How To Deal With The Anxiety of a New Year

The thought of a new year when you have anxiety can be an overwhelming and terrifying thought. The bone crushing fear of another year full of promise, and the overwhelming expectations can end up in another year full of so much anxiety and failure that it can overwhelm you. The fear of failure is unrational, the fear of not being good enough is unrational and for the most part we know that – but that overwhelming fear is a reality for many of us who suffer with anxiety.

I for one was adamant that 2018 was ‘going to be my year’ – just like all the other years before that. Instead it ending up being another in a long line of bad health and stressful situations. There were amazing things that happened this year – including finally moving into a wheelchair accessible bungalow, starting up my blog and finally starting to write my first draft of my book. I don’t have all the answers neither am I living proof that the following things are guaranteed to work but hopefully the following advice can somehow make 2019 less of a burden for you…


Make goals.

And I don’t mean massive stuff like lose weight or learning to drive or starting a new job. I mean small, actionable goals, things you can easily cross off so you don’t feel like you’re useless and can’t do anything. For example – say you want to learn to drive, you could break that bigger goal down into actionable steps like ‘decide on learning manual or automatic’, ‘research driving instructors’, ‘contact driving instructors’ and so on and so forth until you achieve the big goal.


Surround yourself with positive people.

Unfortunately there are people in life who can become toxic and affect your mental health. Cut ties with the people who make you feel negative and bring you down instead of building you up. As hard as it may be you have to do what is best for you and if that means cutting ties with people who make you feel bad about yourself then it’s what you have to do.


Don’t expect too much from yourself.

There’s no use in pushing and pushing until you explode because that’s not going to get you anywhere. Start small and work your way up. Don’t put pressure on yourself to do things you aren’t ready for and focus on the things you are better able to do at a given moment.


Try to be proud of the little things.

Sometimes it’s easy to become fixated on all the things you can’t do. You forget that it’s the little things that get you through – getting out of bed, taking a shower or cooking a meal. To a lot of people these things may be the easiest thing in the world but for those of us with anxiety they are massive. Be proud of these small accomplishments as well as the bigger ones.


 

Do you have any advice to someone who is feeling anxious about a new year?

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10 Tips For Keeping Your Pets Happy This Christmas

Christmas can be an extremely stressful time for your pets. The excitement, loud noises, bustling rooms and lots of people can be overwhelming. More than likely your beloved pet is one of the family and you want them to be part of your Christmas. Luckily there are some simple, effective steps you can take to make the process easier for them..


Keep toxic foods out of reach.

Most people will know that chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs – it can make them extremely unwell and possibly be fatal. However, there are other festive foods that are just as dangerous for your pet – Christmas pudding, mince pies, alcohol and nuts are just some of them. Please always check foods are pet safe before giving it to them, nobody wants Christmas Day to end in disaster, especially when it’s easily avoided.


Make sure they have a safe place.

Especially if you have lots of people coming over. Preferably this place should be in a different room or away from people. Leave their favourite toys or blankets there so they are more likely to associate the place with positive emotions. Never force your pet to be around the bustle if it’s stressing them out. If they choose to spend the entire time in their safe space – then leave them to it. Cats especially love places they can hide in. One of my cats isn’t very good with people and she’ll fly behind the furniture or under my wheelchair if she feels afraid. It helps her to feel safe and less threatened so consider creating some hiding spots if you don’t have any naturally.


Try and keep as much as their routine as possible.

For example – try and keep their feeding times, toilet breaks and bedtime the same. This isn’t always practical but if their are familiar aspects to everyday hopefully that will help them cope better with the changes throughout the day.


Make sure to still give them attention.

As Christmas is a busy time with the hustle and bustle of visiting loved ones and opening of presents. It can be easy to become so preoccupied that you don’t leave time to give your pet the attention they still need, and even if you’re only able to sit down with them for 10 minutes at the end of the day. Unfortunately, our pets don’t understand that Christmas is a busy time and the last thing you’d want is for your pet to feel like you’re ignoring them and they feel sad.


Don’t leave them alone for long periods.

Especially not overnight. At Christmas you can be busy going here and there. If you have to leave for hours on end make sure there is someone available to pop in and check on them – remember they depend on us for their every need.


Be careful with candles.

The last thing anyone wants is an injured pet. Tails are lethal and the tiniest wag or wiggle can catch on fire in seconds. Consider buying some battery operated candles instead – it could be the safer option for everyone.


Make sure you’re aware of the emergency vet number.

And also how they operate over the Christmas period. God forbid anything should happen and your pet needs emergency medical help. The last thing you want to be doing is faffing around looking for the telephone number. Keep the number written down on a sheet of paper or pop into your local vets and pick up a business card. It’s better to be prepared and ready for any situation.


Don’t change their diet drastically.

It’s fine to give them a little treat here and there, and even to make them their own pet safe Christmas dinner (remember what I discussed at the beginning of this post!), but too much change can give your pet an upset stomach, so be sure to be careful about how much you give them.


Be wary of Christmas decorations.

Your house can still look like Santa’s grotto and be pet friendly. Cats are notorious for climbing up Christmas trees (luckily mine aren’t bothered too much), so leaving them in the room alone with it probably isn’t the best idea. A falling Christmas tree can cause some pretty bad injuries. Tinsel is also highly dangerous if pets eat it and it lodges in their throat or causes a blockage in their digestive system.


Lastly, why not get them their own present? It is Christmas after all!

I probably don’t need to include this one! I know I’ve got a stocking for each of them already. Don’t let them feel left out, bring them right into the festivities. Check out my pet gift guide if you need some ideas!


Have you got some tips on how to keep pets safe this Christmas?

5 Tips On Supporting Someone Who Is Struggling This Christmas

Christmas is a lovely time of year however it can also be the time of year that people suffering from a chronic illness (whether that’s physical or mental) particularly struggle. If you know someone – whether they are family or friends here are some simple tips to better able you to support them this year…


If you know someone is going to be alone, consider inviting them around to spend Christmas with your family.

It’s probably not going to take you much longer to serve another person their Christmas dinner and involve them in the festivities. But to someone who’d otherwise spend it alone it would mean the absolute world. Back in 2012 I was faced with spending Christmas Day on my own for another year in a row. My best friend and her amazing grandma let me stay with them so I didn’t have to spend it on my own – it meant so much to me and I’ll never forget the gesture.


Don’t put pressure on them.

Invite them but don’t be offended or pushy if they say no. Sometimes people need to stay away from big events for their own well-being. However, the gesture is still a good thing for them to know someone is thinking of them and wants to include them. The same goes for not eating or staying quiet – never put pressure on your loved one to do anything they aren’t comfortable with.


Check in on them.

It doesn’t take one minute to check up on someone. A simple text, message, phone call, video call can go a long way. Ask them how they are doing, ask them what they’ve been up to or just let them know you’re thinking of them. Sometimes all someone needs to know is that someone cares or is thinking of them – especially at Christmas.


Don’t get angry if there’s something they can’t do.

There are certain things that your loved one won’t be able to do and you need to accept and respect that. Everyone is at different levels when it comes to their ability or illness – for example, some may be able to cook a 4 course meal but others won’t even be able to, but they could put the kettle on.



If you see them struggling – ask if they need help.

Not in a patronising way – but in a way that makes them feel like it’s OK if they need help. Sometimes it can be hard for someone suffering from an illness to let people know they need help, so offering can be a useful thing for you to do.


Do you have any tips of how someone can support their loved ones this Christmas?

Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Your Pets

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Today I’m here with another gift guide – this time for our beloved pets. Our pets are just another family member and I don’t know about anyone else but I love to spoil them rotten. Here are some ideas – the majority of cat and dog products I’ve included I have for my own pets so they are tried and tested. You’ll be sure to find something your pet will love.


Cats/kittens.

Toys.

Cats (especially kittens) can never have too many toys. If your cats are anything like mine then for every 10 toys you buy them they’ll only play with 1. However that doesn’t exactly stop me! and the majority of things I buy for my cats are toys. There are many things to choose from – dangle toys, mice and interactive toys.

Top Picks.


Treats.

My cats are obsessed with food. Magik – my little white and tabby cat will literally eat anything you put in front of her. Midnight – my black cat is super fussy especially with her wet food, but any treats and she’s right there!

Top Picks.


Scratching posts/trees.

If you have cats – you know they can never have enough scratching posts. I know some cats don’t bother with scratching posts or trees but my cats love them (although they still manage to scratch up the sofa!).

Top Picks.


Useful everyday products.

There are so many things that you could get to make life easier for you and more comfortable for your beloved cat. In this category we have beds including windowsill beds, radiator beds as well as standalone bed. Bowls, food mats and collars. Below are some ideas, most of the things I have purchased for my own pet and have been fabulous.

Top Picks.


Dogs/puppies.

Toys.

My dog goes through toys as quick as anything so she’s sure to find new toys waiting for her under Christmas tree. There are so many to choose from – cuddlies (stuffingless for our Mulbs), balls, squeakers, outdoor toys, and many more.

Top Picks.


Treats.

There are so many treats to choose from. We prefer not to give our dog rawhide but there are many other options to choose from. Recently we brought a Christmas gift set from Asda and it even included a selfie stick that you can put the dental stick into so hopefully it I’ll encourage your dog to pose for a selfie. I thought that was a brilliant idea! We also get her regular everyday dog treats from Topcollar – Mulberry loves the treats, they are made from the only best ingredient and it has the best customer service.

Top Picks.


Fun.

Fancy something a bit more out of the ordinary? Or something to get their brain working? If your dog has tons of energy what about a fun agility course? There’s also puzzles, treat mazes, clicker training and treat balls.

Top Picks.


Useful, everyday items.

Along with the fun stuff you could also get them useful things to make their life better/more comfortable and your daily life easier. In this category we have beds, cooling mats, bowls, placemats, collars and many more items. Below are some ideas to get you started..

Top Picks.


Have you got any ideas about what someone could buy their pet this Christmas?

8 Pet Peeves Every Bookworm Can Relate To

We all have pet peeves – whether that’s someone’s loud chewing or someone starts asking questions in the middle of the film you’re watching. The majority of my pet peeves tend to revolve around books and that’s what I’m here to share today. Here are 8 of my bookish pet peeves that every book lover can probably relate to..


When someone folds the pages.

Why, why, why?! The pages in a book are sacred and should never be folded over. Bookmarks exist for this very reason and regardless of whether it’s my book or someone else’s, it drives me insane when I notice a folded page.


When retailers put stickers on books.

This could quite possibly be my ultimate pet peeve. There’s nothing worse than getting a nice, new, shiny book and then there’s a sticker slapped on the front of it. My favourite bookstore does this and it makes me want to cry. It’s even worse when the whole sticker doesn’t peel off and it leaves a gross mark in the corner.


When I’m judged for wanting to stay home and read.

Honestly, I would much rather sit at home and read than go out and party. I don’t like partying (I used to! but not anymore). Curled up on the sofa with a coffee sounds like the perfect night in to me. Maybe that’s an indication about how old I’m getting.


When books don’t live up to the hype.

I am the queen of not liking hyped books. There’s probably only a handful I’ve actually liked. Maybe I should learn my lesson and not set my expectations so high – but that’s difficult when there’s a hype around the book. You just expect it to be good!


When someone spoils a book for you.

To be honest, most book bloggers and booktubers are relatively considerate when it comes to spoilers. There are still some who don’t think about putting a warning. I don’t like spoilers for books I’m planning on reading – I feel like it ruins the moment if I know what’s coming.


When I lend someone a book and I don’t get it back.

Or I get it back in terrible condition. If I borrow a book from someone I’m always extra careful to take care of it and I’ll always make sure they get it back. I have learnt my lesson and it’s very rare that I’ll lend out my books – I just can’t part with my babies.


When I’m judged for how much I read.

I like to read, okay? It’s better than other things I could be gallivanting about doing, and yet most of the time I’m curled up with a book, minding my own business.


When people are mean to someone because of the kind of books they like to read.

If you like to read Young Adult and you’re a fully grown adult? Go for it. If you like Erotica? Go for it. I hate it when people are disrespectful to others over the books they like to read. Especially when it’s plastered all over social media. I am proud to say i’m a fully grown adult who for the majority of the time only reads Young Adult!


What are some of your bookish pet peeves?

7 Christmas Survival Tips If You Have A Chronic Illness

Christmas is an exciting time of year – but it can be extremely difficult and exhausting for someone with a chronic illness. However, there are ways to lighten the load and today I’m here with some tips that will hopefully help you enjoy Christmas as much as you can.


Create a flare up kit.

If the stress and business of the Christmas season tends to bring on a flare it might be an idea to prepare a flare up kit ahead of time. Depending on your particular problems this could be a pain management kit, a self care/self soothe kit, a distraction kit or whatever fits your personal needs. When the need arises you have your kit ready and waiting for you.


Make it clear to loved ones what your comfortable or able to do.

Sometimes it can be difficult for loved ones to understand how your illness affects you unless you directly tell them. Letting them know your limits can help them to be more understanding and less likely to expect too much from you. (Look out for a post coming soon on how loved ones can best support you during Christmas!)


Consider making your own Christmas presents.

This one is more for the run up to Christmas (which can be just as stressful). If you’re crafty or arty you could make your own Christmas presents. Money can be tight and spending a lot of time at home can be boring and lonely. Making your own Christmas presents gives you something to occupy your time whilst also having the added bonus of saving money. You’ll also miss the Christmas shopping rush too!


Say no if something is too much.

Easier said than done I know, but you know your own body and if something is too much remember that it’s ok to say no. Don’t feel obliged to attend parties or get togethers if it’s too much to manage. It’s much better to save your energy for more important events (like Christmas Day for example).


Keep days free to focus on yourself.

If possible try and keep days free in between big events (like Christmas Eve, day, new years eve etc). Keep days to rest, relax and rejuvenate ready for all the events you need to attend. Whether that involves relaxing on the sofa or having a day in bed – make sure you have days to yourself.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed – have a change of scenery.

One of my favourite things to do on Christmas Day is to go out for a stroll – I find it so peaceful with the odd chirp of a bird or people celebrating. Sometimes just having a simple change of scenery (even just into the garden) can help with that overwhelming feeling.


Be gentle with yourself.

Don’t get mad at yourself because you find Christmas difficult. It’s ok if you’re struggling – it isn’t your fault. And don’t let anyone make you feel guilty – they don’t know your life. It’s still possible to have a good Christmas, even with a chronic illness so remember to enjoy yourself.


Do you have any Christmas survival tips?

Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Your Chronically Ill Friend

 

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I’m here today with another gift guide – this time with some ideas to gift to your chronically ill loved one. I’ve included practical gifts as well as fun gifts too so I hope you find something they’ll love!


Pyjamas.

Who doesn’t love pyjamas? And for those of us who find clothing to be painful or it’s difficult to get dressed in ‘normal’ clothing, pyjamas are a god send.

Top Picks.


Blankets.

Blankets are great for all different reasons – keeping warm on the sofa, extra warmth in bed or even for using in a wheelchair. It’s important to keep warm and there are so many stylish designs so this present can be pretty and practical.

Top Picks.


Wheat bags.

Heat is very helpful for lots of people suffering from chronic pain – I know it helps me. What better gift than a cute, practical wheat bag. They’re pretty, useful and the ones stuffed with lavender smell divine.

Top Picks.


Books, audiobooks or an e-reader.

Depending on your budget – a book, audiobook or e-reader can go a long way. It can get quite boring when you aren’t able to work, or you can’t leave the house or even your bed. Having something to do can be really helpful. E-readers are great because they are lightweight and there is no glare like from a phone or tablet. Obviously as e-readers are expensive you could always pick one up relatively cheap second-hand, or if that’s above your budget you have the option of a book or an audiobook.

Top Picks.


An Inspiring Quote Canvas/artwork.

Sometimes life gets super difficult when you’re living with a chronic illness and it’s hard to see the light. Giving something with an inspiring quote they can hang or keep nearby can really help.

Top Picks.


Monthly Box Subscription.

There are some amazing subscription boxes out there – and you don’t even need to get one that is specifically for chronically ill people. Depending on what you’re friend likes – there are books, beauty and lifestyle subscription boxes as well as others.

Top Picks.


Adult Colouring Books.

Again, spending so much time at home can get boring. Adult colouring books are another gift you could give to your chronically ill friend. There are so many different kinds out there you’re sure to find something your loved one will love.

Top Picks.


Things to make life easier.

There are many things in this category you could gift to your loved one. There are things like metal straws, water bottles, cups with a straw, bed trays etc. Below are some products to give you some ideas.

Top Picks.


Do you have any ideas on what someone could gift their chronically ill friend?

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