Sunday, 26 August 2018


Yesterday I put something on Instagram Stories about how I was currently undertaking a complete lifestyle re-haul - both mental and physical. I got lots of replies from people asking me how I was planning on doing this and a handful (just a handful - I'm not Zoella), asked me if I would blog about it. A few were even kind enough to tell me how much they missed my writing. So after 6 long months of a very much planned blog break, I decided to make this my returning topic of choice. 

I have missed blogging. But my decision to step away from it was very much a purposeful one. To start with, the idea of my romantic interests reading my little corner of the internet became undesirable. I have always been fiercely protective of my love life when it comes to sharing online. When I'm in a relationship I am likely to say very little about it on social media and I rarely blog about boyfriends unless my musings relate to someone who is now in the past. Given how much I spill my guts here about everything else that goes on in my head, I'm not entirely sure why that is. But it's just something I have always found to be too personal.

Another reason I took a break was because I was sick of the silly 'filler posts' I spent my time concocting. That event I got invited to that I had to mention cause hell they fed me free champagne all night or the posh moisturiser I received in the post that I couldn't use without punting on the blog somehow. I don't write for that stuff and I never did. As the months of no blogging ticked by the event invites dried up and the free stuff practically stopped. Which is a-ok. Because that's not what this blog is about anyway. And it never was. So as I make my return to the blogosphere (with a slight touch of trepidation), you can rest assured that any future promoting I do (and I imagine there will be very little) will be done over on my Instagram feed and not here. 

Because we're going back to the real stuff. 

The slightly heavy, sometimes cheery, over-thinking, often angsty, hopefully relatable, spill my guts, talk about life real stuff. The stuff I enjoy writing. The reason I am here. And hopefully the reason you are too. And if my blog stats are anything to go by it's the stuff you enjoy more anyway. It might not be as often. I probably won't blog as much. But when I do it won't be to tell you I'm giving away a massive box of crisps, to gloat about a recent free dinner or to recap my week with a bunch of photos you have already seen on Instagram anyway. 

The main reason I sacked blogging for a while was to re-evaluate. I questioned how much of my heart I was willing to share anymore. How much of my head I truly wanted to expose. I got sick of the intense pressure I put on myself to over-share. It became enjoyable to get home from work on a Monday evening and NOT spend the next 3 hours writing and proofreading. Taking a million different pictures before editing and posting. I concentrated on doing lots of exercise, I started seeing someone, I cooked a tonne of new recipes and I got myself heavily invested in Love Island. 

It was nice.

But I missed it. Writing has and always will be a cathartic process for me and in the last 6 months I have realised that in order to survive this crazy, chaotic, exciting, rewarding, punishing & sometimes just bloody stressful world that we are currently co-existing in - I have to bash these thoughts out. Or I might go quietly mad. 

And so onto the topic of this blog post.

My decision to change up some of my lifestyle habits came about after I got pretty sick during a recent holiday to Cyprus. Intense stomach pains saw me bent over double & pulling two grueling all-nighters which then saw a Saturday night visit from the local GP which then saw a visit to A&E. Where I was given a great deal of well received pain relief, a rough diagnosis & instructions to visit my own GP when I got home. I'm still feeling mega run down and exhausted but some blood tests tomorrow will no doubt confirm what everyone is suspecting anyway. A fairly common stomach infection that is totally treatable with a decent dose of antibiotics.

I spent my last few days in Cyprus in a darkened and air-conditioned apartment bedroom watching old episodes of Kath & Kim on Netflix and occasionally dragging myself down to the pool when I felt up to it for a couple of hours of laying in the sun. And I did a lot of thinking. I was stressed. Severely stressed and a lot of it was my own fault. I found my job stressful at times, I wasn't thick skinned and I often took the bad stuff home with me whilst completely disregarding any of my accomplishments or patting myself on the back for any of the good stuff. The control freak in me felt my department fell to pieces when I wasn't there and that in itself caused me to put a huge amount of pressure on myself to be there, even when I was severely ill. And pressure like that is not going to make you get better any quicker. I had to take serious steps to look after myself a bit better. Both physically and mentally. I took some time to understand why I put that pressure on myself and then I took steps to fix those reasons and to stop them happening and now I already feel so much better. 

Learning to regulate how I react to stressful situations is key and the main thing I am working on. A job is just a job. Difficult people are difficult people. And you can't be everything to everyone all of the time. I love my job and I was born to do it. But I don't need to always take it home with me, or pack it in my suitcase and take it on holiday with me. I'm compartmentalising & understanding that stress (be it brought on from work, relationships or other areas) doesn't need to fully integrate into the rest of your being. And it doesn't need to drip into all the other areas of your life. Boxing things up into priorities, learning what matters and what doesn't and understanding that health and family come first are the main components I'm working on right now.

It's head admin for the soul and for a control freak like me it really seems to be working.

I've massively cut down on drinking although this was something I started before I went on holiday. I have never been a bottle of wine a night gal and never will. But I do enjoy a tipple. I'm not really a go out all the time and get smashed girl either, more a cliched, single mum, treat myself to a gin because it's been a hard day or what's wrong with enjoying a glass of red with dinner at home style kinda drinker. I will often (but not always) drink nothing Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, usually enjoy my first wine of the week while tackling the ironing on a Wednesday, crank it up to two glasses because it's nearly the weekend on a Thursday, then easily scoop a bottle along with a few gins if I have friends or company over at the weekend. And we have friends or company over most weekends. But having cut that down significantly to the odd glass of red I feel ridiculously better. No more waking up groggily in the mornings, no more of the booze bloat making my jeans feel too tight and no more of that slightly depressed but I don't know why feeling for the first hour of the day. That feeling of waking up clear headed, positive and full of energy feels too good to give up. And so it's staying. Along with my new found sensibility for moderation. 

It was always going to happen sooner or later.

An unhealthy relationship towards diet and my body are also two things I am working on. And two things I suspect I have been pushing under the carpet for far too long. It's come to my attention that I may be a little too hard on myself, perhaps even see something different in the mirror to that which everyone else sees. Which is not uncommon. I can start with adopting a healthier approach to eating. I have a ridiculous habit of skipping meals which started when I had to lose my baby weight and I often survive on only one meal a day for a few days every week. It has been suggested now by more than a few people that it could be my constant Ibuprofen popping (as a reaction to headaches & terrible period pains), on these empty stomachs that could be to blame for my recent tummy issues. It usually takes a few people and a fair bit of repeating for things to start to get my attention. 

But I am listening.

So for those of you who asked - these are the ways in which I am changing my lifestyle. And even though I haven't been practicing them for that long, I already feel bloody wonderful. A clearer head has resulted in a much more positive outlook, eating healthily but regularly hasn't cause me to pile on the pounds and a long hard look at myself and how I manage my job has already resulted in my passion and zest for a job I truly adore returning.

Truthfully I feel great right now. The fact that every single bloke I get involved with ends up being a cheat, an unreliable flake or a control freak isn't even bothering me that much at the minute. I just genuinely, honestly don't care. And they do say the less you care the happier you'll be. And the fact that I have suddenly decided to start blogging again only a few days after I find myself newly single cannot be a coincidence.

I'm not just getting back a zest for a job that I absolutely love. I'm getting back an intense zest for life. I'm learning that stressful things are just stressful things. Just throw those bitches in a box and deal with them in the morning. Anxiety is a killer and something I only really started to suffer from a couple of years ago but these days the bouts are few and far between and I'm learning the triggers and how to avoid them (hiya caffeine). When I'm stressed my skin goes haywire, I binge eat junk food and I drink too much wine. All of which leave me feeling sad and miserable.

The fact that I am eating so much better, drinking so much less and starting to look so much healthier is all testament to how much a fresh and positive outlook can change your entire approach and mental wellbeing. So my plan is to adopt these changes for good, to enjoy every single minute of life with Ava before she hits her teens & starts hating me and to continue to get my kicks through my love of Scotland and adventure.

And hopefully to start blogging a bit more. 


Anonymous said...

Hurrah! Love reading your refreshingly honest blogs! Glad to see the return, and happy to hear you are feeling so well. Looking forward to the next instalment.

wholelottarosie said...

Yeees! Welcome back, Dawn! I've missed your beautiful writing and straightforward, honest, 'old-school' blog posts. Glad you're taking such positive steps to better yourself too - I admire you for it. Mr P's been working away a lot so instead of sinking into a Netflix bubble, I've been learning to cook (just simple, one pot things, like curries and chillies to start with) and learning Italian and I feel so accomplished x

Dawn Young said...

Thank you both! Glad to be back ❤️