December Link Up

Hey everyone, how are you all? I hope you’re all have a lovely start to December πŸ™‚

Yay! Another link up from the lovely Sheryl over at Achronicvoice and it’s December’s link up 😊 I so enjoy writing these and reading everyone else’s and connecting with people 😊 I just wanted to say that I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas 😊

So here are December’s prompts:-

If you’d like to read about it then click on this link December Link Up. Now I’m going to write about all five of the prompts and I look forward to reading yours 😊 

Recovering

So I’m actually still recovering from this relapse that started in October this year so this prompt is an ongoing one I think at the moment. The most important thing that I do is *listen to my body* as much as I can anyway lol.. we all get caught up and forget that our bodies tell us a lot when it comes to recovering/recovery. 

I’ve been trying to do light exercises, rest and just look after myself wherever I can really 😊 having “Me Days/Evenings” always helps. 

Shopping

Shopping! I love shopping! Since October however I haven’t been out shopping much really, however the other week a really good friend of mine came to visit from Australia and we went to our local shopping outlet for an actual look around (yes retail therapy!!) I wasn’t able to do much walking around due to pins and needles and fatigue but my amazing friend had arranged for me to have a wheelchair so when I got tired or needed a sit down I was able to. She’s such an amazing supportive friend and I feel very lucky to have her in my life. I was also able to enjoy the day and get a few bits that I wanted! It felt good! 😊

Enjoying

I like this prompt 😊 it makes you think about the positives. Even though being off with a relapse I’ve been enjoying quite a lot. The main thing has been my new Bullet Journal that my dad kindly got for me as a get well soon present.. I’ve been Bullet Journalling since 2016 and it’s been the best thing I ever started.. I love it 😊 


Another thing I’ve been enjoying is reading. I’ve never been a massive reader but when my sister gave me one of her books called “The Cosy Teashop in the Castle” I was hooked and then I found the book that in currently reading — I try and stick to one chapter a night lol cause I want to make this book last 😊 the book that in reading is called “A cat caller Alfie” by Rachel Wells. Its such a wonderful book from the cats perspective (if you are a cat lover, you will love this) and I love reading every chapter. 

Reminiscing

This is a very interesting post. I think because when I reminisce sometimes it makes me a little sad because I sometimes think back to before I had MS and before I had a care in the world… However I then turn those sad thoughts into positives.. looking back and reminiscing how far I’ve come and how much I now listen to my body and actually try take care of my body and that makes me feel proud and happy! 

Preparing

Preparing.. this again a great prompt! I’m a planner, organiser and preparer (I don’t even know if that’s a word lol) I love preparing and planning things, I helps me to manage my illness and stay in control (kind of lol) I use my Bullet Journal a lot when in preparing things and I find it so helpful. 

It’s also that time of year and preparing for me is key to limit stress — I find if things are prepared and organised then I feel a lot more relaxed.. so yes all my presents are wrapped lol. 

And that is my December Link Up prompts πŸ™‚ I absolutely love doing these and really love reading others so let me know about your link ups and I’ll give them a read πŸ™‚

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Bullet Journal Flip Through November 2017

Hey everyone! How are you all doing? As always leave me a comment below and let me know how your week has been! 

So. I’ve been Bullet Journalling for almost 2 years now and I absolutely love it! I’m quite and artistic person and love the fact of designing your own journal (if I could do this for a living I totally would!) 

Ryder Carroll was the main Bullet Journal creator and he came up with the idea and you can watch his video explaining how the Bullet Journal works on his YouTube video The Bullet Journal (how it works). Obviously you don’t have to follow his every step, it’s your journal! You create it how you want it! I find loads of inspiration on Pinterest and also a YouTube called Boho Berry has amazing videos and creative ideas. 

I started my Bullet Journal to help me manage my MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and plan things out so I would find life easier — I suffer with brain fog at times so having the journal to make sure I know what I’m doing is great! I also use it to track symptoms, write things down in which I’m grateful for and to also write down what in achieving with MS. Especially if I’m going through a relapse. 

The main thing I love is literally all the pens and stationary you can get (I’m obsessed as you’ll see in a minute!) But I literally have all of the colours of the rainbow and possible more! I just love colouring in 😊

My Bullet Journals have helped me so much to be more organised and to not stress out and if you are similar to me and like being creative.. then I’d highly recommend starting a Bullet Journal 😊 

Here are some pics of my latest Journal and throughout the month of November what I’ve been doing in it.. I hope you enjoy it 😊

I absolutely love my Bullet Journal and I hope you’ve liked it too 😊 let me know if you’d like to see more blog posts like this 😊 

Love Hannah xx

Relaxing Night Routine

Hey Everyone! How are you all doing? Leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply 😊

In today’s blog post I’m going to be talking (writing) you through my relaxing evening routine to help with sleep. Now this is working very well for me and I hope it can help at least one of you to hopefully get a better nights sleep. 

For my MS fatigue I was given Amantadine and I found a couple of side effects quite disruptive. The first one was crazy weird dreams at night, not nightmares just very strange that would cause me to wake up a few times in the night. Another side effect was insomnia, where I couldn’t actually sleep. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to sleep for a couple of hours, consequently making the fatigue worse during the day. 

My MS nurse told me that it will pass over a few days and my doctor gave me Amitriptyline to take at night to hopefully help me to sleep and calm my anxiety… However, since doing this routine I’ve not needed to take the amitriptyline AND I’ve been sleeping through the whole night 😊

1) When I can I put my phone away on silent and on charge at 7:30pm, I don’t look through Twitter, Instagram or messages after 7:30pm. I also put my iPad on charge at 7:30pm and try not to look at that either, I don’t watch YouTube videos after this time or anything stimulating. I’ve found this to really help me to wind down before going to bed because being off work at the moment I’m on my phone and iPad a reasonable about during the day and having a technology detox at night after 7:30pm really helps me to relax. 

2) Sometimes I like to have a nice relaxing bath to help me wind down and relax. Now I don’t do this every night, mainly on the nights where I’ve felt particularly uptight, stressed or anxious or if I’m having a pamper night. Normally I do other things to help wind down but also to keep me entertained too. I do find that having a nice relaxing bath really does help me, I always have a nice cold glass of water to sip and this is when I do watch YouTube on my iPad (yes I know if said I put it in charge but I don’t do this every night) when I do watch YouTube at night then it’s relaxing, restful videos like night routines etc. 

3) Herbal tea. I only try and have one cup of coffee a day and then I try and stay away from caffeine as much as possible and after 5:30pm I don’t have any caffeine at all and stick to water, decaf tea or herbal tea. My favourite herbal teas are: Lemon & Ginger, Peppermint and Camomile – I always make a cup of this every night and have it in bed. 

4) Before I get changed into my pyjamas, brush my teeth,go to the toilet etc I like to do my exercises. These are the exercises that my physio gave me to do and some nice gentle yoga stretches. I find this a really nice way to relax the body and just loosen up before bed. I don’t bring my yoga mat upstairs purely because i don’t need it on the landing 😊

5) Once I’ve done my stretches I get changed into some nice cosy pyjamas, wash my face with my amazing Liz Earle cleanse and Polish with warm water, brush my teeth and then climb into bed 😊 this is when I’ll either write in my Bullet Journal, colour in an adult colouring book or on this occasion, paint my nails 😊 and whilst waiting for my nails to dry I just sip of my herbal tea of choice 😊

6) Once my nails have completely dried I then read my book of choice. At the moment I’m reading a book called “A cat called Alfie” it’s a lovely light hearted book and reminds me so much of my cat Arthur! (Any cat lovers out there, I’d recommend this!) I find that reading really helps me to relax in the evenings and during the day too if I want to read. I always make sure it’s a nice light hearted book and not a thriller or mind stimulating and I really do find that reading makes me sleepier, I always read one chapter a night (this book has fairly short chapters which I like! 

7) Once the chapter is finshed and I’ve had my tea (I never manage to drink a full cup lol) I put my iPad on low light setting, low volume and out a film on that helps me to fall asleep. I’m one of those people who can’t go to sleep in silence, I don’t know about any of you guys, but I find that if I try to sleep in silence then my mind wanders and I end up not being able to sleep. So having a nice relaxing film on helps me to drift off, it’s been the best way for me 😊

And that is my relaxing night routine to help with sleep. I try and do this every night unless I’m away or out for the evening, but I find it has really made a difference with my sleep pattern and I feel a bit more refreshed when I wake up in the morning. 

I normally fall asleep around 9pm and wake up at around 5:30am, sometimes I wish I could sleep for longer but I think this is my body clock at the moment which is fine cause I’m still getting 8.5 hours of un-disturbed sleep. 

I really hope you’ve found this post useful and I really hope I helps just one of you 😊 the main thing I think that has helped me is not using my phone or iPad after a certain time in the evening.

Thank you for reading  

Lots of Love

Hannah xx

Time to TOTALLY relax! (At home Spa)

Hello everyone, how have you all been? As always leave me a comment down below and I’ll be sure to reply πŸ™‚ I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. 

So… I’d say over the last couple of days I’ve fallen down those mean and evil negative holes. Beating myself up, putting myself down, making myself feel guilty and that I need to try harder.. you know these nasties… 

“Surely you’re better now? It’s been 4 weeks” 

“Come in you’re only tired, others have it much worse and they have to go to work still” 

“When are you going back to work then? How long are you off for?”

“Maybe you need to push yourself through this and just try harder”

“People at work are getting annoyed with you now, it’s not fair on them”

“Just try harder and get better quickly, you need to both financially and physically, just do it”

Yep… Those thoughts.. let’s call them “little devils”. Even when writing them out for you all to read its like hearing them again… BUT NOT ANYMORE! 

I’m now trying to stop being so hard on myself and forcing myself to get better so quickly when all its been doing is I believe knocking me backwards slightly. Learning to relax more and just *chill* lol. 

Looking back at how far I’ve come and all the things I have achieved.. I may do a new Bullet Journal page about that so I can see in front of me all that I’ve achieved so far. 

I need to remember that I will get better with time and that time is a healer too.. not doing 20 step ups and 15 squats a day until I’m totally knackered (yes I was desperate to get better quickly and thought doing all these exercises every single day would help me get there)… 

So now I’m going to do more things for the Mind as well as the Body.. just looking after me, not thinking about others for a change! So that’s where we get onto the topic of creating an At Home Spa. 

My lovely mum and step dad came over to decorate the bathroom at the weekend and I’m just so happy with the result, it looks so much brighter and calmer in there now, so why not create an At Home Spa? 

Just a little disclaimer — everyone’s thoughts and ideas are different and these are just mine, I’m not saying you need to do it this way πŸ™‚

Here was the before and after photos of the bathroom πŸ™‚ 

Before

After

I am beyond grateful for the work my mum and step dad put into the bathroom.. this room is where I like to relax my mine and body lol (I know that sounds a bit corny lol) but before the amazing transformation I’d never feel totally relaxed after a bath, no matter how many candles I lit etc.. however now.. is a totally different story! 

The Paint we used was Dulux Bathroom Apple White the ” Chatsworth tall boy” cabinet was from The Range UK the other things I already had.. and the candles are actually battery powered from Amazon.. overall I just think it’s amazing and I’m so happy with it πŸ™‚

For me creating an “At Home Spa” is all about the environment and setting.. I like to have the main lights out and with candles (battery ones are fab). I also love bubbles and at the moment I use some of the radox bubble baths and I also use Epsom  Salts too which are super relaxing. 

I then like to have a little pamper session.. this usually involves washing my hair, face mask you know.. the works πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

Once I’m out of the bath (literally had THE best bath tonight) and I’m feeling much more relaxed, I then like to have a little treat.. on this occasion it was a delicious Vegan chocolate made by my mum (yes she is just amazing lol) some fruit and a nice cold drink.. tonight orange squash with orange slices. 

Then I just relax, put on a nice film (tonight was Mrs Doubtfire – a classic favourite) and just relax whilst my hair roughly dries — I find that I need to rest after I’ve had a bath and regain some energy so relaxing with a nice snack is perfect. 

Sometimes I write in my Bullet Journal and I love creating and seeing inspiring pages on Pinterest.. I’m working on a page at the moment about “Things I need to do more often” so I can look at it and choose to do at least one thing a day 😊 

And I also love painting my nails so I chose a colour from my selection and do this too, I find it very therapeutic lol. 

(Tonight it was this gorgeous purple colour from Barry M)

To completely relax me before bed, I put my phone into airplane mode and out of the way at about 8:30pm and make myself this delicious drink that the lovely Jen from Tripping Through Treacle got me into called “Golden Milk” she had a pic of it on Instagram and I was very interested so decided to give it a go:-

Almond milk, ginger & cinnamon (I use 1/4tsp), turmeric (1/2tsp), sweetner of some kind and a light dusting of pepper (to help the turmeric absorb) 

Then it’s lights out and time to settle down into sleep – the Golden Milk really helps me to drift off to sleep, it’s so relaxing AND an anti-inflammatory super drink 😊

And this is how I totally relax.. and I need to keep the “relaxing” up… No more beating myself up, no more obsessively pushing myself… Nope… Now it’s actually taking care of “ME” time! 

I’m sorry this post has been long, I hope you’ve all enjoyed the read and I hope you all have a wonderful week. 

Lots of Love

Hannah xx

November Link Up

Hello Everyone 😊

This is my second link up party which was created my the lovely Sheryl at www.achronicvoice.com. I think this is such a wonderful idea for bloggers with chronic illnesses to get together and also she positive experiences.. it definitely makes me feel better and more positive when I write about them.

So here are November’s prompts! I hope you all enjoy the read and I challenge you to go ahead and join in, let me know once you’ve written yours and I’ll check it out 😊 also check out Sheryl’s blog (linked above) to find out the rules for this. 

Okay so the prompts for this month are:-

β€’ Discovering

β€’ Rediscovering

β€’ Anticipating

 β€’Decluttering

β€’ Cherishing

Discovering

So this is the first prompt and the main thing that I’ve discovered is a new book. It’s called “The Cosy Tea Shop in The Castle” written by Caroline Roberts. My sister gave this to me I’d say a couple of weeks ago and I’m thoroughly enjoying it! I read a chapter a day (so I don’t finish it too quickly lol) and I can happily say that it’s such a wonderful cheerful book and I know it will make you all smile 😊

Re-discovering
So I really like this prompt because over the last week whilst I’m recovering from this relapse I’ve started going out for daily walks around a little block near my house. It’s a lovely little walk through a greenery area and at this time of year the leaves look so beautiful on the floor. 

This walk has three parts. The first is a short 2 minute walk, the second is about 5 minutes and the third is a little longer. I’m able to do the second walk and I know I’ll manage the longer one as soon as I’m stronger again ☺️

Anticipating

Now this one is a little harder to think of, however I feel the one thing that I am anticipating is seeing my Neurologist on Tuesday. Being able to discuss this relapse, the MS fatigue and the possible attempt to retry MS treatment again. 

Since this relapse (third this year) I’m definitely reconsidering my options, all for the better however. I am no longer letting MS affect my life the way it has, adapting to it is different and learning to help myself everyway I can is definitely a positive. I feel strongly that ignoring MS isn’t always the best way. 

De-cluttering

This one made me smile a bit. Again I’d say since this relapse I’ve been very keen to keep my home neat and tidy (it’s always clean) and making sure there isn’t a lot of “stuff” just lying around. I do a little bit of house work everyday and that seems to keep everything in order. My main place that I like to be “clutter free” is my kitchen, it brings me calm and peace when I see a nice tidy kitchen 😊


Cherishing

I love this prompt too. I cherish every single moment that I’m breathing. I cherish all my loved ones who are ALWAYS there for me. I cherish my home and all the wonderful things in it. Basically everything! 

I think we all take things for granted in life. Instead being able to cherish things, yes even the little things allows us to remain positive and happy.. even if we are having a bad day! 

And these are my November Link Ups. I thoroughly enjoy writing them and I thank Sheryl from www.achronicvoice com for creating this. 

If anyone else reading this has written their November Link up, leave me a comment so I can read yours too 😊

I hope you’re all well (as well as can be). Sending you all lots of love

Hannah xx

Adventures Whilst Going Through An MS Relapse

Hello everyone, how are you all doing? As always leave me a comment in the comments box below and I’ll be sure to reply 😊

So.. still going through this relapse… I think I’m going into week 3 now. I’m still remaining positive and a lot more calmer and less stressed out this time, which is much better for recovery. The worst symptom of this relapse is the fatigue.. it’s just horrid! I find I can do little bits and bobs around the house but the fatigue just hits me out of nowhere and have to just rest.

I have had thoughts going through my head (you know, those pesky negative ones) saying like “you need to be trying harder to do more” or “it’s not that bad you’re only tired!” When these thoughts crop up I have to try and fight them and tell them to go away – and remember that it’s not just “feeling tired” — I explained it well to a friend yesterday.. I feel like sometimes I have the flu and hungover at the same time πŸ˜‚ 

I managed to go out for a walk on Thursday just gone to Sainsburys down the road from us (about 5 mins walk) which was a fab achievement, when we got there George went around the shops getting things and I sat in the cafe and enjoyed a lovely orange juice while resting.. then we had a slow walk back. When I got home I felt good and proud, a bit tired so I just made sure I relaxed for an hour or two.

en Saturday just gone my lovely friend from work took me to our local garden centre for a little walk around and admired all the Christmas decorations (they were gorgeous and I bought 2 baubles) however, just walking around there for 10 mins was starting to tire me out, so we went to the cafe and had a lovely drink and sit down for about half an hour… The exhaustion was still creeping up on me and I knew it was time to leave soon. 

As we were leaving I could just feel myself getting worse and I knew I needed to just lie down and rest, my friend was amazing and drove me home and made sure I got to the front door okay 😊 then when I got in I went upstairs and had a lie down for a while before dinner.

Sunday (yesterday) I still felt a little rubbish so.. I changed it around.. I got the sofa bed out, made it all cosy, got my delicious green smoothie for breakfast and watched a lovely film on the Tele. 

My Aunt, Uncle and Grandmother also came to visit me, which was lovely.. when they got to me my Aunt said that they were going to take me back to the garden centre only this time they had spoken to someone and they said we could use one of their wheelchairs to help me get about more. 

This was good, sensible but I was terrified.. mainly about what others would think, especially having my grandmother walk beside me and me in the chair… As we approached the garden centre and my Aunt brought out the wheelchair I was feeling more and more anxious… But… I pushed through the anxiety and thought “sod it” “I AM going to have a lovely time” and I knew I shouldn’t care about what others thought.. so in the chair I got. 

I think my Aunt had more fun than me, she wanted to go fast and was having a great time.. so was I too.. we were able to go around all the other shops in the garden centre precinct (something I I wouldn’t have been able to walk to without becoming exhausted) we looked at clothes and shoes which were lovely. 

we then went into the garden centre and got some delicious lunch, I still felt good and the fatigue hadn’t hit me… I honestly felt good and was actually enjoying myself 😊
After lunch we went to the actual garden centre part (outside) and got some new flowers for my garden.. then a look around the Christmas Decor (I didn’t get anymore baubles) I got a lovely writing set though! 

By the time we got home I felt tired but I would say exhausted. I had a sit down and rest with my grandmother whilst my Aunt and Uncle sorted my garden out for me 😊 and because I had reserved energy I was able to make a delicious soup for mine and George’s dinner (Carrot & Sweet Potato Spiced Soup) and make cups of tea for everyone.. which was great. 

By the time everyone left I was feeling exhausted again, however I was much happier.. and I now think that having that wheelchair temporarily whilst going around the garden centre enabled me to spend longer there enjoying all the lovely things and didn’t take any energy away from me. 

Part of me felt that I was “too lazy” to be in the chair being pushed around.. but I just remembered back to Saturday, how walking around made me feel so much worse… And that having the chair made me actually feel better and have fun… So while I’m recovering if I do anything big like going out with family.. maybe having a wheelchair for those “just in case moments'” might be a good idea…?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.. sorry it’s been a long post lol. 

Sending you all lots of love and hugs

Hannah xx

October Link Up

Hey everyone, 

So on twitter there have been a couple of times where I’ve seen a post called October Link Up from Sheryl Chan at A Chronic Voice over on Twitter. 

She created these link ups for people with chronic illnesses to get together and write about various tooics, which I think is great. There are five topics to discuss every month and for October theyre:-

Inspiring, Dreaming, Reducing, Creating and Listening. 

If you’d like to see an overview of this think click the link above and it will take you to Sheryl’s blog where she explains everything. 

Okay… So here’s mine. 

Inspiring

I always would hear from other people how inspiring I was with the way I cope and deal with my illness. They’d always say “your so amazing and inspiring” and I’d always smile and say thank you, however I’ve been thinking over the past few days about this… Also how I should feel inspired by ME! I very rarely hear people say that ‘they inspire themselves’ (whether that’s possible or not who cares) 

I feel inspired to myself… The fact that I live with this chronic illness every single day and when other people say that I inspire them.. it’s usually when I’m hiding the pain or fatigue.. when I put on that smile we all do and just try and act as normal as we can… But what inspires me? 

The fact that I go through the dark times, the times where I’m crying at night and just feel generally low… These inspire me because I beat them! I break through and come through these hard times and that’s why I smile.. when people say I’m inspiring and amazing.. I’ve finally started to say to myself… Yes I am! And I think a lot of us should be amazed and inspired by simply themselves! We are all amazing! 

Dreaming

Ha! Well I do a lot of this and it’s mainly Day-Dreaming of what house I’d be in at Hogwarts (yes I’m a massive Harry Potter fan)

But on a serious note… I dream about my wedding to my amazing boyfriend (yes he still needs to propose to me but we’ve found a ring at least!) 

I dream about walking down the aisle with no crutches or sticks to help me, I dream about my amazing sparkling glittery converse trainers that I’ll be wearing underneath my dress instead of heals and I’ll be rocking them! 

I dream about eventually being able to have a lovely work – home balance lifestyle where I’m able to do more things when I can hopefully reduce hours at work slightly. 

I try not to dream about things too much as for me it whisks me up and takes me away from reality lol.. but being whisked away occasionally is definitely a nice thought.

Reducing

STRESS!! I definitely feel that this is something I’m always trying to reduce stress even though sometimes stressful situations are inevitable. 

The things I do to help with my stress levels are:-

Simple meditation – nothing adventurous I love Madeleine Shaw her YouTube channel has some great mediation for beginners

HeadSpace – I rave about this app.. it’s free to begin with for the first 10 sessions I believe but then you need to subscribe (that’s up to you) 

Relaxing Baths – for me this is something I do most days lol.. lovely relaxing bubble baths, candles and my favourite film or series on my iPad.

Creating

Bullet Journalling

I started my Bullet Journal at the beginning of 2016 when a dear friend recommended it to me.. I didn’t realise how therapeutic and rewarding this could be. I completed one of my Bullet Journal in May 2017 and for my birthday I got a brand new one from my amazing boyfriend. 

I write in it everyday – some days are harder than others but I try and make a conscious effort to write in it. 

When I look back if I’m having a bad day, especially when I look back through my “MS Achievement Log” or my “Gratitude log” I feel happy and proud of what I have achieved. 

Listening

I think this is a great one.. and what I am trying to do is LISTEN to my body. Since going through this relapse I’ve been doing this more and more and I can honestly say how much I believe it’s helping with not only my recovery but my mental health too! 

I would always just push through things and ignore the warning signs because I stupidly thought that I was “fine”… And then I’d get upset, depressed and low when I’d fall off the band wagon. But now… I am stronger and more determined to HELP and LISTEN to my body recover from this relapse.. and I’ll be listening to it more from now on! 

I also love listening to Audio Books! Aaaannndddd can anyone guess what I’m listening to???? Yep… That’s right… Harry Potter! Read by Stephen Fry and I just love it!! It’s so relaxing and helps me to calm down when I need to. 

And these are my October Prompts I absolutely loved and I’d like to thank Sheryl from A Chronic Voice for deciding to to start these link ups. 

Love Always

Hannah