Tuesday 26 November 2019

Why You Should Put Your Health First As Your New Year's Resolution

Image by Serena Wong from Pixabay 

How many times do you go to see a medical professional about something and the first thing you say is, "I know I should have come in to see you sooner, but I've just been so busy with life that I couldn't find the time". You're not alone. According to the Kaiser Women's Health Study, more than a quarter of all women consistently put off seeing a doctor. It is not really surprising, and it can be challenging to put yourself first and above those who depend on you. But, if you don't make time to take care of yourself, you can't fully be there for those you love. 

It's not just about getting checked out either; it's about taking responsibility for the food you eat and the exercise you do. It's also about knowing what's right and wrong; it's about making sure you are getting the right advice. There are so many cases of medical malpractice, and it's often a case of something being missed rather than anything else. You need to trust your instincts and know when something is wrong, and something needs to be looked at. Luckily there are personal injury lawyers who know how insurance firms think so if you are a victim of medical malpractice there are people out there to help, but that is the point - don't put off getting that help. 

Many women don't make time to see health care providers because they are already balancing work and home life demands which doesn't leave a lot of time to care for their own basic needs, physically and emotionally, nor tend to their health care. Persistent stress can aggravate high blood pressure, insomnia, diabetes, herpes, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic medical conditions. It can also lead to poor concentration, irritability, anger, and poor judgment, which ultimately can affect your job performance. Outside of the workplace, stress leads to marriage breakups, family fights, road rage, suicides and violence. 

As a woman, you're an expert at problem-solving for your loved ones, but it's time to turn that attention on yourself. There is a tonne of obstacles that will prevent you from finding and seeing a health care professional on a regular basis, but in the interest of being your healthiest self to support everyone else in your life, you need to find a way around this. You need to prioritize your health or else you risk running out of energy to move your family or your business forward. You should always prioritize doctor appointments and when there, advocate for yourself and ask a lot of questions as there is a huge importance of knowing about your body and about being responsible for your own health care. As a busy woman, you need to think like a marathon runner and train yourself to endure what you need to.

It isn't that hard to prioritize your health; you can do it by preventative measures such as eating right and exercising, taking time to meditate and generally making sure you go to those appointments.

So, to start with exercising, not being overwhelmed by this is key. You should start out with a simple exercise that won't cause you to injure yourself. Walking is a good one to start with, and it's just about getting into the habit of doing it on a daily basis. If walking doesn't excite you, then how about getting an exercise DVD which you can do at home, following it step by step. There's no embarrassment of going to the gym and being around others, there's just a one-off cost, and if you can't do it, you can just keep trying each day until you get better at it and then you can advance and do a more challenging one. 

When it comes to changing your diet, it's a good idea to start off with a food diary to see what you are actually eating. Then again, make small changes like trying not to eat so much red meat, and when you do have it, make sure that it is lean and avoid the fat portion. Reduce your intake of food that contains refined sugars, such as sweets, cakes and biscuits because when you constantly fill your body with refined sugars, your blood sugar could escalate quickly.

Even if you haven't noticed any problems with your health, it is still important to go and get checked out by a doctor if you haven't been to see one for a while. Book yourself in for a physical to see where you're at and to see what you could be doing better. Put yourself first, and everyone else will be healthier for it. 

*This is a collaborative post*


Monday 18 November 2019

3 Simple Strategies For Letting Go Of Bad Habits

Bad habits are an unfortunate fact of being human. As much as we may have good intentions, life sometimes has other ideas and no one is perfect. We can’t live like saints, but if you feel like your bad habits are starting to have a negative effect on your life then it's time to review what you can do to make a change. You might realise that you’ve become an emotional eater, that your spending habits are spiralling out of control, you need to start making exercise a part of your routine to boost your wellbeing or you need to quit smoking. Whatever behaviour you’re planning to change, it can be time with a little willpower. You can and will make the change you need to as long as you go about it the right way and give yourself the tools you need to succeed.

Take Baby Steps With A Substitute

Addressing the reason why your habits have formed in the first place is key to changing them. The reason we develop a habit is usually because it makes life easier or it gives us comfort. This is the reason that going completely cold turkey is usually extremely hard, and ultimately unsuccessful for most people. Our brains are hardwired to seek out the easy option or the reassurance. Instead of getting rid of it completely, it can be a better strategy to substitute the problematic behaviour - either with a harmless habit or with one which can help you to make the transition. Think about the situations that make you resort to the behaviour that you’d like to change. If you always eat when you’re stressed or anxious, then you could try chewing a piece of gum or making a hot drink instead. If you’re a social smoker, BuyV2Cigs supply a great range of products that can gradually replace that. Planning ahead for times of stress or trigger situations when you know you fall back on a bad habit is a really great idea. If you arm yourself with substitutes and coping strategies then you are less likely to revert to your old ways out of panic.

Get A Buddy

Making a positive lifestyle change is so much easier when you don’t feel alone. Behaviour change specialists suggest that accountability is a key aspect of success - so we need to share our progress and have someone to take us to task when we veer off track. This is the reason that peer support groups like Slimming World are so successful for many people. The camaraderie and the accountability they offer is a motivating combination. So find your tribe - join an online support forum, find a local group or make a public commitment - such as completing Couch25k and entering a charity run in support of a good cause. 

Prepare To Succeed 

When efforts seem to be going well, it's easy to get complacent and end up slipping back into old habits. Preparation is absolutely key, at least until your bad behaviour is no longer second nature. If you're aiming for a healthier diet, ensure that you do a bit of meal prep on a Sunday and have some healthy lunch options ready to go, and pack a few snack options in your bag so that you aren't caught short. 

*This is a collaborative post*


Friday 15 November 2019

How To Cope With Depression And Anxiety 100%

Depression and anxiety can really take it out of you and make your life a horrible place to be. There is often no escaping the feelings of worthlessness that go along with these complex mental health issues. 

Unfortunately, mental health issues can affect anyone and at any point in their life. They are something that many people will suffer from to one extent or another. There are ways of treating your mental health issues which will involve looking after yourself and one of the biggest hurdles that you will have to face is admitting to yourself that you are suffering, and then allowing yourself to open up and admit it to those around you. 

Talk About It

Talking through the complex emotions and burdens that surround your depression and anxiety can be tough, but it is necessary. Often, we tie ourselves in knots with worries and stresses in life and then when we try and process how we feel about a situation we do not understand ourselves. This can lead to being irritable or angry whilst also feeling down. 

Find someone that you can confide in that you are struggling with. You may want to choose a friend or family member. Or, if you do not feel that you have anyone close enough that you can speak to, you should definitely raise the issue with your doctor. You may be able to get referred for some therapy, or there are private counselors that you make an appointment with. 

Getting to the bottom of your problems can take a long time, and when you start to open up, you may find that you bring up feelings that you did not know you had. It can be emotionally draining to go through any form of therapy, but in the longterm, it can be hugely beneficial. 


One option that may be open to you to treat your depression and anxiety is anti-depressants. These drugs are designed to alter the hormones in your brain in a way that allows you to function much better with less of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. There are a number of different medications on the market, and your doctor will recommend the right one for you. 

Opinions are mixed on anti-depressants as there are many different types around, and they don’t all work for everyone in the same way. 

Alternative Treatments

There are a number of herbal medications such as St John’s Wart that have long been used for the treatment of depression. Again, the success of this is varied, but it is something that can be bought without a prescription and taken as needed. 

Another option that can be taken when needed is CBD  Vsavi can offer an amazing kit that contains everything that you need to start taking this oil that is derived from the cannabis plant. With none of the psychoactive ingredients, CBD oil is not addictive and can be taken whenever needed, providing a fairly instantaneous feeling of calm and a reduction in anxiety.

*This is a collaborative post*

Christmas Bucket List

This year I'm determined to make the most of the festive season so I've created a Christmas bucket list. 

What's on your list to do this year?

You can pin my bucket list to Pinterest by clicking on the top corner of the image.


Thursday 14 November 2019

6 Ways To Combat Your Mental Health As A Parent

Being a parent is the greatest feeling in the world – that’s pretty much indisputable. Creating a little person is just about the only thing that we know we’re here for – everything else is just pure speculation. That said, completing the one and only task we know we need to complete feels wonderful! As soon as you hear the news that there will be a baby on the way, you feel this overwhelming sense of love, and a new-found duty of care flows through your entire body. These feelings become massively amplified during and after the arrival!

It’s amazing, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s also very, very difficult at times. Sure, some days parenting is a walk in the park, but the majority of days are pretty hard-hitting. Many people are able to shake off the tough times, but they can have a lasting effect on many other parents. 

If you’re a parent that is struggling with the jobs you have ahead of you, then there are things you can do to combat the mental struggles of them all. The stress will always be with you – it comes with the territory – but there are ways to lower its intensity. With any mental health struggle, time is needed, it’s not exactly going to be a quick fix, but it’s something that can absolutely be conquered. Here are a few things you can do: 

Talk About It With Your Partner

Simply opening up about what you’re going through would help out a lot. A lot of people are too afraid to talk about their problems because they feel it might burden the other person – it really wouldn’t though. If somebody you love is struggling with all kinds of issues, would you palm away their attempts to share and relieve stress? Of course, you wouldn’t. Open up completely about what your issues are – once they’re out in the open, you’re able to then approach them better.

Keep Active 

Well, if you’ve got a child with you, then you’re going to be kept on your toes a lot, so you might not need to do anything else in order to keep fit. You should absolutely keep an eye on your physical fitness, however – you don’t want that thing dropping off because it’ll make your jobs so much harder. Keeping fit and exercising will also clear your mind for a little while, and make you feel a lot more positive and confident. You’ll be in a better headspace whenever you approach certain tasks. 

Make Sure You Eat And Drink Enough 

Not having enough energy is a big factor that leads to increasingly poor mental health issues. It sounds so simple, but it’s true. This can be amplified when you have a child to take care of. You need the energy to perform certain tasks, and you also need it to stop your mind from going crazy (or crazier!). 

Be Grateful For The Situation You’re In 

This sounds like a stupid idea – especially when you’re in a pretty torrid predicament – but perhaps you should take a step back and look at the position you’re currently in. It might not mean much to you when you’re not in a great headspace, but lots of people would love to be in your shoes. It might be a little difficult at times, but many people would swap lives with you in an instant. 

This kind of thing might not be much of a booster, but it might be able to shine a light of positivity on your situation. It might make you feel as though you’re in a pretty nice position as it is.

Look For Alternative Medicinal Means 

If it’s getting all too much for you, then you might want to head to a doctor, and let them figure out a few things. They’ll listen to your story and point you in the right direction. If it means taking a few tablets to calm you down a little, then so be it. It sounds taboo and crazy, but many parents (and people suffering from mental struggles in general) use cannabis in order to relax their minds a little and grab some perspective. It’s obviously still a stigmatized thing, but Cannabis in the UK is looking more and more likely – and that’s due to the positive effect it has on the health and wellbeing of so many people. 

Hire A Childminder

If you’ve got the money, then this is a no-brainer. You should take a little break every now and again. You may feel a little too attached to your child, but letting go for a day or two could fix up your mind. You’ll have to chance to refresh and revitalize ahead of another bout of parenting!

*This is a collaborative post*


Cardiff's Winter Wonderland 2019

Last week we were invited to the opening of Cardiff's Winter Wonderland. It's one of our favourite places to visit during the festive season. 

There have been a few changes this year. Our first impression was that it seemed smaller, however, it is simply because the layout has changed and there has been an exciting new addition.

There are plenty of rides and stalls to choose from for all ages. My girls are nearly 4 and 6 and they went on quite a few amusements. Their favourites were the fun house, the funny mirrors and some of the smaller rides.

The highlight of the night for all of us was the ice-skating with the new alpine ski trail. My youngest absolutely loved skating with her penguin. She had ice-skates which went over her shoes which I think she found quite comfortable.

My eldest started with a penguin but then bravely had a go at skating by herself.

The ski-trail is the first of its kind in the UK. It is attached to the ice-rink and takes you on a journey around the gardens and then back into the ice-rink. It's a lovely addition to the experience.

We also enjoyed the big wheel. It has had a makeover and it is now wheelchair accessible. Even in the dark we enjoyed sweeping views of Cardiff.

I will admit that we were disappointed with the food options. There was one large van serving hot food and drinks. It was reasonably priced but it was busy and we had to wait a while. I think on a very busy day at Winter Wonderland, one van will not be enough. There are other options such as donuts or crepes but for things such as burgers and chips, this is the only stall.

We ended the night in one of our favourite places at Winter Wonderland and that is the Sur la Piste bar. Hubby and I had a mulled wine whilst the girls enjoyed hot chocolates in a cosy booth under a heater.

We will definitely be returning over the Christmas period.

It is open until the 5th January. Booking for ice-skating is highly recommended. 

** Disclosure - We were invited to the opening of Winter Wonderland in exchange for instagram posts. You can head over to my instagram profile and go to the Christmas highlight on my homepage to see what we got up to. Head over to my profile by clicking here, Instagram. We were not asked to write a blog post. I have written this one as we had such a good time that I wanted to share it with you. All photos and words are my own*

The best baby doll gifts this Christmas

There are so many amazing baby dolls and accessories to choose from this Christmas so I've rounded up the best offerings by BABY born.

BABY born soft touch boy or girl
These dolls have a softer touch feel which is gentler for tiny hands. The dolls are 43cm and are interactive with 9 lifelike functions. 
They have movable arms and legs (great when getting them changed). 
These dolls can eat and drink and they can also go on the potty. If you press baby's button on his/her tummy they will wet.
The doll's eyes also close when they are lying down/drifting off to sleep.
The doll includes everything you need to get started such as a potty, nappy, dummy, bottle and more.

BABY born surprise 
These make a perfect stocking filler. Most children love surprise toys and these ones are packed full of fun. 
They include an 11cm baby doll, nappy, bottle, swaddle and birth certificate. The mini doll even has a drinking and toileting function and if you rub their eyelids with a damp cloth they will open and reveal their colour. 

BABY born changing bag
The changing bag makes the ideal accessory for any child who loves to play with baby dolls. It can carry all baby essentials such as nappies and bottles and is perfect for enhancing role play. 

BABY born magic bed heaven
The BABY born bed comes with a canopy, bedding and a magical bear. It also includes stickers for children to decorate the bed as they wish. The sides are also removable.

BABY born surprise bottle playset
This playset is a home for the mini surprise baby dolls (as discussed earlier in the post). The colourful home is shaped as a baby bottle and it also includes a mini baby doll. The playset features a baby gym area, bedroom area, bathroom area and more.

All of these items can be purchased from most good toy retailers such as Smyths.

Do you have any baby dolls and accessories you recommend?

* Disclaimer - I was previously gifted a couple of BABY born items featured in this post as part of a review. Photos are not my own*

Wednesday 6 November 2019

Dental Tips For The Winter Season

The winter is a time when ailments tend to visit us, with colds and the flu often a frequent issue, as the weather changes and our body is more susceptible to bugs and viruses. We are still a long way off the winter here in Australia, but here are some great oral hygiene tips to help prevent the onset of colds and the flu when the temperatures drop.

  •     Stay Hydrated - We don’t always drink enough water in the cold season and this could have a negative impact on our health. If you do go down with a cold, or worse, the flu, then it is critical that you stay hydrated, so get into a routine that includes drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, after lunch, in the afternoon, and during the evening.

  •     Reduce Your Sugar Intake - This is something you should try to do all year round, and especially in the colder months, as sugar is the major cause of tooth decay, and if you do ingest anything with high sugar content, always brush and floss directly after. You can also rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash, which will help to remove sugar from your teeth enamel.

  •     Professional Teeth Cleaning - This is always a good idea, and something the dentist would recommend prior to teeth whitening in Sydney, which is a popular cosmetic dental treatment. Having your teeth professionally cleaned is recommended prior to laser teeth whitening treatment, but the treatment can be carried out at any time. Some people have their teeth professionally cleaned every year, which reduces the risk of tooth decay, and with proper brushing and flossing every day, you are minimising the risk of cavities.

  •     Take Vitamin Supplements - This can really help your body deal with the climate change, and that could be enough to protect you against common winter bugs. Start at the end of the summer and if you feel the benefits, why not continue taking the supplements all year?

  •     Cold Sores - These can suddenly erupt at any time, but are more likely to occur in the colder months of the year. In the event you have a cold sore, resist the temptation to pick it, and apply some cold sore ointment, which will promote the natural healing process.

  •      Use Lip Balm - The cold wind can easily cause chapped lips and the best form of protection is to apply lip balm as the cold weather arrives. Chapped lips can be extremely painful and rather than wait for it to happen, start protecting your lips with balm before the cold weather arrives. There are articles available online that share tips on how best to treat chapped lips.

The cold winter months are a time when we can suffer from colds and flu, and by taking the above advice, you are reducing the risk of catching a common cold. It is important to have a good oral hygiene routine, not just in the winter, but all year round, and you should schedule an oral examination by your dentist at least once a year.

This article is published in partnership with Mediabuzzer

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