Tag: mental-health

Kez Gets Physical: Term 1, 2017!

Oh my goodness. As I type this, the Little Mister is having his first day of pre-primary. His first year of full time school is beginning (although he’s only attending two days this week). I have just spent a few minutes walking around my house in awe of the silence. It’s kind of nice being able to move freely without having my every move questioned and being nagged while I’m in the toilet – the last couple of weeks of the holidays damn near broke me haha.

So. Term 1 has begun for the Unprepared household and that means it’s time for me to kick my arse into gear with my Kez Gets Physical routine. Basically, I commit myself to making good nutritional and exercise choices for a whole school term at a time – no excuses, no ‘cheat’ breaks (unless I literally cannot make a better choice in the environment I’m in – or it’s the first day of my shark week – because that’s a given).

I eat low carb, no junk (i.e. confectionary, desserts, overly processed foods, snacks I don’t need etc).

I did this for the first time in the last school term of 2016 and it went swimmingly! I am so proud. I lost some weight that I hadn’t shifted in the longest time (we’re talking years) and I challenged my own self defeated belief that I would never be able to do it. I even enjoyed it! Which was a pleasant shock to me!

Throughout the summer holidays, I relaxed this regime so I could take part in the festive fun without worrying too much. I became addicted to carbs and sugar again and I struggled to exercise regularly due to fatigue or logistics. BUT…because of the good work I’d done beforehand, I managed to maintain a 4kg weight loss that I’d achieved (I initially lost more than 5kg but I think I got off very lightly compared to usual). YES!

I felt better in my clothes throughout the summer and I even wore my bathers (without boardshorts!!!) publicly without any cover ups quite a few times! I am still no Sports Illustrated model, but I love the confidence I gained – more important than the number on the scales. I felt better – lighter (both metaphorically and literally) and more happy inside myself.

I don’t ever want to lose that feeling!

Also, while I don’t have any actual figures to back me up, I swear I saved SO much money last term just by eating right and saying no to the ‘naughty’ extras. Who knew this could be good for the budget?

So here I am again.

Term 1 will be interesting to say the least. I may have to go through some challenging medical procedures (on a secondary infertility journey right now if you’re not familiar with my story yet) and there is also a short interstate family holiday planned, which may throw some hurdles my way, but I will definitely do my best to live healthily and be active when I can.

Now that the Little Mister will be at school full time, I will have more time to balance exercise, work and the stuff I need to get done at home. Yay!

I have 4.8kg to lose, before I reach my goal weight (something that is achievable and within a healthy BMI range etc). I’d love to knock off some more kilos before the end of the term. This would be incredibly exciting as I’d be pushing through some plateaus and making some great progress. I will be so excited when my body fat % is in the 20s again (I’m so close)!

I admit I almost caved and ate some crap today. My body wants everything that is made out of potatoes right now. Not gonna lie. But I’m going to push on through and start how I plan to continue! It gets easier every day and I always feel better (mentally and physically) for it.

I love that I’ve proved to myself that I don’t need fad diets or crazy expensive nutrition and exercise plans to lose weight and feel better. I can’t wait to get back into it.

Are you working hard on making healthy choices right now too? What good habits do you swear by?

You can follow my progress with the hashtag #kezgetsphysical on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook 💪😊

Mood boosting music.

I know I probably sound like a broken record, but END OF SCHOOL HOLIDAYS – AM I RIGHT? I am trying to find anything I can to keep myself limping to the finish line! I love love love my kid and for the most part we’ve had a lot of fun together since school broke up, but I am tired, I can’t remember when I last had any decent time alone in the quiet and I’ve started to fantasise about doing impossible things like getting my nails done, having a hair appointment (something I rarely do even during the school term), going to the toilet without anyone panicking that I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, time to work out alone, a sleep in, watching TV shows/movies that are rated higher than ‘G’ (yes I have night time to binge but you see I fall asleep so early 😳) … you know, ridiculously lofty ideas like that.

I know I’m probably the biggest first world problems whinger right now. I know my life is objectively quite good. So many people have it worse/harder. But I’m betting I’m not alone!! The struggle is real!

Anyhow, one thing that doesn’t cost anything (and may or may not even temporarily drown out the sounds of whining child/ren) is music. I don’t have to be alone to listen to most of it (hastily skips over the cuss heavy songs before my child realises). It motivates me. It lifts my mood. Gives me an energy boost. Hey, sometimes I even get a mini (not really anything close to a real) work out from dancing around the kitchen like a dickhead. My kid doesn’t mind it. YES.

I have thought about which songs never fail to make me feel better when I’m feeling flat or frustrated.

Here are the ones I can remember off the top of my head:

Bliss and Eso – Addicted (language warning)

Macklemore – Can’t Hold Us

The Little Mister calls this song the “Can Holders” song. He thought it was about can holders! What are can holders anyway? Things that hold cans, I guess?

Lion Babe – Impossible

Wombats – Let’s Dance to Joy Division

The line “Let’s dance to Joy Division, and celebrate the irony, everything is going wrong, but we’re so happy…” always makes me grin. Because if everything’s going to shit, you can still dance and take the piss out of yourself and hopefully one day laugh about it.

Sia – Cheap Thrills

Not only is Sia a freakin’ genius, playing this song when I’m feeling a bit strapped for cash makes me feel better LOL.

Drapht – Dancin’ John Doe

Illy – Catch 22


A while ago, I asked my friggin’ amazing Facebook followers for their fail-proof mood boosters and here were their suggestions:

  • The Darkness – I believe in a thing called love
  • Justin Timberlake – Can’t stop the feeling
  • Pharrell Williams – Happy
  • Seth Sentry – Vacation
  • Katrina and the Waves – Walking on sunshine

So there you have it. A ready to go playlist! Hope some of these songs boost your mood too!

Anything you’d like to add? 

5 ways to recharge (and stay sane) before Christmas.

Oh my goodness. The end of the school year has had me beat! The kids aren’t the only people who are exhausted! I have been so tired. I mean, I’m always a bit tired (because duh I’m a parent and also *ahem* a wife to a lovely but annoying man hahaha) but lately I’ve found it harder to keep bouncing back and to just push through!

I’ve decided to put together a little list of things that, based on past experience, might help me to survive this busy time of year. Things that will hopefully revitalise me a little so I’m not a worn out bitch by Christmas day! I want to enjoy this time of year because it’s my favourite time of year! I’m like Will Ferrell dressed in a fugly elf outfit, yelling out random things about loving Christmas at strangers. But not until December 1st, because I’m not crazy or anything. Geez.

I’m a bit special.

Anyway, where was I?

Right-o. List of things that help me to recharge when I’m bloody exhausted…

Make your bedroom feel like a glorious place to sleep. 

Better sleep makes you less tired! I know. What a revelation. Who knew? Last night, after a sleepless week and a whole bunch of quite frankly overly realistic and terrifying nightmares, I decided to do something about it. We declared it clean sheets day. I aired the room out and let a lot of light in. I lit a couple of gorgeous candles I’d forgotten about (and blew them out before bed time because of safety and shit).

Last night felt like heaven and I slept a lot better. The air/energy in the room felt so much lighter and not murky and stuffy. No nightmares! Yes!

I won’t go on about it because it’s all been said, but go to bed early when you’ve got nothing on. Rest up so you can enjoy other things later!

Let yourself get dumb in your rare down time. 

I used to get made fun of for always watching mindless trash TV or movies that didn’t exactly evoke deep thoughts or complex mind gymnastics. People like to say things like, “Why do you like that mindless junk? It will rot your brain!”

But to be honest, that’s the exact result I’m going for! I spend a lot of time overthinking things, reading about everything that’s going on in the world, dealing with the every day complexities of life. I consider myself to be pretty clever and a not so bad critical thinker. Sometimes I just need to switch off – something I’ve been crap at doing lately!

Ever since I explained that to my trash TV hating people, they have understood and left me to it. I’m always a heaps better person after spending a while being all like, OMG WHUT HAS KHLOE KARDASHIAN DONE TO GET THAT ARSE? HOW IS KYLIE JENNER HER OWN STEPKID’S AUNTY?

Basically, I don’t meditate (probably should) or do yoga (shut up Mum), but watching the shallower stuff really helps me to unwind!

You know, I need a break from being so damn clever all the time! 😜

Drink more water and eat healthy things. 

I have been rattling on about this stuff in my Kez Gets Physical updates. I am really appreciating being fuelled by things that don’t make me feel sluggish and gross. You don’t have to do it for weight loss, just do it to feel energised and in a better mood! I love to have a green juice when I feel like total crap (I know I sound like a wanker but it really really works). I also think water is the bomb diggity. It wakes me up in the morning (I know you coffee lovers are looking at me like I’m a freak) and brings me back to life when I am feeling exhausted.

I can always feel the difference between me having a decent salad for lunch, versus the times I’ve indulged in less healthy options (they’re so tempting when we feel like crap and want something quick and we just want comfort food). Not falling into a food coma by 2pm really helps me get through the afternoon!

Acknowledge your exhaustion and communicate well.

I am the crabbiest cow when I’m exhausted. I’ll admit it! I get cranky and I find it sooooo exhausting to be bothered telling anyone how I feel. But it’s worth doing. Things always go better when I confide in my husband about how burnt out I’m feeling, what he could do to assist (martyr shit is pretty much banned in my house) and just give him the heads up so he’s not shocked by my lack of excitement about life or my slightly stabby moods. He can do the same with me. It’s better than both of us just throwing our weight around like angry bears. It’s not a perfect system (we’re only human and life gets crazy) but we try.

Also, I have never fallen into this trap myself, but I have a feeling some people get on the internet and let their crabby moods affect the comments they leave on social media. Dudes, realise it’s your tiredness and stress talking and nobody wants to be on the receiving end! The other person might be exhausted AF too! Don’t fight with people just because you’re tired. That in itself is a waste of energy! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Switch off that screen or walk away if you think you won’t be able to resist!

Be in touch with your feelings, y’all!

Get outside.

I love this time of year. So much sunshine (and Vitamin D). Fresh air is so revitalising. Even if you just stand outside for a few minutes or go for a short walk, you will feel a little better. Exercise is great for building stamina and getting those endorphins, but if you just don’t have it in you (understandably – trust me I’ve been feeling it), just get out for no other reason than to be in the outdoors. There doesn’t have to be a point to it or a task to complete. Just go outside and stand there or sit and have a drink or better still, lie in a hammock if you have one. I need to try this a whole lot more.


Nothing I’ve said is particularly revolutionary, but I hope it helps. This time of the year can be stressful and I think that if we can all practice a little bit of (realistic) self care and be kind to each other, we’ll see the year out in a really positive way (regardless of whether it was kind to us or not)!

What do you do to stay sane during the ‘silly’ season/end of the school year? 

Kez Gets Physical: Week 2 Update.

It’s been a big week for me, emotionally. Some of the (in)fertility stuff has done my head in and I spent a lot of time feeling utterly drained. Still, I am glad to be coming out of that headspace and after the Little Mister let me sleep in this morning (it was AMAZING), I feel ready to take on a new week of better health (mentally and physically)!

So here’s my update for Week 2 and may I say I really am glad I’ve decided to document this “journey” (sorry – had to use the word) on my blog because just thinking about what I would have to tell you at the end of the week kept me on the straight and narrow!

Where I’m at

This week, I lost 0.9kg. I am quite happy with that! It’s almost a kilo and still above 0.5kg (which is what I’d consider a healthy weekly loss). In total, I’ve lost 3kg! I had a look back through my Fitbit stats and realised I haven’t weighed this low since 2014!

An interesting thing to note is that I’ve basically lost the weight I gained since we started trying to conceive a second child (yep we’ve been trying for over 2 years now). It feels really therapeutic to shed all the weight that came with comfort eating and feeling at odds with my body. I feel like I’m stronger now and I love that my body is reflecting this.

I had a goal of 70,000 steps for this week, but I admit I fell short with 60,185 (at the time of posting this).

Good choices I made this week

I ate out on Friday night with the girls. I knew this could possibly be challenging (so many temptations!), but I was ready to rise to the challenge of picking the healthiest thing possible for me from the menu. I managed to not eat spring rolls, prawn crackers or rice (while eating low carb suits me I am not preaching it to anyone else – you do you)! I had garlic prawns and mixed vegetables – delicious! I felt full and satisfied afterwards. I even weighed less the morning after! Awesome! Although, maybe I was also a little dehydrated after enjoying my first cider in ages haha.

I think generally that my nutrition was on point all week. I had to visit a delicious food truck for work mid week, but I had a very small (very delicious – highly recommend) portion and then went home for a salad I’d prepared earlier! I’m finding it’s getting easier and easier to say no to things that aren’t the best for me. I think I must really be in the right space to create better habits for myself at the moment. I’ve tried similar things in the past and failed to sustain them. I really hope I can keep this up.

I went clothes shopping during the week, because I didn’t want to get caught out with nothing at all to wear when the weather gets good. I enjoyed trying on clothes (although my bank balance did limit my haul haha) and while I haven’t dropped any dress sizes or changed dramatically in appearance yet, I loved that I wasn’t bloated or feeling awful about myself. It was a great non food reward for my big efforts too. I had a revelation that if I keep these habits up, I won’t ever have to feel that worry that an outfit won’t fit one day because I ate the wrong thing the day/hour/minute before I put it on. I look forward to feeling consistently OK when trying on clothes, all day/night long (in a store or at home)! How freeing!

Here’s a rare mirror selfie of me…I felt good that day (and I bought the skirt)!

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Things I could improve

I might be feeling all empowered and generally quite good about myself, but I noticed that on Saturday after I’d had a bad (in)fertility appointment with my doctor the day before, and was feeling confused and tired and sad, I looked in the mirror and, for the first time in two weeks, thought I looked ‘fat’ and ‘gross’ and that I clearly wasn’t getting anywhere. I was surprised by such negative thinking. I realised that it was just my subconscious disappointment in my body – that it hasn’t been doing what I have wanted it to do for so long. I noted this and I realise I’m going to have to work on being kinder to myself during stressful times. I am realising that you can lose all the weight in the world, but if you don’t feel good about yourself on the inside, you will never appreciate it. How many times have we looked at a photo from 10 years ago, thought ‘wow I was looking good’ and then remembered that we thought we were fat and gross the day the picture was taken? I am going to try harder to see myself through kind eyes ALL the time.

My step count was obviously just under 10,000 down from what I’d hoped to achieve. I think I let stress and fatigue get to me on occasion and I do still need to figure out how to keep active on days when I’m working a few hours at a desk. I will just keep on trying. Any tips? I’ve tried walking on the spot during commercial breaks while watching TV at night, but that’s about it!

I think I’m doing well with my cardio, but I would like to start to incorporate some more strength exercises into my routine too.


How are you doing? You can follow my efforts with the hashtag #kezgetsphysical on social media! I’ve also jumped on board with BabyMac’s hilarious hashtag #notafatmoleforchristmas 😂

5 ways I currently don’t have my shit together.

Recently, I’ve been living with the frustration of feeling like I just don’t have my shit together. It’s just been one of those years (so far). It’s only May, but I’ve been sick twice with awful lingering colds, had surgery (currently recovering from that one), become a school mum (a test of any parent’s organisational/social skills) and have had to deal with endometriosis and secondary infertility throughout it all – all of which involves times where you’re physically and mentally stretched to your limits.

When I found Kelly Exeter’s post ‘5 ways I currently don’t have my shit together’ on her blog A Life Less Frantic, I felt really relieved. If someone who has all the inspiring advice on how to get your shit together, also has times when she feels like she doesn’t have her shit together, then maybe I’m not such a big fail after all! Nothing like the comfort of feeling less alone!

Here are the 5 ways I’ve been feeling less than on top of this life thing:

I am sick of being sick/less than at my optimum physical condition, sick of thinking about it and sick of talking about it

When I’m not at my best physically, it can be very tempting to do a lot of navel gazing. I mean, I have had a lot of time to myself having a pity party about the lack of a ‘life’ I feel like I have. I don’t want to bore everyone with the details all the time, but I also feel a responsibility to tell people what’s happening if it’s affected my ability to be present/on top of things. It’s so god damn tiresome. I’m sick of it. I feel like a big, boring wet blanket. It’s not who I am and these times do not define me, but I am well aware of the fact that if it’s all that seems to be going on with me, that perception may be out there.

I try to be positive and balance out my ‘sick/lame Kez’ stories with other stuff, but then I get annoyed that I don’t always have much else to talk about when someone asks me how I am or what I’ve been up to. Maybe I’ve been a little bit depressed (not using that term lightly) and haven’t realised.

Even writing about it still gives me the irrits. Even more than the word ‘irrits’ does!

I mean, I hate how people have way worse things going on with them and yet I feel consumed by this crap. I feel embarrassed about that and a bit pathetic.

I feel stupid at the school gate

I am a really involved, loving parent, but being a school mum does not come naturally to me (does anyone/everyone/no-one feel the same?) and I feel so awkward standing around before and after school with all the mums – even though they’re all so nice and I know they’re in the same position as me (i.e. they’re standing there too)! Sometimes I feel like I’m running late so I rush in a bit flustered. Other times, I don’t know how long to chat or when to just get the eff out of there. I’m in awe of the mums who look like they’ve got it together and are wearing actual proper ‘outfits’ and not just the first thing they found in their floordrobe that seemed OKish. It’s worse when I’ve been dealing with some physical stuff and it really challenges my ability to seem ‘all there’. I still feel like a school kid scared of breaking the rules – what am I doing there as a parent?! Who let this happen??

I am shit at committing to things

This seems to have been a big side effect of the physical stuff I’ve been dealing with (as outlined above). I seem to have lost faith in being able to say yes to something that is happening in a couple of weeks’ time and know that it’s going to actually happen. It’s like I’ve decided that I should be psychic, able to account for everything that might possibly happen between now and then. Or else just give up and say no.

So I end up not participating in my life as much as I could or flaking. I hate being a flake. I hated flaky people until I became one. Actually I still hate it. Now I just get mad at myself. I cannot apologise to people enough.

In turn, this affects my social confidence and the cycle goes round and round.

I am working on this.

I never feel like a ‘put together’ woman

Thanks to my endometriosis, I have had the skin of an awkward 14 year old for a while now. It’s a bit difficult trying to feel like a grown woman, when your skin is wildly fluctuating from dry and almost flaky to oily and filled with zits.

I feel like it’s rare that I turn up somewhere and my outfit is polished and well put together, my make up/skin looking nice/normal/age appropriate. I know that sounds really shallow, but the ritual of putting my outer self together is important to me these days. My confidence is tied up in it more than I’d like to admit. Maybe it’s a control thing. I feel like I can’t control what’s happening inside of me so I have started to become obsessed with cosmetics and nice manicures and properly styled outfits.

I did not even make the connection until I literally just typed this and it spilled out of me – Aha moment!! OMG. Note to self: revisit this!

I can’t ever exercise regularly for more than maybe a week or two at a time

I am always banging on about my Kez Gets Physical mission and while I am fairly accepting of the fact that life (and emotion haha) interrupts our best efforts at exercise and nutrition sometimes, my ability to do focused exercise is very important to me. My mental health relies on it and my physical health has so much potential that I am not able to tap into right now.

No matter how much my mind is willing to keep up a consistent lifestyle of fitness and exercise, my body has refused to cooperate. I am hoping this stuff will get easier now that I have had my surgery, but you can understand my frustration, I’m sure!

The thing is, I could dwell on how awful these things are. But I am not going to do that. I refuse. I am so ready to take life by the balls (what the hell saying is that??) and push on through. I’m a fighter and I am strong. Now that I’ve identified 5 key areas where I feel like I do not have my shit together, I can do something about them. I can’t fix it all overnight but I can take some steps that will make me feel empowered when I see progress. I have to celebrate the small wins.

I feel like recovering from last week’s surgery has been a pivotal moment for me. I’m taking this chance to start afresh. I will surely experience many more stumbling blocks moving forward (that’s life), but I feel hopeful about my future and my health for the first time in a long time and I am relieved to re-learn just how resilient my spirit is.

Here’s to always remembering that nobody ever has ALL their shit together ALL the time and not worrying so much. Here’s to not forgetting to notice what we’re getting right too! Here’s to always being able to find something we CAN do, when there are so many other things we can’t.

How are you? Do you have your shit together? What areas are you struggling with? 

Endometriosis.

I want to have a little chat about endometriosis. Because I have just been diagnosed with it and, quite frankly, I am still learning about it. In some ways it’s a big relief to know I’m not just being a wuss each month – when I’m not leaving the house when it’s at its worst, and dreading my period like you would not believe. In other ways, it’s tough because it’s a relatively new problem to me (it seemed to get really inflamed a few months ago – going from a really small ‘not seen as a problem’ cyst to my current diagnosis) and I just want it to be gone.

So what the hell is it?

Here’s my most concise definition, gleaned from my basic internet research (i.e. Wikipedia – my old uni lecturers would not be happy haha)…

“Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside it.”

Simple right? Apparently my main issue is the endometriosis in my left ovary.

Here are some of the symptoms I’m primarily dealing with…

  • Bad cramping both before and during menstruation.
  • Very heavy period – to the point where I can’t even comfortably leave home for a few days. Trust me, you don’t want to know.
  • Obviously it’s not helping with fertility (I feel like that’s an understatement).
  • Social and psychological effects. I’ve been a hermit recently, when I’ve had symptoms, and it does get you down. Also, talking about periods all the time is considered to be quite gross, so it’s a bit embarrassing. You don’t want to be all, “Sorry everyone – can’t make it to that thing because I’m BLEEDING EVERYWHERE.” Thank goodness I at least have a name for it now. I also feel really guilty because I often don’t know how well I’ll be until the day of an event, which makes me look like a big flake when I have to cancel at the last minute. I hate letting people down and I hate the fear I have of being excluded next time or not having people understand. I also suffer from a lot of mummy guilt because it can affect whether the Little Mister gets to do fun stuff with me or whether he gets stuck at home too. Another psychological issue is the pure dread I feel about getting my period. It weighs on my mind for at least half of my cycle because I know it will disrupt my life so much and it affects the choices I have to make and how I plan my work/ school mum/exercise routine/social life. I don’t like it taking up so much of my time, energy and brain space. It’s stressful – things feeling like they’re up in the air, pending more symptoms, when I know my period will be due on certain dates (although I’m grateful to have a fairly regular cycle).

As you can see, the psychological stuff is what I’m struggling with almost more than the physical stuff right now.

I am booked in to have laparoscopic surgery for it next month. I’m nervous, but I am starting to really come around to the idea, because I just want my life back. I am really hoping it will help me. At first, all I could think about was the fertility side of things, but right now I just want to feel better each month. I guess we’ll figure out the rest later. If I let my mind dwell on the setbacks, it’s not a good place to be. I’m trying to just take all of this one step at a time.

If you have any of these symptoms, don’t feel like you have to soldier on like it’s normal. I’m lucky I’ve been closely monitored, but if I wasn’t already having really regular check ups/scans, I probably would have been less kind to myself, thinking I was just not matching up to those girls in the tampon ads – the ones who can do kickboxing and go clubbing in white pants, even though they have their periods. It can be hard enough to do the shopping or turn up for work sometimes! I can’t give you medical advice, but do get things checked out if you feel like your period is ruling your life.

If you have a friend who has a similar diagnosis, please be kind and patient. She’s not just being a princess complaining about her period. It probably is everything she says it is. Every case might be a little different, so try not to compare her unfavourably with others. Try to find other ways to make her feel included, if she has to cancel on stuff or feels like she can’t commit, knowing her period is due. Don’t stop inviting her out. If she’s like me, she might be feeling insecure about being a lousy friend. Check in. We need to have more conversations about stuff like this and shake off the awkwardness.

Thank you so much for reading. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that I am better by the weekend – I have a super rad trip to Sydney coming up and I plan on enjoying it!

Have you ever had endometriosis? Just wanna vent about being a lady in general? I’m all ears/eyes x

How I cope with winter illness stir-craziness.

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I am not a winter person. I have learnt how to embrace it and try to enjoy it anyway, but it is a time fraught with danger. Germs flying about everywhere. No place is safe. No person is safe!

It’s just par for the course, really. Winter = cold and flu season.

As an adult, I’ve been getting a flu shot annually and while it doesn’t work for everyone, I feel thankful that it has seemed to work quite well for me. Mr Unprepared seems to have mixed results, but nothing too full on has hit him since he started having them, so that’s probably a positive sign.

But the Little Mister? Germ machine.

Since he started day care this year, he’s had a cold almost every second week. Some strains seem really mild and give him nothing more than a snotty nose for a couple of days, others seem to linger forever, along with an annoying cough. I am so lucky I work casually and can be flexible when he needs to stay home, but it’s starting to get a bit inconvenient! If I don’t work, I don’t get paid damn it!

BUT…

I am very passionate about not knowingly spreading germs around. I hate when I hear about work places that pressure their employees to turn up sick. I hate when someone turns up at the playground or social gathering, casually saying, “Oh man! I/my kids am/are so sick right now!” while their child is practically slobbering all over you/your child or you’ve just agreed to split a plate of finger food with them. A little warning might have been nice!

WHAT THE HELL? GO HOME. Is your FOMO really that bad that you’re willing to infect ALL the people??

I mean, sometimes it’s not a super big deal. Germs are everywhere, anyway. It’s just nice to know ahead of time so you can make an educated choice on how you choose to protect yourself or your child (we personally had to warn my family this past weekend about the Little Mister’s cold and blessings were given for him to turn up with a few extra precautions taken)! But generally? If you’re all germy, then don’t turn up! These things are unavoidable. People will get over it.

I even keep my errands to an absolute minimum. You’ll only ever see the Little Mister having a little cough at the shops if I have absolutely no other choice, but I promise he’ll be coughing into his sleeve, keeping his hands to himself and that pocket sized bottle of sanitiser I keep in my handbag will be making an appearance!!

But I get it when people say they’re stir crazy. It starts to feel like you’ll never leave home again. You can feel very isolated and it’s not great for anyone’s mental health. Not to mention, when your child is bored and unstimulated and it feels like the days are moving at snail’s pace. I was talking to a friend about this and she was saying they hadn’t been out in weeks, due to her son having a lingering cold. I myself had only just emerged from a loooooong week in myself. I remember the days when it would go on for months if you had a bad run of it!! I never feel comfortable asking for babysitting so I can get out either, because I don’t want the Little Mister to infect anyone else! So, everyone at home it is.

It messes with your head. Especially if you get a sick partner too (they always seem to go down first right?).

So I’ve decided to share some ways that I try to minimise the stir crazy factor…

Get some fresh air…somewhere we can be alone together.

If it’s a sunny day, I like to grab the Little Mister, rug him up in his coziest clothes and take him down to our local beach. It’s a great spot that is never highly populated (much less in winter) and we can go for a walk or build a sandcastle together. Obviously we have to avoid anyone getting wet and cold, but it’s totally doable. No-one else gets infected, we get a bit of Vitamin D and the Little Mister feels like he had a fun outing just for him. In turn, I feel like the best mum ever again.

Phone calls/internet time.

This can be a double edged sword. Sometimes these things can make you feel worse, with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) rearing its ugly head, but sometimes being able to chat online with your mates and feel connected can be a lifesaver. You can commiserate with your friends who are also stuck at home and keep each other company, virtually!

I also catch up on my favourite blogs and immerse myself in tales of the outside world when I get a bit of down time. Usually, when the Little Mister is snuggled up watching a movie. Gotta love movie time on sick days, right?

This week I joined Periscope (user name @KezUnprepared) just for the hell of it. Yet another new thing to eat up my down time and get me feeling creative. I feel like this should be its own little point too – try something new (read a new book or learn a new skill you can practice at home or research some stuff or plan a new project you could try during or after the current illness jag).

I like to have a good chinwag on the phone with my mum too. It’s nice to connect. Speak to an adult.

Clean EVERYTHING. 

Usually, I am no domestic goddess. But when everyone’s been cooped up for a while and the germs are so irritating, you swear you can see them having a party on every single surface of your home (living or otherwise), it’s cathartic to just start washing and cleaning and tidying ALL THE THINGS.

After the last outbreak of gastro, I went nuts washing bedding, towels and anything my husband had ever touched. Afterwards, the house looked and smelt nice and fresh. Psychologically, this really gave me a boost. I stopped seeing my house as a tiny, claustrophobic germ incubator and more as a sanctuary again.

I will be doing another vigorous cleaning session this week, after dealing with the Little Mister’s latest snotty, coughy situation. It’s gonna be great!

Obviously, it’s a good way to minimise the chances of reinfecting everyone over and over.

Have a secret stash of ‘sick day’ activity materials.

I have a craft box full of cheap stickers, pipe cleaners, cotton wool, kids’ craft glue, coloured card, felt animals hidden away for when the Little Mister gets really really bored and I start to feel like a crappy mum because we haven’t done anything but sit around for days. I also have colouring books and other activity books sitting around that he’s not really aware of. I pull something out when things are getting dire (I’m talking all out desperation) and it can keep him amused for ages! None of those things cost a lot and I just throw a little something in my shopping trolley when supplies are a bit low or I see something on sale.

Snuggle. 

Just give in. The Little Mister snuggles more when he’s not well. He gets so docile and cuddly. I just try to forget everything else and sit and snuggle with him when he needs it. It’s nice. I swear it is easier when I stop fighting it (‘it’ being my busy mum brain).

 

Kids are such troopers, aren’t they?

Look, my go-to strategies might seem a little obvious and might make you feel pretty stabby if you’re feeling at the end of your tether. Trust me, I get it. Sometimes I try all of these things and I will still feel like absolute shit. Hang in there! It won’t be forever. Summer will come again!

You got this! x

How do you survive lengthy winter sickness jags? Any advice you can add for other stir crazy parents?

Thursday thoughts.

Whenever I am feeling a bit “off”, be that anxious, a bit down or really frustrated, I like to find great quotes to fill my mind with and get myself headed in a better direction. I really think that our thoughts are powerful. They determine the energy we put out to other people and they can affect our health. Here are the things that are soothing me today…

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I’ve decided that whenever I am feeling conflicted or I find myself thinking negatively about people or circumstances, I am going to ask myself this question. Is this worrying/resentment etc good for my soul? Maybe not. I must remember to look after myself, rather than expend my energy on being annoyed or worried about other things or people that I ultimately have no control over.

I must do what is good for my soul and keep it healthy.

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I tend to be an over thinker. Which can be a good thing (it’s great for blogging and for having a greater understanding of myself and the people I meet) but sometimes I don’t know how to switch off. I can find myself worrying about the future or over thinking the past. I need to take a deep breath and be here in the ‘now’. Right now is good. Right now I am sitting at my dining table while my Little Mister plays, the sun is out and right here in my bubble of ‘now-ness’ everything is good. What a relief. I must remember to take life moment by moment when it starts getting away from me in my head.

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I must remember that those frustrating little hiccups in life do indeed pass eventually. That dreaded task you have to do will eventually be done with. That stressful deadline for whatever it is will come. And go. That miserable weather that’s getting you down will eventually make way for sunny days. That phase your toddler is going through will pass and that will probably be bittersweet so just go with it. It won’t last forever. Some things pass us by quicker than others, but most of those ‘every day’ type stresses will make way for better things. This quote really helps to put most things in perspective. I feel very fortunate that it applies to my life.

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Oh yes. Our brains can really play tricks on us. Sometimes we can let our inner voice be really mean. I am choosing to not believe every single thing my brain tells me. My brain can be a lying liar with its pants on f*cking fire sometimes. Especially when I’m anxious or angry. I need to always stop and ask myself – what evidence is there that the worst case scenario is actually happening or going to happen? Am I really as awful as my mind is telling me right now? Let’s be honest, probably not. Being able to recognise when this is occurring can be the difference between sanity and…the alternative! It can make the difference between positive and negative thinking.

I need to discriminate between true intuition and false thoughts that are destructive (and not good for my soul – see above).

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Unfortunately, there are people in this world who would rather squash your spirit so that they can feel better about themselves, rather than be inspired to raise themselves up and become better. It can be really helpful to recognise when this is happening. I have made a vow to myself to never lower myself to a level of behaviour that I am not OK with. It’s not worth it just to fit in, make your point or to make peace. The price your soul pays each time this happens is just too great. I am all for compromise, but it must go both ways for the betterment of a situation. NOT because someone wants to put me in my place or make themselves feel taller by standing on my shoulders. Those sorts of people get rather heavy after a while, don’t you think?

I will happily give somebody a hand up or support them as they make great changes, but it won’t come at the cost of my ability to live with who I am.

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Here’s a lovely one. As I look forward to Christmas (sorry to mention it before December haha), this is really important to me. I hope that I can show a generous spirit to those around me. The benefits of being generous of spirit are just too good to ignore! Putting all that positive energy and love out there is a beautiful thing. It’s not all about money or material things either. It’s about sharing your abundance, whatever that might be, with others. It could be a donation to charity or a thoughtful Christmas gift. But it can be as simple as a smile, a listening ear or great thought put into what we do for others. These things cost nothing to give.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

How to stay (relatively) sane on the internet.

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The internet can be an amazing forum/resource for parents (especially those of us who are new to the game), because it can offer us support groups online, and gives us a connection to other people, even when we’re stuck at home feeling a little isolated.

On the flip side, it can be a nightmare! There is information out there that is very dubious. There are people everywhere who think that having an opinion and a keyboard qualifies them to insult, degrade and fight (dirty ugly fighting) with those who have a different opinion and a keyboard too. There is a flood of articles thrown at us daily on how to do this, how to do that. It can make your head spin. It can make you feel worse.

Yeah, yeah. You’ve probably read these ‘how to have a good time on the internet without being a douche bag’ guides and tips a million times over and I have debated with myself over whether to even bother. BUT I think it bears repeating sometimes. At least here is my own personal spin on it all. These are the things I try to do. The things that help me to stay sane.

Stop reading if it makes you feel icky.

It’s that simple. You know that sinking feeling you get when you read something that makes you feel bad about yourself? Or perhaps you read something that makes you feel anxious because it makes you feel judged and makes you question everything you do? Sometimes it’s our own sensitivities or insecurities on a given day, other times it’s because the writer is inciting these feelings. It really doesn’t matter. If you feel icky, you need to take a moment. Y’know? Perhaps reading that thing isn’t the best thing for your mental health right now. Take a break.

If something you read makes you see red, if it makes you so angry that all you can think is four letter words towards the writer/website/Facebook page, that is a lot of negativity to be bathing yourself in. Scroll past. Unfollow. Do what it takes to not willingly return to such material. You don’t need that in your life! It’s wasted energy we could be using to better our own lives or the lives of those we care about. I mean, you could have been using that time to laugh at videos of Jimmy Fallon’s lip synching battles on YouTube, instead of reading about that writer who hates SAHMs/working mums/breastfeeding mums/bottle feeding mums/school mums/funny mums/serious mums/mums who are pretty and fit/mums who are overweight/mums who…you get the idea. Don’t buy into the hate-fest.

If the writer doesn’t write in a way that shows you the respect (you can respect people even if they do not share your opinion), do not give them the time of day. They haven’t earned it.

Do not bite the click-bait. 

Ever read those provocative headlines? The spiel before a link to an article, which is designed to entice readers into clicking and giving a website a lot of traffic? Some of it is just blatantly designed to get us hate-reading by inciting an outrage within us, which makes us say, “WHO WOULD SAY THAT HORRIBLE THING? I MUST KNOW.”

It’s so tempting. SO tempting. I’m trying harder to resist. I want to read things because I want to learn something, not because the website has tried to suck me in for negative reasons.

“WHAT THIS MUM DID NEXT WILL HAVE YOU OUTRAGED.”
“THIS WRITER HATES CHILDREN AND HERE’S WHY…”

You know the kind. If a website is resorting to that kind of manipulation, that says a lot. It also says a lot that it’s probably, sadly, working. I want to try harder to not be a part of the problem. If I know I’ll be angry when I read it, that’s not a good space to be in. I don’t need the virtual drama cluttering my head.

Keep it classy. 

Often people use the old, “it’s my freedom of speech” excuse for being a**holes. Yes. We are all entitled to our opinions. We are allowed to disagree with other people on an unlimited range of topics. But in my mind we have a responsibility in how we express them. You don’t need to attack somebody else’s character, belittle them, wish awful things on them or enter into a week long commenting argument with them to make your point. Try to be eloquent. Make your point in a way that might actually get through to the other person. Calling them fifty names probably won’t help the situation. If you are truly passionate about telling someone else what you need to say, then make sure your communication is effective. It ceases to be effective if you are insulting somebody. All they will see is the insults and not the message. You’re better than that. And that goes for passive aggressive comments disguised as constructive feedback. Come on. We’re not stupid. That doesn’t count as taking the high road! It’s not genuine. Just LET IT GO.

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And? If you’ve shown all the class you can show and the recipient doesn’t want to understand or refuses to reciprocate? LET IT GO. They’re just strangers on the internet who disappear when you turn off your computer (or click unfollow). You don’t need to win them over to know that you’re an awesome person.

Yay! 🙂 You are, by the way.

We can pick our battles too. People power definitely has a place (advocating for the equal rights of all people is important), but sometimes silence can be a dignified response – it can be all something deserves.

Think critically. 

Where is this information coming from? What are the interests of those publishing it? What are their motives? Are they a reliable source? Are they using reliable sources? This helps me to sort the junk from the stuff I might want to be paying attention to. I know not to get my knickers in a knot over stuff that has little credibility. I won’t be taking their advice to heart, that’s for sure.

Also? This includes reading all of the article/blog post carefully. Dissect the writer’s intentions. Where are they coming from? What are they really saying? Read it a couple of times if you have to and carefully consider your own response. If the writer explicitly says, I don’t agree with ‘a’ but I do understand why some people do, then don’t rant at the writer about how they are agreeing with ‘a’ and how wrong they are. It will undermine your credibility if other readers can see that you haven’t taken your time to understand what the writer is saying.

Have empathy. 

You might not agree with the writer or what they do might not feel right for you, but if you put yourself in their shoes for a minute, you might understand their intentions and be able to give constructive feedback. Also, it’s not always somebody’s fault if they do not ‘know better’. They might be struggling or simply not have certain tools to work with. You can’t always know the whole story in a few hundred words. You can either be a helping force or a negative, judgemental one. How would you like to be spoken to if you’d had the courage to put it all out there?

Come at it with a positive approach.

Proofread! 

Lastly, if you are a blogger or a commenter, re-read your comment/blog post before clicking ‘post’ or ‘publish’. I try to re-read everything I write – more so if I know I’m commenting on a contentious issue. I make sure I’m not letting my emotive response overtake my message. I make sure I haven’t insulted anyone. I make sure that I’ve said it in a way that it can be read easily (I am a waffler and I am sorry haha). I remind myself that I am saying something in a public manner. This has saved me many a time. I’ve even written comments and then deleted them when I realised I was not offering something relevant or helpful to a discussion. It reassures me that I won’t write a knee jerk response before I can calm down and think about it rationally. I only want to write things that will let me sleep at night!! There is nothing worse than saying that silly thing and then feeling haunted by it (or worse feeling the backlash over something you didn’t really mean to say because you didn’t think it out).

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I know I am not perfect so I don’t mean to preach. I am just passing on the stuff I’m working on. ‘Working on’ being the operative words. I mostly just hope that I’ve made a space where my readers feel free from all the crap out there.

I feel like parents in blog land and on social networks need to band together more. Have a supportive, nurturing approach, not a shaming, judgemental one. We have such great opportunities to build online communities and to learn so much from each other. Let’s not waste them with ‘mummy wars’ (just that term makes me want to spew a little in my mouth). Let’s not fall for the tricks of those bigger websites (who shall remain nameless) that rejoice when we go into a frenzy. We are seriously better than that. We are amazing people from all walks of life. Let’s not lose perspective.

And did I mention that you’re absolutely gorgeous and you’re doing great stuff? 😉

Do you have anything to add to my list of tips? What do you think? 

World Mental Health Day: My promise.

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I have a confession. I am an appointment putter-offer. I find ways to procrastinate when it comes to my health and well-being. I am by no means a martyr (trust me), but I just let time get away from me. I support my husband in making the appointments he needs to and I will always have the Little Mister’s back. I just can’t seem to be as motivated to do it for myself. I don’t say this with any smug pride about putting everyone else first. It really isn’t a great thing. I admire those who remember themselves and make sh*t happen. I know that for my family to function, I need to function!

I often wait too long. Whether it’s for me-time like beauty maintenance or for regular health checks (skin, lady things etc), I always wait until I’ve lost the plot before I make those calls and commit to those times. I always wait until the fatigue, anxiety, resentment or lack of confidence in myself have gotten on top of me. I always seem to wait until I’ve snapped at someone or had a mini meltdown. Because that’s healthy.

Sure, sometimes circumstances might mean that it’s impossible to do these things at the optimum time for my sanity, but I need to try harder, that’s for sure.

Sometimes I get annoyed at Mr Unprepared because he just decides on what he needs to do for himself – socialise, make appointments etc – and then he does them. Not a bloody care in the world! No guilt! I get so jealous. SO JEALOUS. But I need to take his lead more. I need to stop telling myself it’s too hard. I need to stop talking myself out of everything. I need to stop getting so ridiculously guilty about asking someone else to take care of the Little Mister for a few hours here and there. I need to be a bit more honey badger (honey badger don’t give a sh*t) and put myself first when I need it. Before the meltdown. It’s called maintenance and that’s perfectly justifiable and why haven’t I ever thought of it this way before??

Yesterday I took the whole morning to myself. I used a spa voucher from my sister and brother in law to get my nails done. It was glorious. I got to soak my feet in a petal filled tub and everything. There was peaceful music playing. I could talk to the beauty therapist without being interrupted. I could also just sit back and say nothing and soak up the quiet. QUIET. I got to leave the spa with the fingernails (and toe-nails) of a chick who looks like she’s got her sh*t together. Hell, my nails are so hot right now. I could almost be the next Pinterest nail model (if there was such a thing). I am THAT on trend. And while I am not easily sucked into the superficial, there is a bit of a thrill about that. Just a reassurance that I haven’t totally lost touch! Cool stuff doesn’t have to just be for everybody else to enjoy!

I am so glad that even though the voucher still had about six months left on it, I got on with it. I booked it (a big step for me haha). I was so grateful for such a gift. I also got to feel even more guilt free because I didn’t have to pay anything – so basically it was perfect! Awesome! Also, my parents stepped up and took the Little Mister when my brother was feeling ill and couldn’t (although it is always SO appreciated that he’s willing to do that for me)! Thanks, family.

Today is World Mental Health Day. Last night I visited the website and made a mental health promise to myself (they have a really cool Promise Wall which you should really check out and post your own promise too). I had only 140 characters to work with, but basically I called myself out on all of the above. I will look after myself. Maintain instead of fall apart (physically and mentally).

I chatted with Mr Unprepared about my promise last night. He told me that he has my back. Always good to hear.

I am lucky to have the support network and resources in my life that I do. I need to utilise these sometimes.

What promise would you make for yourself and your mental health? Leave a comment!