in everything you do. I believe you can fly, and yes you can touch the sky.

2) If you’re having a bad day, remember it will pass. Some days you may feel like there is no point getting out of bed. You feel like you’re not where you want to be in life. You’re happy for others who are doing well but wish you could reach that level. It all takes time and everyone works at their own pace. Don’t sweat too much. Try again tomorrow.

3) Find kindred spirits. We often connect to people at different levels. Finding people who are eager to talk about similar interests, and having intellectual conversations is probably the nicest feeling where you’re both on the same page.

4) Don’t be consumed by technology. There are plenty of people who can’t stay offline. We live in a digital age where people are addicted to technology. We can’t go anywhere without phones or taking a selfie on holiday. Sitting a few inches away from a performer and we still somehow have our phones out.

Some wander the streets and get injured playing games on their phones. Families sit in a living room all on their phone, iPad, or other device. It shows how sucked into technology we are. Bring it back to the old days. Write letters or send a card. Read the                       paper. Could you last without a cellphone in your hand?

5) Mental illness. A person may just be feeling down and we can never know the pain of what someone is going through. It could be anything from a break up. Feeling depressed, anxiety or any form of an inner battle. It doesn’t define them the label is what society has created. They’re afraid and they may not even want to tell anyone about it because of the stigma around mental illness. I know people who are affected in different ways but I will always be a friend if they need to talk. During research for study I found Sir John Kirwan to be a great advocate on the matter as someone who has gone depression himself. He says depression is not a weakness. You can check out more of his talk here. 

6) Don’t think just write. My friend gave me an inspiring book by Steven Pressfield about creativity.

One of the first things Pressfield talks about is resistance. He basically sums up my problem when it comes to writing; procrastination;

“We don’t just put off our lives today, we put them off until our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on resistance” – The War of Art; Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. 

7) A higher power. Some meditate and find peach within. Whereas others still search for that extra thing that seems to be missing from their life. Whether it is faith or religion everyone has a different opinion. People seem to be on the same path of trying to discover the meaning of life. All of the various religions lead to the one conclusion of finding a higher power. Many people feel at ease knowing someone is guiding, and watching over them no matter what. What do you believe in?

8) Share the love. To many people bring each other down because of jealousy or hate. The pressure from the media is always telling us how to act, look, and feel. Share the positive attitude. Women, and men are constantly battling with self destructive thoughts and you might not even know it. The world is a dark place to live in right now. There is a lot of negativity in the news. Martin Luther King Jr and his wise words resonate today more than ever.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

9) Spend time alone. You don’t need to chase after people to prove you’re important. Focus on yourself. Practice what you enjoy to do. When I’m older I will probably want to have told my younger self don’t waste time to just try to put effort into pleasing other people, men, women, friends, relationships. It will be there for you to pursue when the time comes.

10) A balanced mind goes well with a balanced body. If you look after your mind then the results show on the outside. Good food with a few treats. Now it may take me a while to get rid of some dark eye circles due to years of studying, but hey the crinkles and wrinkles show character right? I enjoy a nice face mask at the end of each week from LUSH, and a chance to detox all the stress or jumbled thoughts. A cup tea with a good book is a nice little getaway.

11) Love. The word has been thrown around so much by people who don’t know how to express or show it in actions rather than just words. It can be used against someone, and an excuse for bad behaviour. I don’t think it’s fair to settle for less if someone gives it their all, and in return they get half attempts at romance and no effort. Today’s generation confuses short satisfaction with real relationships the notion has become so twisted that it’s all turned into fun and games. There are shortcuts and cheats to trying to win someone’s heart just for a “laugh.” I give a round of applause to the good gentleman, and kind women who respect and value the word love. So when can you know what on earth the mystery is? The four letter word that has had people puzzled for centuries it remains an unsolved riddle for many.

12) Laughter.  Sometimes a sense of humour is the best type of charm. Those quirky and fun people you meet who dazzle everyone with their wit and charm. If I’m remembered for one thing I hope people say I made them laugh. I once dreamed of been a comedian but performing in front of people is not a strength of mine. I do enjoy it when people make me laugh. You’re doing something right.

13) Forgiveness. Whoever did you wrong, stole your barbie, and called you names or bullied you in school. Whoever hurt you do your best to forgive. It doesn’t mean they need to know or that you need to get in touch. Some people do enjoy upsetting others, and if that’s how they treat people that’s their problem not yours. Let it go and feel at peace.

14) Speak up about causes. Save the animals. Stop the violence. There are plenty of things to fight for in today’s society. Since when did violence and hate become the norm? It’s the few people who speak up that make a difference. Peaceful protests, and positive leaders who inspire those for generations to come.

15) Friends and family. They are always there for you and see you grow, and become who you are today. Encouraging and also many laughs along the way it always a blessing to have supportive friends and family.

16) Never stop learning. Education doesn’t stop once you leave school or stop studying. Going out into the world with new experience is where the learning begins and it never stops. The thirst to know more about life is always there.

17) Have good role models. Looking up to people who are down to earth, and kind can influence a person a lot. They can be inspired by those around them, and influenced in a positive way that makes them strive to achieve great things. I’m inspired by women who continue to fight for their rights for equality and everyday people who try to make a change. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the sacrifice of those people.

18) We are all geniuses. Some of the people considered to be the smartest in the world were ridiculed, and laughed at. It’s the people who think outside of the box that make you really sit up and listen. Everyone is good at something, and has different talents. We all have something to offer.

19) What is an empath. A great quote from Sylvester McNutt says;

My superpower is the ability to feel. I am an empath. I relate to and feel other’s pain, joy, and happiness. It’s a gift and a curse.

Empaths often have great hearts, and people feel comfortable opening up to them. Showing emotion is seen as a sign of strength, and consideration of others. It seems that often these people put others happiness before their own so it is important to take care of yourself as well. If you’re interested to read more about empaths this article by Christel Broederlow is quite interesting. I can relate to some of these things, and I’m sure many others do as well.

20) Enjoy every birthday. As the years go by I still like waking up to balloons. Eating cake, and having a jolly good time whether I’m ten years old or fifty. Yay for Disney movies.

21) Embrace yourself. Imagine if we were all content with how we looked. The scars and the quirky things about ourselves. Would you hide that cute laugh that sounds a bit like a seal when you get excited or would you embrace it? Would you step outside without make up on? The truth is we’ll always feel a bit insecure. Learning to love yourself is like climbing the mountain of self acceptance you will fall a goat may get in your way, and one day you will reach the top. You are you, and I am me. How brilliant is that?

22)  Take a step back and see how far you’ve come. The ups and downs of life have made me hopefully a bit wiser. Knowing right from wrong. Things could have gone different and sometimes things happen that are out of my control. I am always taught a lesson by life whether I like it or not. I have achievements behind me which I am proud of. They’re milestones to look back on to say hey I actually did that! If something embarrassing happens I try to laugh it off. There are fails and triumphs. As a huge Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan I shall say each day has an unexpected journey around the corner so let’s go on an adventure!

Perks of Being a Human

The amazing touching moviePerks of Being a Wallflower is better than the “perks” of being a human at timesWhy? Because we get sick, ill, and sore. Since moving to University to a windy town I seem to be getting sick more than usual. My immune system changes like the four seasons. If you’re sick at the moment I am here with some tips on how to help.05.0218.cartoon_large

Migraine

The word migraine sounds like a depressing cereal/sequel of Nutri Grain. Both are unpleasant. I have had migraines many a time. Any sound is a pain to the ears people talking, crying children, andloud traffic. The worst case was when I was crossing the road, and my vision went all hazy. I could barely see if the crossing man was red or green. I stumbled across the road looking drunk like a skunk. Crossing the road has never been so exhausting. The next episode of my migraines was when I fainted at work twice. The second time I wacked my head on the ground woke up and forgot where I was. I was putting a kiwifruit through checkout at the time so I now have a phobia of kiwifruit. Just kidding. It was strange as I had eaten breakfast that day and felt completely fine a few minutes before. Dizziness washed over me. I’m not sure if it was due to a migraine or lack of something in my diet. so it is important to realize you may not be eating the right foods or drinking enough water. Here are a few suggestions for migraines;

  • Medication, from the doctor..because panadol and nurofen are useless in this case
  • Hot tea – Green tea, I personally love Chai Tea
  • Sleep – take a nap, it helps
  • Crawl around the house caveman style, or walk very very slowly holding on to things, it avoids you getting dizzy and fainting
  • Breathe, in and out, try to relax
  • Rub temples – when I have a headache or am stressed rubbing my temples helps a lot
  • Massage – a proper one, it’ll relax you in an instant
  • Drink LOTS of water.

If you can’t handle the pain go to the emergency room, but you may be waiting for many hours. It isn’t fun, but better to get to the bottom of the problem than have it get any worse.

Tonsillitis 

Cough cough
Cough cough

Recently I went to Eminem all pumped and excited. Then I got a sore throat on the bus to Auckland. I thought nothing of it until it ruined the entire trip I couldn’t even swallow water let alone enjoy the concert. Anything I ate scraped my throat and burnt it. It felt like eating sandpaper. I chugged back as much medicine, and throaties as I could which only made things worse. Once I got back to Wellington I went straight to hospital because I couldn’t handle the sudden throbbing in my ears, I wondered what on earth it was. I had tonsillitis. Not only that, but it had gotten so bad that pus had travelled up my throat into my ears which explained the pain. Yum. My advice don’t leave a sore throat to heal on it’s own you will pay the consequences. So here are a few cures for tonsillitis:

  • Medicine – pain killers, the throat spray they gave me was great it soothed my throat for awhile.
  • Eat no solid foods, it’s to painful and you’ll end up wanting to cry, mash up your food like your a baby again.
  • Hot lemon, honey and sugar/ginger.
  • Drink OJ, orange juice, get that Vitamin C.
  • LOTS OF WATER. This is when you need it the most to avoid dehydration.
  • Cold foods helped the pain of my tonsilltis a lot. I had a few ice blocks.
  • Gargle with warm water, and salt..
  • Avoid any thing that can irriate the throat, smoke, bacteria, kissing strangers.
  • Try to not talk to much. If you do speak softly the voice is precious.
  • The final option is a tonsillectomy, where doctors remove the two tonsils from the back of the throat. If you get tonsilitis frequently like I do you may want to consider this option, give yourself at least a few weeks to recover from it because I have heard it’s painful afterwards. Eek. 

Stomach ache/bug

Ow my stomach is so sore. Darn that constipation! 

No one has this kind of conversation. Maybe with their doctor. A sore stomach may be caused by anything, a bug, food poising, and an allergy to gluten or lactose. My stomach hates to much dark chocolate, and alcohol so I try to listen to my body and avoid certain things. If I have a really bad stomach drinking lots of fluids helps, and eating small amounts of food if I can handle it. This article I found addresses ten stomach problems, and has advice on how to ease the dreaded embarrassment of random fart and pain;

  • Diarrhea –  if it gets really bad check out some stomach remedies in the pharmacy or supermarket, it may be because of food posioning. 
  • Fight farts – let it out, it’s a sign of a good body! Eat your food slowly to prevent gas
  • Cramps – hot water bottle hello .
  • Bloating – avoid salt and foods that cause gas.
  • Reflux – cut back on drinking and smoking because reflux causes pain in the chest. A sore throat, and coughing so avoiding these things will help. 
  • Nauseated – Have grated ginger in hot water with a bit of honey.
  • Heart burn – Try not to eat to fast, limit spicy food. Drink milk as it prevents acid in the stomach. 
  • Ease after eating pain – Avoid junk food.  
  • Constipation – If you get gas or bloating, increase fibre intake such as wholegrains, bread, high fibre cereal, try 3o minutes of excersize a day and stay hydrated
  • Hunger Pangs – An achy stomach can be more than just hunger, if you feel like its an ulcer hit up your doctor asap.

At the end of the day listen to your body and try and avoid foods that cause any of these stomach problems. Life will be much more blissful if you do.

Cold or the Flu

 It isn’t just cold, I have a cold, can you warm me up? 

New winter pick up line perhaps? Nose running, panda bags under the eyes, aching body. Cold. I am sick again this is nothing new. It happens almost every second day. Especially since moving to windy Wellington. Some people have unbreakable immune systems, I do not. There’s no magic to cure it, but here are my favourite remedies when I get the cold. 

  • The dry cough; this comes with many colds. First you get a cold in your nose, head, then your throat takes a beating and feels like it’s being ripped apart. The best thing to do for this is drink waterfalls of water. If you start coughing up blood you must be a vampire (kidding) Go to the emergency room ASAP.
  • Fever: Get someone to check your temperature regularly to make sure you’re ok
  • Flu: Symptoms include runny nose, sore stomach, a cough, and aches. Stay away from work or school, because it can spread through air. Scary. 

For general colds and sniffles;  

  • Invest in Papaw ointment or moisturiser, I had a case of dry skin around my eyes and nose which looked awful but a bit of Papaw on it each night worked wonders. Great for the lips to. Nothing worse than chapped lips.
  • Dress like you live in Antartica. Keep warm!
  • Hot water, ginger, honey and lemon. Yum yum
  • OJ. Orange juice. Drink lots of it.
  • Fruit, lots of fruit. Here are 15 top veggies and fruits to boost the immune system. Some is Grapefruit, Almonds, Watermelon, Garlic, Spinach. Low fat yoghurt prevents colds? Who would have known.
  • Sleep. Lots of sleep. Sleep like sleeping beauty.
  • Fill up a sink with hot boiling kettle water, and hold your face over it for a few minutes. Cover your neck and head with a towel so you have a min face spa. It opens the pores and also clears the icky blocked nose.
  • Do not work on assignments. If you can’t think properly there’s no point. Sleep, and work on it later.
  • Try not to sniff if you have a runny nose, it will cause a headache, trust me.
  • Olbas inhaler nasal stick, kinda looks like a tampon but you stick it up each nostril and it helps clear your nose.

yaaahh

  • Wash your hands, wash them like you depend on it.
  • Don’t touch your mouth, nose, and eyes without washing your hands.
  • Try not to share food, or lip the same drink.
  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze! Seriously, is it that hard? Sneezing in the elbow is better because then your hand that’s just been sneezed on with nice boogers won’t get all over the furniture.
Cover that sneeze
Oops just sneezed all over my laptop. Hypocrite much.

Feeling down because you’ve lost your voice and feel like crap? Well a husky voice is totez attractive anyway. That nasal tone mmm.

Sprain, injured, sore muscles

I sprained my ankle because I had fallen and missed to stairs. It was rather dramatic, as if I had walked off the plank like in Peter Pan. So what to do if you’re injured? I don’t know much about broken bones but I assume you’re meant to not do these things;

  • Don’t go to the gym or excersize, this is how I discovered I had shin splints, running isn’t enjoyable for me
  • Use crutches if you’re given them. I limped around and ran to the bus and was almost in tears because of the pain, never again.
  • Rest the injured area on a pillow, put ice on it but not for to long
  • Take prescribed painkillers or a nice hot bath
  • Try not to wear yourself out, you need time to heal
  • Anti Flamme Orignial – for bumps, bruises, aches and pains. Especially sore muscles, fabulous.
  • Sore from the gym? – I hadn’t gone in almost a month, did an intense leg day…can’t walk. You can either rest or stretch, either one will hurt.
No pain no gain
No pain no gain

 

Feeling crap emotionally 

If you’re sick physically, injured, or just feel down in the dumps emotionally I came across this amazing blogger who has 100 things to do when you’re sad, seriously read it. I love this one from the list along with many others;

<3 Write a list of things that you appreciate right now, in the present moment. Focus on each of them & let the love inside you well up. Even when things appear to be going really, really badly, there are always things to be happy about.

Amazeballs! She also has suggestions on 33 movies to watch if you’re feeling tired, sad, and can’t be bothered doing anything or moving out of bed.

That’s all folks!

Whether you’re sniffling whilst reading this, sneezing, farting, or crying because life is stressful at times. Just remember there is always someone there for you, a friend, partner, your fridge. If  you don’t feel like seeing anyone or anything just stay in bed, relax, watch a movie, scoff some chocolate and remember to wrap up, drink up (water) and eat up. I hope you sick or injured people feel better soon 🙂 happy healing! 

Typical humans
Typical humans

V for Valentines

Any day of the year you’re entitled to prance around happily single laughing at couples who have romps in public. Rolling your eyes those in love. It’s fine to be free. Nobody cares until Valentines day.

You’re reminded how alone you are simply by a date on the calendar. A date.  How cruel of them to call it that. My yearly ritual used to be watching Pride and Prejudice by myself with a box of chocolates. Wishing Mr Darcy would pop out of my closet with his dashing top hat. Then it would be back to reality where the only thing that pops out of my closet is a bundle of sheets I attempted to fold. Alas, pause and realize there are so many fun things to do on Valentines day for those who are single to mingle;

  • Go to town with your friends and party.
  • Ring up your parents and tell them how much you love them!
  • Buy your friends silly gifts, have a sleepover and throw popcorn at one another. 
  • Treat yourself to a shopping spree buy yourself something nice you’ve earned it.
  • If you’re feeling down write a list of thing you love about yourself. As vain as it sounds, because if you don’t love yourself how can you love anyone else? 
  • Dress up as Cupid, run around shooting rubber arrows at people yelling “gotcha!”

L.O.V.E

Valentines encourages to shower their partner in roses and chocolate. Propose with a burger ring, say the L word whilst throwing Taco’s in the air.

Short relationships: For those in new relationships you perhaps feel this day is a reminder of how little you know about your person. You may not have had time to ask your partner all their favourite things in the world during an intense french kiss. You become like 50 Cent asking twenty one questions to make sure you get the right present without scaring them away.

Long relationships: Now if you’ve being dating for many many moons spice things up a bit if things are a bit like a washing machine going around on the same cycle..continue reading. Here I have my top ten tips of what I believe can be done. Tt doesn’t always have to be the male taking charge. Ladies it’s time for you to dominate. Break the cliche rules for once and sweep your man off their feet. Let the games begin. 

My top ten tips for Valentines day

1) Suprise them: Before the evening arrives send them something cute at work. Flowers, edible flowers, a cute handmade card. Just don’t give away what you have planned for later. 

2) Gift time: It doesn’t have to be extravagant or cost a million dollars. Not all women want teddy bears and most men can buy their own after shave. If you have a personal joke with your partner, make something out of that, a photo, a quote on something. Get creative!

3) Set the mood: Dress up in something nic not revealing to much flesh ladies. You want them to at least get through the first course. Spray yourself and your pillows (for later) with your signature perfume he/she loves. If they pass out you may have sprayed to much. 

4) Make him/her dinner: There is no better way to a mans heart than by food. If you’re boyfriend/girlfriend is always doing nice things for you, buying you coffee, food. Well it’s time to turn the tables and make them dinner. Takeaways is cheating sorry Mrs Doubtfire but it is. If you can’t even cook toast or an egg,practice a few easy dishes. It’s so much more special to eat home made food. If you refuse to cook book reservations for somewhere nice.

5) Serenade them: If you’re into music, play an instrument. Dedicate a song to them. 

6) Do a little dance: This is mostly for the ladies if you’re feeling really confident, and at ease with this person learn a simple but sexy dance for your man.

7) Pour a glass: What’s for dessert? Who knows. Buy some sort of dessert you both enjoy. Pour a glass of wine and make a toast. You should feel comfortable exploring things with your partner, and been able to openly communicate. 

8) Bath time: If you’re feeling romantic have a bath with some candles. Even better when you have the bath to yourself. I love this scene with Chandler in the bath. Relax, and leave all your troubles behind. You need bubbles lots of bubbles. 

9) Movies: If you both never have the time to snuggle up and watch a movie together now is the time. Try to find a movie you’ll both enjoy. So you aren’t crying while your partner awkwardly pats your back. Some of my favourites;

  1. Never been kissed – My all time favourite movie of Drew Barrymore which I’ve watched about 198394 times. 
  2. Dirty Dancing – I have a weakness for dance movies.
  3. Hitch – Never fails to make me laugh.
  4. 40 Days and 40 nights – Great message about waiting for that right person. 
  5. When Harry Met Sally. A funny movie that will make anyone laughh.

10) Remember how you first met. It’s probably the most memorable thing to do something you did on your first date. Bring up your first memory or thought of them. Talk about how great they are. Compliments compliments. So much better when they mean something. 

You poured wine on me by accident, and then I knew…

(whilst pouring them wine, in a glass of course) Bit of a dramatization but hey. It shows you’re still just as crazy about this person the day you locked eyes even though time has passed.

That’s all folks

So there you have it! Don’t attempt all of these unless you’re feeling like you have a lot of time such as a whole day or at least an evening. If you already have something planned for your special someone,. I wish you the best of luck and may the romance follow you in the air like a fly that just won’t go away. To all the single ladies and gentleman out there some of you may not care about this day, and some might. Either way just remember each year you get a birthday which is a day about YOU. As well as other holidays you get to stuff your face with chocolate whenever you feel like it so chin up and smile because;

You is kind, you is smart, you is important – The Help

Happy Valentines everyone.