Sunday, 12 January 2020

MIND // 10 Reasons To Fit Exercise Into Your Life (Dancing In Particular)

Exercise for a better mental state.

I don't think I will ever get tired of telling people just how good exercise is for you and your mental health.
I was watching Frank Bruno give an interview this morning on a new project house he has set up to help combat issues with young and old people with mental health struggles.
As a forefront to the program is their tag line, "Building healthy bodies and healthy minds", which I think is so powerful as it is leading with exercise and the unbelievable positive effects it has on mental health. Listening to him talk after suffering a sever psychotic episode, he turned the idea of going to the gym as a gruelling thing that a lot of us feel we don't want to do, into an hour long magic session that if done, is better than taking any medical pill.
The thing is I know he is right. I too believe in the power of exercise improving your well being. The thing is, I was told first hand to start excising by my cognitive behaviour therapist because it is a sure way to get better. Radio 1 DJ Greg James's wife BELLA MACKIE wrote a book called JOG ON where she documents how running saved her life after depression took over. There are articles online with scientific studies all on how exercise helps the brain heal. This is a magic pill, and one that doesn't need to be swallowed, you just need to be brave and find the thing that gets you moving.

Dancing is my superpower

For me it is dancing. 3 or 4 times a week I am dancing and I have found that I am becoming better with almost everything. OK, so there are always going to be annoyances in life, exercise doesn't get rid of them but exercise gives you a clear head. When you can feel most at your foggiest, exercise can help clear you mind, or give you prime time to think. For me, I don't think of anything but dancing.
I am lucky that I have been able to find a community within dancing. Women who I can chat with and have a cup of tea with, This helps immensely in my want to head out of the house even when it is cold and wet. This community was only formed though because I was brave and just got out and allowed it to happen. Exercise doesn't have to happen within a community setting though; exercise has to happen because you want it to.

You just have to go for it!

Starting something is always going to be hard. The more you want it, the more you will find it is easier to do, but you have to make the time available in your life to allow yourself to get into it.
I find classes are fun because at least you feel a bit protected with other people around. Walking is also great because it is the easiest form of exercise and can make a huge difference to your day. A power walk will change your life! Just getting out to do something a few times a week will quite quickly change your mindset. It has to have your heart pumping though, you need to give that organ a good beat and one that means your body will start to respond to the action.
It is through the power of movement that results happen. Not all of this should be to do with feeling good about how you look either, I think that is also really important to highlight. Exercising to help heal your head is not about exercising to make you skinny. Exercising more will naturally help you body change shape but wait loss should never be at the forefront of exercise. This time spent exercising is for you, it is for a greater overall health, not just a visual gain, but something that is much, much greater than that; something that will change your life for the better.
I think I will keep going on about exercise being good for the brain for many years. In a way it keeps me on track and I know the positive outcome it keeps giving me.

10 reasons to fit exercise into your life.

Anyway, this post was titled as 10 reasons so I better sum up this post with the simple details on why you need to fit exercise into your life!

It makes you feel good. Even when it feels hard, every minute you keep going is an achievement.
It clears your mind, even when the fog is too thick.
It is good for you. (That should be at the top really.)
Helps control physical illness and pain. Specific classes can offer relief from lots of body stresses.
It helps reduce high blood pressure
It improves breathing
It makes you stronger, building muscles and enabling you to move better
You can actually meet people and become part of a community
You can become happier and improve your mental health
You can sleep better which also in turn helps fix all sorts of problems you may have.

I could have carried this list on; exercise is so much more than just a boring activity we "should" be doing, This time spent exercising should be a happy time, just for us because it is a medicine we need to give us that long, happy life we all want.


Friday, 10 January 2020

LIFE LATELY // City Walks, Country Walks; A Catch Up With The Kids

I love sharing these LIFE LATELY posts. Nowadays the kids very rarely feature in my work. We don't get the same level of product review opportunities which, as younger kids, they very much were a part of. In a way once the kids went to school it only gave me a brief window to ever photograph them doing something and as they have grown in age the have grown in opinion so sponsored projects are harder to do due to their attitudes. In fact, I couldn't take their picture without falling out with them so I gave up for a while. Now a little older and with no pressure to perform from me I find plenty of natural opportunities to get pictures of these ones. 
Whenever we go out to "play" Rob always takes the lead; he knows I love taking pictures so really he entertains the children while I entertain myself.
For Christmas this year I got a new camera, a wonderful gift and one I will review in a few weeks when I have really had a good chance to play. Anyway, with new tech comes constant opportunity to try it out. I have taken many pictures of mugs that will never be seen, but that said, those and walks are great for me to practise.
Anyway, as an opportune moment to share where the kids are at right now I thought I would share a few photos from walks over the Christmas holidays.

Family Living

Currently each walk opportunity is quickly followed by the question "can we skate?". Etta was most pleased when Father Christmas brought her roller skates in her stocking. In fact, she was so pleased that the following days after Christmas that was all she wanted to do and her constant practising made her brother dig his year old skates out and also have a go. Sibling rivalry; there was no way Etta was going to be better than Raph at skating so that little boy made sure to really push himself in the holidays and learn to skate just like The Mighty Ducks! If you don't know who they were you need to educate yourself ! Some great movies from the 90s about a kids ice hockey team (we may all be a little obsessed with them right now). Anyway, Rob and I have agreed most times to the skating and it is actually paying off. Kids can pick up things so quick and even though Etta is petrified of the ground and her face meeting, they are doing it and getting better and better!

I used to love skating, in fact my dad made a comment about going through a million pairs of skates when I was younger, and seeing the kids now makes me happy in knowing that they are experiencing that same joy I had. 

Expression and excitement

Christmas gifting was a really interesting one this year. As the children grow their expression changes. This year we had a few "OH MY GOODNESS, YOU GOT ME THIS!" moments which was really nice, Raph was a funny one because he got a couple of things he would never expect. One was a game to be played on Rob's original SNES. Yes a very, very old PlayStation type console, and Raph just couldn't believe it. For us it was a big deal, we a very anti-gaming with the kids and draw a very strict line under it, but Raph has access to a vintage games hand piece and Rob's old stuff which comes out on very rare occasion. Anyway, as part of recognising his need for wanting to be like his mates this game went down an absolute treat. I am glad he is innocent enough to not really realise just how old fashioned this game is. It has lead to great gaming though and real opportunities for him to take responsibility.
Etta also got some very grown up make up which she would have never have thought I would have got her. I am obviously dead against it, she is only six, but I got her a pack of lip glosses and some sparkly blusher and a make up bag. She was so pleased and every chance she gets she is asking to wear it, at least she is asking is all I am thinking! Really, for her and me, it is a connection over something she watches me do and now she can play at doing it too.

Into the country

Through the holidays we have spent a bit of time at my parents'. We like our house a lot and are quite happy relaxing in it but it is really nice going home. This Christmas we have been lucky to be able to enjoy my parents' home more than usual. Over the year a refurb was finished by Rob and I as a surprise (yes, I am going to write another post about all of that) so my parents' living space is really enjoyable right now. The kids also love being there as it's Grandma's house and they can get away with all sorts! We stayed over a couple of nights too which is always nice for Rob and I who don't have to worry about what we then drink through an evening and much to the kids' joy it means they can get one of Grandma's "special" bedtime stories.
This year our usual New Year's routine changed and instead of going out to my parents' for a party some family friends actually had one local to town which meant we stayed at our own house instead of theirs. However we made sure to drive over on New Year's Day for our traditional walk (even though numbers were quite depleted this year) and stay a night then instead. 

The skates came out again and much to the kids' surprise, the country lanes were not as smooth as the city ones. 

We however marched on and that New Year's Day air got us all rolling down the lane and filling our lungs with fresh air. I don't know what it is but a walk on New Year's day is the best start to the year. 
With the walk done (I carried the kids' shoes ready for a swap halfway through) I felt very much like the year had really began, and even though I don't believe in the whole ''new year, new you'' ethos, I very much felt invigorated with life and lucky to be alive at the beginning of this new decade.

If you made it to the end of this post, well done. What a long post about me going on about my kids.  :) 


Sunday, 5 January 2020

MIND // An Epiphany To Start Our New Year

Unbelievably I find myself writing this weeks after I had penned my final post for the year and in true Emily fashion didn't actually get round to posting it.
I feel that this is definitely something that has changed within my writing career, a want to actually write. As the children have got older life has built up differently to when I first started writing this blog. Gone are the days of writing in daylight hours while children napped. I think because Rob and I were always running on adrenaline from little sleep in those early parenting days I seemed to work so differently. Now I value my time differently. If I am not working for Charlotte as content creator and editor for I am running family errands or cleaning the house. On an evening I want to sit and watch TV or go dancing at my Zumba class and then I have a marriage; time with Rob just sat chilling is an important part of our relationship. It is actually even more important now because I spend a few evenings out dancing and the children's schedule can eat into our time.
None of this however gives me a valid reason to stop writing, it just becomes more sporadic but almost everyday I am writing out posts in my head and just not getting opportunity to add pen to paper so to speak. 

Time moves on...

I wanted to make sure I sat down tonight and actuary wrote something. The kids go back to school tomorrow after their Christmas break and Monday the 6th January actually marks the official end to the Christmas celebrations. Epiphany is the conclusion of the nativity scene; the 3 wise men arrive and end the story of the birth of Jesus. For us as practising Catholics this is a tradition we honour within the church. We are meant to keep all our decorations up until now and really should have used the last fortnight as a celebration and rest time with family. We are fortunate to have so many members of our family around us and therefore these last two weeks have been just like that. If we weren't partying we were cosy at home watching movies. All the movies we could in fact, I don't think we have missed one of the list on Netflix! But it has meant that this whole holiday period has lasted for a really long time. I feel like the school holidays have been a real break and as the kids sleep upstairs I am so thankful that we are ending our Christmas inline with that of the true meaning of Christmas.

Just as the kings give the baby Jesus Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, I feel that I have been handed a beautiful gift which ends one year and begins another. 
Our life is precious and so full of love, I have really lucked out on that and even my own love for myself has grown in a way I wouldn't have expected this last year. I have always struggled with my own self doubts and to quite an extreme but my management of it has changed and today I feel like I know where I am. Not lost and also not seeking for anything better. My current reality is my favourite place to be; a happy mix of work, play and just enough business to complain about {smiles}.

Let's start together

Here we are then, at the dawn of the new year, not even a week in and it is safe to say "2020, I am ready for you"! I hope your mindset is clear and ready to tackle all that could be new for you this year. The only things you need to make sure you achieve this year are keeping in good health, practising joy and accepting love for yourself so that you can give that to others. If you can sit on December 31st this year and feel you have completed those 3 things every year after will only be more fruitful. Lead with love friends and with that will come success.

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