I previously wrote a post looking back on 2019 here. One of the best things that had happened was bringing Bella home. She had her 6 month birthday on the 25th December, and by then she had been in our life over 4 months. So today I am talking our pet Bella and how she has improved my mental health and Emma’s.
We had talked for absolute months about how we needed and wanted a puppy in our life’s, but it was something that we were going to do when we got our own place. However, we decided in the summer that we couldn’t wait for any longer. Especially having puppy sat for a beautiful pup for a friend. It wasn’t until we actually got Bella that we realised how much of a big difference to us she had made.
Bella is a Jackawawa. We have had her with us since she was 8 weeks old. In fact, I am pretty sure she may have even been slightly younger than 8 weeks. when we first brought Bella home, she was TINY. I literally mean the size of a sky TV remote.
Having a pet can boost your confidence and reduce anxiety.
From the day we brought Bella home with us our life’s changed straight away. She is our little fur baby. Both mine and Emma’s anxieties started decreasing majorly. We had a new and positive focus, and it is still like that to this day. When I am feeling stressed or anxious for whatever reason, Bella comes and gives cuddles and licks my face making me laugh. It must be true that a pet really does feel our emotions and tensions.
A pet is not just a pet, they are family.
Just like other fur baby mummies and daddies, she is part of our family. Bella is not just a pet to us. We know we are not alone either. I see so many people treat their pets as if they are human! Honestly. I am definitely not ashamed to admit, we are there with them.
Positive memories with your pet.
So many photos have been taken and so many memories have already been made. We haven’t even reached a year yet. Her first feed with us, Her first trip into the garden, Her being a manic, her first bath and so many more.
All of these memories are special. We have taken so many photos! Bella even has her own Instagram page here.
Pets help routine.
Almost like owning an alarm clock. Having a pet definitely changes and defines your routine. When they wake up, it is pretty certain they will wanna wake you up too. Your pet doesn’t care what time it is or if you want to laze in bed that day because they need to get up and get outside to do their business. Especially with dogs. Dogs and other pets seem to have this ability to know their own routine inside out! they know exactly when it is their dinner time and when you are going out and coming back. Almost like they can read your mind. Since we got Bella we wake up a lot earlier most days to make sure she’s ok.
They just bring natural happiness.
I honestly just have to look at Bella, and I find myself smiling. Her little face. Her cheeky attitude. I absolutely adore her. Which, just makes me feel so much happiness. She is totally our baby girl, and she is precious to us. I would honestly say that she just naturally ups are mood, making us feel happier on a daily basis. Which is so good for your mental health!
Everything that I have written here today is my own personal opinions and experiences, so I would love to know if you agree or feel the same when it comes to pets. Leave a comment below.
It once truly annoyed me to the core hearing a comment of “I don’t think your shy look at all the selfies you take” HAH! What a thing to say? To be honest, at the time I almost wanted to scream back at them, you clearly don’t know me very well. I started questioning how they got that from a selfie? I actually have anxiety and a severe lack of self-confidence in reality, and it is something that I am constantly working on! but on the upside, at least I must hide it well.
Anyway, it did get me thinking. In this day and age, all of us take Selfies. Is it wrong to believe that we are benefiting from taking a picture? Not just for the laughs and the giggles.
A reason to grow your confidence with a selfie.
How many pictures did you take, 5? 10? 100? but when we have shot it! oh, it is a fantastic feeling! A good selfie, a decent picture of ourselves. Suddenly our inner confidence is singing! we feel a buzz and we are smiling because we look great! and its Instagram ready! What a reason to smile. My birthday was Monday, and I went out shopping, came home with some pretty lush new clothes! A new cardigan I received for a gift, Fabulous tops and some really cute new shoes. I had been so excited to start wearing the new things I had, that I automatically was taking pictures to share! my new clothes, the confidence! I wanted to show it off. I felt confident.
OH! and I got my nose pierced!
Confidence is a big thing for me this year as I continue to challenge myself in order to grow. I wrote a post on confidence-boosting here.
Realise how you have changed
With absolute thousands of photos on my phone, I am often having a flick back through them. Looking at memories, reminiscing on the good times. Seeing how I have changed throughout the years.
If you realise how much you have changed over the years it really can be inspiring. To see how far you have come, how your looks have changed! maybe its a really bad hair picture that you now keep you to remind you never to do it again! I’m sure I am not the only one to think to myself what on earth was I thinking when I tried dying my hair that stupid colour? yet alone the childish choice of tops I’ve had in the past. However, this is totally what I am on about! we improve, grow and change on a daily basis. The importance of remembering our past is so great because the past is what made us who we are today.
Taking a selfie is fun!
I am sorry, but taking a photo! adding a filter, maybe one that makes you look like a dog or a man! Yep, These filters exist and they are hilarious! So many people are on Snapchat these days! the app that is completely designed for having a laugh with your friends. Again, we’re making memories. The time that So&So texted you a funny video of them as a cat, telling you something in a squeaky voice.
More pictures with our friends.
When I was a child at school I didn’t even own a mobile phone for most of it. When I finally did get a mobile, it was a Nokia 310. Er yeah, one of those brick phones, you could play snake on, but nothing else. Then when mobiles even did have cameras on them, they were really unclear crap photos.
These days we can take an easy and quick picture of you and your group of friends. In fact, it is the main thing to own a selfie stick for! so you can get as many of your friends or as much of the background in the picture as possible. We now have the ability to capture memories and experiences so much easier. So can you really blame anyone for wanting to record their life?
Finally, a selfie isn’t just a selfie…
A picture says 1000 words! A selfie speaks your personality and emotions all in one. I really don’t think taking a selfie is as vain as it makes out to be!
I admit it, I am a complete hobby addict. A creative anyway person, but always looking at new crafts, making new things, and making old things pretty. I could sit here and blame Pinterest, as this has become a real enabler for me. Finding so many things that inspire me just by scrolling for hours on that app. Seriously the time flies by and my brain is overwhelmed with ideas. In the past few months, life has been more than a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. During this time I have found myself escaping to my craft desk. I like to keep busy playing with my Cricut and spending time in my own world creating different things. I cannot think of anything else that is more therapeutic and fun. Looking back the past few months and looking at all the things I have created lately it hit me. I believe that crafting has a majorly positive impact on my mental health! By having hobbies connecting to craft in my life, I have had a method of keeping myself winning.
Something so simple…
It shouldn’t be a major shock. This is hardly a massive revolution I have had. However, it really has gotten me to think about myself, my health, and my mindstate. I thought I would share my thoughts on how craft can lead to positive mental attitude. So how can starting a craft hobby help your mental health? Let’s start by remembering that a hobby that falls in any arts and crafts category could be absolutely anything. The possibilities are endless and most people are able to find something that is compatible for themselves. There are so many reasons that by starting a new hobby in the crafting world will have a positive impact on yourself and your mental health
Getting your creative juices flowing.
Just by starting a new creation or project, The creative juices in your brain are forced into action from the get-go. No matter what it is that you are busy with, your craft is the doorway to a million other doors.
Once you start something your mind becomes a mental mind-map of what else you can do. From seeing something in a shop you could use to create something amazing, to taking something old and making it even better than before. You are constantly find something new that you will want to get your hands on, or even find ways to make different ideas collaborate and expand. When you are creating something the world is your oyster. There is so much too do and so little time.
Even when you are out of ideas I suggest a quick trip to Pinterest and within minutes you can be inspired by something and thinking up your own unique way to create a similar project.
Being able to unwind and relax with a craft.
There have been so many times that I have seen someone say ‘Do some colouring’, and say how colouring can be a good distraction from real life and easily therapeutic. It’s not so different from having a craft hobby. With colouring, you are making your choice to pencil, your choice of colour and your decorating something nice. Craft is the same except your probably grabbing the scissors, warming up the hot glue gun and sprinkling glitter and turning an idea into creations.
I have always felt that when I am able to get really engaged in a project it really can have such a positive effect on myself and my stress levels soon shrink. If you read my previous post on why the Cricut is any crafters best friend, You May remember I mention my love for vinyl projects, like a lot. I have a passion for printing complex and fiddly designs and spend hours weeding the excess vinyl away. It does take time and patience but this can be so relaxing. what could be better than finding a new hobby that can be used as a distraction from reality? Leaving my problems and stress behind. I always call my desk my little craft bubble, because when I am there I am in my own happy place.
craft your expression…
I know that I’ve already mentioned being creative but for me, an expression is a whole different chapter in the book of creativity. Being able to express your feelings creatively is such a powerful and amazing device to consider. There are so many different options that can be inspired by what we are feeling. Pairings, art journals, scrapbooking, drawing and uplifting. just to name a few things that you can use your emotions to empower your creations. From using colours and pictures to reflect your mood, to using tools to manipulate objects and change them to your own envisions. You will be able to find so many new ways to express yourself and your feelings.
During the years my crafting experiences have had so many positive impacts on me. I try to think of most projects as a creative challenge. being able to throw yourself into something you can enjoy leads to positive energy. There is something so amazing about that feeling that you get when you are inspired by a new idea when you found a solution to a tricky crafting nightmare, the experiences of learning new things and different ways to do things, and that final moment, Meanwhile the hours that you have spent creating something is finally finished. That feeling of being proud of yourself, for what you have achieved.
Craft an awesome finished project … eventually.
Don’t get me wrong, I have had so many of my fair share of unfinished projects and ongoing ones. Projects that have pained me to finish, maybe they took me absolute months to finish. It doesn’t really matter. You can use your mistakes to learn from just like in real life. That feeling you have when you’ve finally got there, I didn’t give up and completed them. That feeling I love, it is such a warm amazing feeling, embrace it. I absolutely feel empowered when I can say I did that. look at what I have done, I created something and that thing, it’s amazing and it’s all down to me. That feeling is pretty epic. It’s so positive.
Do not forget that even if a project that you have completed isn’t perfect. You still did it yourself. You have still created something pretty amazing. Find the positives in what you have achieved.
Have I missed anything out?
I mean crafting is one of my major hobbies and it really does have a special place in my heart and life. When I’m having a down day I can sometimes turn it all around by challenging myself into something new!
As always I would love to hear from you guys, with your opinions. Do you have an experience where you have found something in the craft world that keeps you positive? Do you feel that craft has a good reflection on your mental health? I want to hear! Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
If you didn’t already know. It’s mental health awareness week. This year’s theme is all about body image. You can read more about the Mental Health Foundation here.
What is mental health?
Mental health has always been something that is really close to my heart as I face my own struggles and challenges alongside many of my friends and family. Mental health is defined as a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being. Did you know that one in four adults in the UK is likely to have a mental health problem at some stage in their lifetime, that’s what the experts say. That’s a lot of people. So not one of us should ever feel that we are alone or no one will understand, there will always be someone that will understand how you are feeling and maybe experiencing the same things.
My battle with negative body image
It is crazy to think that finally in 2019 the world is finally acknowledging that not everyone is a size, zero picture-perfect models. Magazines and companies are finally beginning to embrace our curves and imperfections. No longer do we have to flip through magazines to think we could never get away with their image because it’s being broadcast more and more to embrace yourself.
But let’s face it. It hasn’t always been this way! My school years were a prime example. I grew up with twisted hips which meant I walked differently to everyone else. I needed corrective surgery to set my legs straight, but now when I look back was the surgery more a cosmetic thing? So I could be the norm. Whatever that is?
Not just my legs, I’ve never been stick thin whether and I have always struggled to keep weight off. I get anxiety when I get dressed in the morning because I want to look perfect all the time. It’s so much pressure. Nothing ever feels just right.
Talking is so IMPORTANT.
It is so important that as individuals we talk to each other more than we are now. I am not gonna lie it is not always easy to open up, but it is so worth it. I often can’t bring myself to share my own negativity but one thing I do know, I am not the only one who hates her curves and wishes that I could have better skin. There’s always been so much judgement in this world. It is so easy to let negativity win and then we become depressed, lonely, and affected by the perfect image instead of embracing who we are and what we have. Anyone who tells you that they are 100% happy with their own body image, they are lying. There’s nothing wrong in trying to improve ourselves, buying new clothes and improving the way we look as long as it is you that is happy with yourself and that you are improving for no one other than yourself.
This is me, I am not perfect, I’m not skinny, I love to hide behind my make up. But it is me, and there is only one me.
What we can do to be more body positive?
Remember that not everybody is the same
It is time to stop comparing yourself to other people. Each and every one of us has our whether insecurities but it’s time to embrace yourself and learn to be unique in a positive manner.
acknowledge yourself and any low self-esteem you have
It’s not always easy and like I just said we are all different and we deal with things in different ways but this is such an important step in a journey to being body positive and learning your own self-worth.
Face your biggest critic. Yourself.
My dad has always had a famous quote to me, ‘you are your worst enemy’ and do you know what? he is right. It is natrual that you are your worst critique, so its important to learn to stop being so hard on yourself, and I know myself how hard of a challenge that really is.
Realise how beautiful you really are
Write a list of positive things that you like about yourself and whenever you are feeling low, read your list and remember why you love yourself
It’s so important that we look after the most important person in your life. Yourself. There is one you and you need to take care of you. whether it is being more healthy to have a little pamper evening, make sure you are doing things for you.
Set yourself reasonable targets
Don’t set yourself goals that you know you are not going to be able to stick too. If you set yourself unrealistic targets then you are allowing yourself opportunities to be negative.
I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings on body image and how this affects you, how do you keep yourself positive when you don’t feel so confident?
Since I have been feeling really down with the constant illness and chronic pain lately, I thought it was about time to give some reasons to feel a bit happier, so today I am an irritated girl who is trying to be a little bit more positive this month! Admittedly it has been a really rubbish time, and it feels like our main adventures out lately are to hospitals and DR’s surgeries until we find out 100% what the heck is up with me… Anyway, I am not moaning I am being positive and since we are still at the beginning of April (pretty much anyway) I wanted to share with you guys 10 reasons why you should appreciate this fabulous month!
Fresh start month
I am not 100% sure why, but I have always thought of April as a month of fresh starts, apparently, I am not the only one. we are now 4 months clear of the Christmas season and it is a few months of enjoying the sun and the happy season before we prepare for cold winter months again! The first day of spring has now been and its time for a spring clean, mentally as well.
It’s April Showers
I’m not saying that the fact it is raining a lot is amazing but, does anyone else get the drip, drip drop little April showers song go through their head constantly this month? I do! it is stuck in my head all month every time I hear someone say ‘Oh it’s raining again, April Showers’ … I must watch Bambi. I love Bambi.
The month of yellow
I literally think that one of the first things I associate April with is the colour yellow, and I am really loving this colour right now! The month of yellow, and the month of Daffodils (see what I am saying there?).
Ok, I may have already mentioned colour just now but this bit is slightly different, I love all pastel colours and there are so many new things in pastel! which I always love pastel colours! Easter spills lots of this because pastel colours do feel very springy! 🙂
Nature is coming back out
The cold winter months will soon be behind us, and already this month we have had some beautiful sunshine-filled days. I have especially noticed that on the farm the wildlife is all coming out of its hiding and the deers are back running around the fields at dusk. I absolutely love playing spot the deer. It is not just the animals either. I LOVE blossom tree’s, and they always start blossoming this month, they make me super happy.
April is a new financial year
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. For some people, I’ve noticed a lot of chat how April is a big money month for them, so everything is a little bit tighter! I know that this is the same for us this month! but oh well. April is the start of the new financial year, so let’s use this as a positive? New year 😉 New me kinda thing.
The clocks went forward
YES! at the end of March, our clocks went forward! now If you love summer like me its more exciting that we are gaining light and sunset is getting later, rather then thinking you lost an hour sleep that night!
Its Chocoholic heaven
It is so hard to say no to some chocolate in April as its nearly Easter, be it a little late this year. Pretty hard to resist when you are going to slimming world! so far we’ve been pretty good! but I can not wait to get my hands on a chocolate egg!
Slowly but surely the summer period is just around the corner, and OK so we are not in summer yet! and already I have said why are people wearing shorts already? Its hardly boiling, but the sun is out, the sky is bright and peoples moods are lifting. I love this time of year when you are slowly saying goodbye woolly jumper.
Last but not least one thing I love about April is no matter what is going on, or how rubbish and down you are feeling, April seems to bring in some happiness to the year no matter what.
What do you love about April? I would love to hear what makes you smile this month?
If you liked this post try 35 things that make me happy, here.