Saying no (Self-care month Day 23)

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Self-care month Day 23
Saying no

Good morning my lovely reader and all my new followers it’s so good to meet you!
Today is my birthday, 29 years ago today I was brought it to the wonderful world and because of that I am feeling extra specially happy and relaxed. I have spent all day cuddling my kitten, Luna, colouring in my new colouring book and watching Disney films. I have felt extra exhausted recently and I have really needed some time to myself to relax and I feel all the better for it.

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Colouring in bed with Luna this morning

Today I give you permission to say no to something. Whether it is something that you aren’t comfortable with, or are anxious about or whether somebody is demanding too much of your time or energy. To really take care of ourselves we need to be able to say no in these situations. We sometimes say yes out of obligation or because we are too kind to let people down. Cont…

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It works!

I had a wonderful message the other day from one of my readers, she had a bad day with a lot of stress from outside influences beyond her control and decided to delve into the ‘bag of tricks’ to feel more balanced and calm heres what she said;

‘I had the most horrendous migraine yesterday with it all and I realised my neck and shoulders were tense. This made me think about the things you have said so I put everything on hold and jumped into a nice hot bubble bath and came up with an action plan. It worked!!!! Thank you! You should be so proud of everything you are doing for yourself and other people.’

I’ll be honest now it brought a tear to my eye. I love to know, on a personal level that the tricks and tips I write are being used and are working. I mean, I know they work because I do it myself but it’s so good to hear this.

And very importantly-Dear Lady, you should be soo proud of yourself too for noticing the signs and for looking after yourself. I am so proud of you and happy for you!

Remembering to take care of yourself when it feels like the world is falling apart is hard to do. But it works, it puts things into perspective and it makes you stronger for when these things do arise.

Have you been delving in to my bag of tricks? What do you feel is working for you?

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Hope you all have a wonderful weekend,

Love & joy,

Imogen x

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Warning signs for stress


Sometimes when you get a little off track and are struggling to create life balance you don’t see it coming. You burnout, stress out and you can’t think why. Everybody has their own warning signs when this happens, yours might be different to mine. I know mine because when I was diagnosed with anxiety I realised that all the things that I had begun to feel every day were not normal. When you are in the midst of it though you may not know what is normal, you may not know what your warning signs are. Mine are

  • Shoulder pain. When I tense up my shoulder muscles get the worst of it. I hunch up and I can tell maybe even after only a few hours that I am out of balance. Something has got my stressed and I need to implement a little self care to balance myself out again.
  • Fatigue. Being stressed is exhausting, the tension, the anxiety, the physical symptoms. For me especially my body screams at me to rest. If I sit down for a few minutes I struggle to get back up. I feel tired and then I figure out why.
  • Not being able to sleep. Anyone who has suffered with anxiety or stress will no that on the other side of the tiredness there is a horrific inability to sleep. You get so wound up that you can’t relax or rest. Something has got your mind whirring and you can’t switch it off.
  • Irritability. If I am getting unreasonably snappy at my family then I know I need to calm down. It happens when I am preoccupied with something that is causing me stress.
  • Feeling emotional. As well as the snappy irritability theres the urge to burst into tears with very little cause!
  • A feeling of uneasiness that you can’t put your finger on. It feels as though you have forgotten something, your mind is racing but not for any particular reason.
  • Headaches. Because of the combination of tiredness and tension headaches are bound to happen.

Some of these warning signs come straight away some of them come as the stress builds up over time. The big one for me is the shoulder pain. I know that if I am really sore up there then I haven’t been looking after myself properly and I need to stop and figure out why and how I can correct it as soon as possible, by scheduling some time for myself to relax and recover and to use my bag of tricks so I can get my life balance back to what it should be. It doesn’t happen as often anymore because I am used to balancing my life every day. But I won’t ever say that it will never happen, of course it will. We all lose track and we all get overwhelmed and we all forget to look after ourselves sometimes but now I know that I can see it coming. As it edges towards me I can tell myself that something has gone wrong and I need to reassess what I am doing in my every day life.

Do you know your warning signs? Perhaps you share some of mine. If not, do you know how to work yours out? Drop me an email at imogenjhope@gmail.com if you need help figuring it out.

Peace & joy,

Imogen x

How to overcome energy drain

When something really drains me emotionally; (for example a confrontation, bad news, a shock) it really affects me deeply. I am particularly sensitive to these things. I wish i was more fiesty and fiery, I used to be, but alas I am not. I have turned into a sensitive flower as I have aged and perhaps just need to toughen up!

When I am completely drained after one of these situations I have to delve into my bag of tricks to make me feel better and these are they

~ Have a cup of tea, whatever your favourite kind peppermint, green, Darjeeling any will work, a cup of tea is like a bath on the inside. For me these situations call for Yorkshire tea

~ Have an actual bath, Epsom salts are great for releasing toxins and lavender oil is the classic for relaxation. If I’m desperate for a a relaxing bath baby comes in with me, still getting the benefits with her there.

~ Pin some uplifting quotes

~ Journal, this is a big one for me, if I forget to journal once a week I feel very muddled and can get quite low. It’s always therapeutic to write things down

~ Watch a favourite film, I can never watch Grease too many times quite frankly or my favourite episodes of The IT crowd actually

~ Meditation. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the time and space I know but 10 minutes will benefit your mood massively. The app Headspace is really great if you are trying to learn this skill

~ Exercise is proven to release mood enhancing hormones. For a quick fix I type dru yoga into YouTube or hula hoop for 10 minutes.

~ Listen to music. At my lowest point I realised that I hadn’t listened to music other than in the car for months!

~ Paint nails, put on lipstick or both! Oo and putting lots of jewellery so i jangle when I walk

~ Rest, get into bed early, write down what are you grateful for and sleep it off

What do you do when you’re recovering from emotional stress?

Imogen x

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