Why It Is Important To Speak About Mental Health | World Mental Health Day October 10 2018

It’s okay, to not be okay

I have been really saddened recently by the amount of people known to me, friends and family around me, or in the public eye who have been struggling a little bit with life, most silently thinking they have no one to speak or open up to. This is not something new for me, unfortunately growing up I saw this a lot around me and found that people were always very shy or ashamed about it. Fortunately, this seems to be something that with time is getting better and we now have days such as “World Mental Health Day” to diminish some of the stigma that surround it. But I do think that there is more we can do.

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Without walking someones path, you will never really know what it’s like to feel the way that person does or be in their particular circumstances and why they find themselves so close to the edge. Its sad that in our current society, it’s a very common way to feel.

A lot of people I know, including myself, at many stages, struggle with Mental Health. It is something that doesn’t pick and choose, or discriminate. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or if you are perceived to have the perfect life. This has been highlighted more recently with the loss of public figures or celebrities such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
There are probably more people than you realise who are suffering or struggling with their mental health in private.

Everyone handles and deals with their health and emotions in their own way. Everyone has a different mindset. But this, is the reason more people need open up and bring to light these issues and talk about our worries and concerns. Life isn’t always simple. For a lot of people, life can be predominantly more complicated than simple and have more downs than ups. So having the ability to step forward and help another person open up or realise that support is around them can really help those who need it the most.

You may find it hard or not be able to empathise with someone when it comes to mental health but whatever it is that that person is dealing with, being there to be a support, even if its just them having someone to talk to can really help.

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Mental Health should be on the same level as physical health. When you see someone who is in a cast, or wheelchair or has fallen down some steps. Many people will run to the aid of that person, asking how they can help. “Can I push you somewhere”, “Lean on me and ill take you to that chair”, “Are you okay, is anything hurting?”.So why when you see someone who is looking sad, crying or you know might be going through something that we don’t do the same?

How hard is it to go up to someone, whether you know them or not and ask, “are you okay?”, “can I help in any way?” or with that person who you know who has gone through something saying “Please know that I am here for you, let me know if you need anything”

People with mental health conditions deserve just as much support and compassion as people with physical health conditions.

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I am not an expert, nor do I have all the answers. But if this post can help even one person reach out when they need help, or have someone reach out to a friend or stranger in need then perhaps more people can spread the message that it IS okay, not to be okay.  There is no weakness in asking for a bit of help or finding support. Be proud of yourself for doing so. Those around you will only have a great amount of respect for you.

Struggling with parts of life is okay. Just remember, things do get better, especially when you open up and talk about it. You are loved and cherished more than you know.

Continue reading Why It Is Important To Speak About Mental Health | World Mental Health Day October 10 2018

Tips To Get You Back Into Your Exercise Routine!

Regain motivation and get back into it!

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How was your Easter? Did you eat 12 Hot Cross Buns like I did? or maybe a few too many chocolate bunnies… Easter this year seems to have extended from one long weekend, to two long weekends! Plus, all of that discounted chocolate and leftover goodies really does a number on the old, motivation and waistline.. Woops.

I am someone who really loves health, nutrition and fitness and am very passionate about other people learning to love it to. I say learning, because it took me a LONG time to find the right balance and relationship with fitness, food & exercise. So I know how hard it is to get back on the bandwagon after a break. So here are my top tips for getting your groove back!

Buy Some New Active Wear!

This doesn’t have to be expensive. Go to cotton on body, Kmart, Target or look out for sales online! I find that having a few new bits or a new top and leggings to put on really makes me want to go and test them out and show it all off! Nothing wrong with making yourself feel good at the gym by buying a new outfit.

Get Things Ready The Night Before

Whether you are going to the gym in the morning or in the afternoon, have it all ready to go the night before. There’s nothing worse than getting up in the AM and realising all your gear is in the wash or the back of the cupboard. Have it ready to go so that first thing in the morning you can either put it on or chuck it in your bag for later!

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Find Something That You Love & Enjoy

Groundbreaking advice. I know. But really, it’s pretty simple! If you find something you love to do, you are more likely to want to go and do it, prioritise it and book it! Whether that is a class, going for a walk with a friend or booking in to play a game of tennis or squash! If you love walking, go for an extra walk at lunchtime. Every little bit counts.

Don’t Set Yourself Up For Failure

Spend a little time writing up a few fitness goals. Whether that’s doing X amount of push-ups or working out X amount of times per week.
My tip is to be really real with yourself. If you know that in the past you have said “I will workout Monday to Friday” and it just hasn’t happened for some reason or another, don’t write that again. Put ” I will try to work out 3x per week” that way, if you do end up working out Monday to Friday it will make you feel great for achieving your goal rather than feeling stressed on Tuesday night when you realise you can’t go the next day.

Go When The Time Suits You

If you aren’t a morning person, don’t go in the morning.

When I first started my fitness journey I was so obsessed with this idea that you HAD to workout in the morning on an empty stomach or otherwise it wasn’t worth it, so why bother. BOY was I so wrong. The best advise I can give you is go when it suits YOU. Don’t listen to any stupid rule saying you have to be at the gym at 6am and train for an hour. NOPE.
I find that I have the most energy and motivation in the afternoon so that’s when I choose to go. You just need to find out what you like and what time of the day will help you keep a consistent routine.

Prepare And Plan

Whether its self-guided plan or booking into classes, know what you are doing at the gym for that week or day. On a Sunday night, look at your schedule, look at the classes available that week or text a friend and find out what time or day they would like to go for a walk or run and schedule things in.
If you are doing your own workout at the gym, go online and find a plan or book a session with a personal trainer and write your plan out before you go. There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym and realising you don’t know what to do! Hello motivation killer.

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Try Something New

The beauty of the internet now days is that all you need to type into google is “Free gym classes in (INSERT CITY)” and you will generally get a whole list of trials come up.
Make use of these and go and trial a few new things! Yoga, Pilates, KX Pilates, Step Classes or Boxing!
The list is endless and you might find something you really love. Its also good to note that a lot of gyms or centres do 1 or 2 week trials so go and see what you can find!

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A bonus tip which isn’t in this list but I know is super important is that, find a gym that you LOVE. If you go into your gym and people make you feel uncomfortable or the trainers are constantly looking around the gym when they should be paying attention to you, they don’t have classes or equipment that you want…then you should probably find a new one.
A fitness routine has more chance of sticking if you are going to a gym that you love going to!

Just remember. Something is better than nothing. If you start working out again and you can only go 2 times per week, that’s okay. Listen to your mind and body and find what works for you.

I really hope these tips have helped at least one person. These tips aren’t supposed to be revolutionary or anything new, they are just things that we all know, but need reminding of sometimes.

What are your best tips? Leave a comment, share with someone who needs a little extra motivation! or find me on Instagram and here, Facebook and Twitter.
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The Costa Del Sol Travel Guide| Spain

Sun, Sand, Spanish beaches and Great Food

 

MALAGA

Malaga for me was just a ‘stop off’ destination. It was the place that I flew into because it was the cheapest and easiest from Barcelona! However, it is now that place that I would definitely go back to as I felt I did not get to explore enough. It is a place that has all the Beachy Vibes, Highrise Hotels, Resorts… but also a lot of history.

From the airport, the easiest way to get into the Town Centre is via a bus. Its cheap and makes a lot of stops so you really just need to look at a map beforehand and get off where you need to. The trip took about 30mins and once you are in the Town Centre, the easiest way to get around is just to walk!

 Quick Facts

If you are Artsy: Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga in 1881
Currency = Euro
You can take a ferry over to Morocco – it takes about an hour.
Language = Varieties of Spanish & English in most places
How to Pay = Card & Cash – Definitely have a small amount of cash on you
Best time to Visit = Between April & June or between September & November

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Accommodation
I booked a bed in a 10 person mixed dorm at a cheap & cheerful hostel called Picnic Dreams Boutique Hostel. Now, this probably isn’t the cheapest hostel you can find, however I would highly recommend. The location was perfect, people were really friendly and the place was clean! Plus there were little curtains over each bunk for privacy.

Things to do
I only really had a day and a half in Malaga and wanted to get an overview of the place. So I booked into a Walking Tour called Malaga Free Tour Monuments. It was a good way to get a brief history of Malaga and also get shown around to the various stand out points,  such as Picasso’s house, the Alcazaba and the Museums.

Top places I would advise visiting in Malaga are:

As For Food

Los Gatos – Traditional Spanish food – open really late – Great vibe – fairly cheap
100 Montaditos – Fun Spanish fast food – Tapas – all really cheap, also really cheap alcohol, fast service.

Marbella & Puerto Banus

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Getting from Malaga to Marbella & Puerto Banus is fairly easy as its a short bus ride (BlaBla Car could also be an option – I definitely had a good, but interesting experience using this service!).
From there it is quite easy to hail a cab to where you want to go. Mine was to my accommodation in Puerto Banus – aka my splurge of the trip Hotel Bluebay Banus.

Puerto Banus is an interesting place to say the least and not somewhere I thought I would ever find myself. Its basically a ‘Mini Town/ Marina’ just west of Marbella. You can walk down to the dock and see yourself staring into very high end stores and watching the millionaires sail out to sea on their Luxury Yachts.

It does however have beautiful beaches, beautiful people, a relaxed but party filled atmosphere and many a beach club. Pretty cool… but I definitely felt very out of place!

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Top Places I Would Recommend Visiting/ To do’s in Marbella & Puerto Banus

  • Walking around Old Town Marbella
  • Cocktails at The Sinatra Bar
  • Go to the beach – there are many
  • Go shopping
  • Wander through Alameda Park
  • Take the Fly Blue Ferry from Puerto Banus to Marbella & back – Great views and probably one of the more fun things I did in this neck of the woods
  • Visit the Puerto Banus Beach Clubs
  • Take the walk (if you are crazy like myself) from Puerto Banus to Marbella. It is quite the walk but the views are absolutely worth it

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There are also a fair few day trips which you can do from this part of Spain.

My Top Recommendations:

  • Frigiliana – One of Spain’s most picturesque whitewashed villages.
  • Nerja
  • Granada – Post Coming Soon!
  • Ronda – Has Spain’s oldest bullfighting ring as well as being beautiful sitting on the side of a gorge
  • Gibraltar – Tax Free Shopping and a nature reserve? Yes, thanks.

Costa Del Sol is definitly somewhere I want to spend more time when I get the chance. I feel like I really only touched the surface of this side of Spain! Can not wait to go back.

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I would love to hear all your recommendations! Things I need to add to this guide??
Leave a comment, share with your friends or find me on Instagram and here, Facebook and Twitter.

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Living A Healthy Lifestyle and Finding YOUR Healthy

Focus on yourself, not everyone else

 Being healthy nowadays is such a relative term. What one person deems to be healthy can be completely different to someone else, and to someone who is just starting out trying to become healthier, it can be really overwhelming!

 As someone who has spent the last 5 or so years trying my hand at every diet and ‘lifestyle’ on the market and managing to come out the other side with good and bad experiences, I thought I could give a few handy tips on becoming a healthier, fitter and happier.

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Ditch the diets
I think this one is the most important. The best way to become healthier is to really just go back to basics. Try and get into a solid routine of having a good breakfast, lunch and dinner with minimal processed foods as well as a couple of healthy snacks in between if you feel like you really need it.

Find what exercise works for you
Just because someone tells you that running is the best exercise, doesn’t mean it is. For them it may be, but for you it probably isn’t. Trial and error is your best friend! Try everything you can! Bootcamp, swimming, weight training, pilates, yoga.. there are so many options. It’s important to try out as many things as you can until you find what you enjoy. Don’t just do something because it burns the most calories. Do it because you love it and eventually you will start to feel better and mental & physical results will follow.

Listen to your body
This one is hard and has taken me SO long to get right. It goes for food and exercise. Food wise, if you are following some kind of plan and that plan tells you that you have to eat at 3pm, but you really don’t feel like it, then don’t. Your body can tell you when it is hungry and when it is not. Exercise wise, it is important to recognise the difference between really not wanting to go for your workout and your body telling you that you have done enough. That takes time. But same goes; if you wake up and really do feel far too tired to go for that run, then maybe just go for a walk or stay home and stretch and see how you feel afterwards.

Quality workouts over quantity
Instead of trying to work out 6 times per week and potentially running yourself into the ground, start with 3 workouts a week where you try your absolute hardest and see how you feel. The following week you might be able to add in an extra one.

 Start small
Small changes can make the biggest difference.
I think it is so important not to go all or nothing. 90% of the time you end up burning out after a couple of weeks rather than making it a long term thing. You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle overnight, (if you have, then seriously, good for you) , you are allowed to take time. Doing small things like getting your exercise up by going walking at lunchtime or drinking one extra bottle of water in a day, or cutting out the sugar in your coffee really makes a difference over time.

 Find something positive in every day
Life is just one big annoying mind game and sometimes it can feel really overwhelming. At times like this I like to take a breath and just think of things that I am grateful for or something positive that has happened in my day, even if that is something really small such as appreciating that delicious coffee that gets you through that Monday afternoon.

Keep accountable
If you are really struggling with feeling unmotivated to go to the gym or are having self control issues in the food department, keep accountable to someone or someones’. Whether that’s booking into a class at the gym with a friend or using an app such as Snapchat or Instagram to send pictures of your meals to your bestie. These things can help you to make better choices overall.

Don’t beat yourself up, just try again tomorrow.
Changing your lifestyle generally doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself time. In the great scheme of things, that extra meal you had is not going to matter. That pizza you ate, or that workout you missed, isn’t going to destroy your progress. You really just need to give yourself time. You are human, we all have bad days, so eat that pizza, it is completely normal.

When it comes to health & fitness, everyone is different. What works for someone, won’t work for someone else. Or it might, for a while. But to be a healthy and happy person overall, you need to find what works for you, what YOUR healthy is.

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Please note: I am not a qualified Dietitian, Nutritionist, PT or Health Coach. Please contact a professional if you would like in depth advice on anything mentioned.