Good morning. I hope you are well this morning :)
I don't know about you but this morning I didn't want to get out of my nice cosy bed. It's grey, and wet and miserable outside and I think were set for a dark day. When we suffer anxiety or depression days like this can be extremely difficult because we just want to hide in our beds and sleep the day away. However we are all affected in some way by the weather no matter what our mental health state. It is a known fact that when it's sunny and warm outside our moods generally lift and we are happy, shinny people. When it's dark and wet we are often low, tired and a little grumpy, when it snows we all complain about "where has the summer gone" but when it's hot we often complain it is too warm. However the general rule of thumb is most people feel better on a sunny day. Now we know this is partly down to chemicals in the brain that are stimulated by sunshine. But seasons are important to our survival and lets face it, inevitable. They are a sign of constant change. A reminder that no matter how gloomy one day is the next day always has the potential to be better and lets face it, it's what we make of our day that makes it...not what the weather dictates! So instead of seeing a dark miserable week with barely any sunshine try and say "we had a glorious hour of sunshine on Tuesday afternoon which really brightened my week!"
When my children were little I used to child mind and we all loved the Autumn season. I would take the children out to a local park and we would leaf kick and splash in the puddles. We would play in the rain and wind until our fingers and toes were numb then we would drive home and sit in front of the fire and drink hot chocolate, eat marshmallows and chat about the fun we had had. We would often collect some of the leaves so we could make pictures with them and leaf rubbings. On rainy days we made play dough and painted our hands and feet to cover rolls of old wall paper and make wall hangings. In the winter we made snowmen and pelted each other with snowballs or we would walk through the paddock making huge foot prints in the snow and lay down to make snow Angels. In Spring we looked for buds and planted sunflowers and went hunting for mini beasts and in the summer we played in the garden for hours making picnics under the apple tree, bouncing on the trampoline and making assault courses with the slide, paddling pool and various toys. When you work with children their is fun to be had everyday no matter how stressful it is at times and their little faces are always expectant. So at what point do we loose that ability to see the joy in everything?
I think it's the time when we finally grow up, (at whatever age that is) and take on responsibilities, which we sometimes take a little too seriously. Life can be so stressful and busy we often forget to take the time to truly appreciate the simple things in life and this is when we become bogged down. We don't always have time to go leaf kicking, be honest when was the last time you even thought about it? We don't want to splash in puddles because that means washing and that's just another job. It can be expensive, dirty and tricky to light a good old fashioned coal fire and lets face it who these days has the time to sit by an open fire and just 'talk!' And yet it puzzles me that people who say they don't have time for this and that make endless spare time to play on their mobile phones or games stations! Some people will happily spend hours thinking about what they haven't got in life and how miserable their life really is and others will worry constantly about things that may or may not be. If like me you were born in the 1970's or before, cast your mind back to family time. What did you do with your parents? How did you spend your time? Were you happy?
We all have a tendency to wear rose tinted spectacles when looking into the past but I think that actually the time before mobile phones and games stations was indeed less stress. People still had stresses of course and everything is relative to it's own constraints but our family had 'family' time. We spent time with our parents walking in the countryside for hours. my Dad was a keen photographer in his spare time and we would often go out into the country so he could immortalise waterfalls, spiders webs covered in due or rain, thatched cottage's and even coke cans that had been discarded by irresponsible hooligans who had no respect for the great out doors and the wild life that resides in it. We baked with our Mam and made picnics. We went to our Grandparents houses and had family get together's for any and every occasion and we built memories together. My sister and I were privileged in the fact that our parents made their garage into a party room for us. We had speakers and disco lights for Birthdays and at Halloween we had the whole street in to play ducky apple. At weekends Dad would go to a local wholesaler's and buy tins of sweets which my sister and I would sell from the garage door (our own little tuck shop). We had party after party in that garage and during the day we would use it for tap dancing practice or as a sort of den with our friends. My point being our childhood was happy not because we didn't have stress or problems and not because our parents had endless time for us, but because we used our imaginations to play and share with friends and our parents, no matter how busy they were with work or looking after the house and us, made time to spend with for us!
We all found an outlet for emotions in conversing with family and friends and we laughed! Boy did we laugh. I think that's the one thing I miss most about being at home with my sister and parents. We had an ability to see the humour in absolutely everything and we belly laughed until we cried and our sides hurt. We still do every time I go home. There is always something to set us off laughing and we talk all the time...some say we talk too much but if you talk and share your feelings you verbalise your worries and fears, which helps you to find a health perception and then they find their own place, a place with perspective and logic because someone will always hear what you say and view it in a different way to you. People can find laughter in any situation no matter how grave and this in turn brings healing and acceptance. I remember at my Grandad's funeral his brothers and sisters had a great party afterwards, they chatted and laughed and sang. Far from being disrespectful it was amazing and we all shared in the grief but we made the day a celebration of his life. His brothers even fought over who would get Grandad's slippers and who would die next but in a joking way which had us all giggling along with them, well maybe at them actually, but we all laughed never the less. It wasn't that we weren't sad, we were all devastated, but we were grateful for having had him in our lives, for the joy he brought and the love we shared with him and this united us all.
Be honest now. When was the last time you laughed? And I mean a real hearty laugh right from the pit of your stomach? Was it Today? Yesterday? Last week? Can you even remember? Do you know that any years ago people actually died of laughing? Cast your thoughts to times of real hardships. Imagine having one moldy loaf to feed your family of 10 a day. Dirty water to drink. A bath once a month if at all. A pot in the middle of the room in which all of you used to go to the toilet. One room for the whole family to live in, sleep in and cook in. One set of clothes. No toys as a child. No form of communication with the outside world. No money. No holidays. No treats. No nights out. Nothing. Just grueling 14 hour work days 6 days a week and Church on a Sunday. Your only social event. And yet people did find happiness. They found joy in their blessings...no matter how few of them they had. They sang and talked. They shared everything they had with each other and they were grateful for life. I don't doubt sometimes they had their down days, lets face it who wouldn't, but these are the days when people actually dropped down dead from laughing!
I'm not saying we all need to live in dirty shanty houses and give away all of our worldly goods to be happy. What I am saying is no matter how much or how little you have in life physically or emotionally there is always a positive and the law of attraction states that if you focus on gratitude for what you have in life it will open the gates to abundance and more positives will come. If you focus on fear and what you don't have then you create your own sense of lack and you will always be lacking! Now we all get days when we are Mr and Mrs Positive and everything still seems to go wrong. That's just life I am afraid, but the key is to do it on a daily basis and reap what ever rewards you can from it. To remain positive in every situation and know that everything has an end. Even excess anxiety. Try to look for at least one good in everything and leave the negative stuff to transmute. Some days all there is to be grateful for is a very basic need being met. For instance if you have been fed that day. Your home. Your family or friends. A kind word or smile from a stranger. The fact your dog loves you whatever. Now pick that one gratitude and colour it like so...I will use my children for my example
I am grateful for my children. For the smell of their hair and the warmth of their hugs. The sound of their laughter and their wonderful imaginations. I am grateful for their happy smiling faces and the fact that no matter how much time I spend on my work, or housework, they are always happy to spend precious moments with me. My children are eternal optimists and help me to see that there is fun and opportunities in every day and most of all that Love really is unconditional. So if they love me then their must be something good about me to love and I love everyone of them with all my heart! My life is full and enriched because of them. My kids are not perfect but they are amazing wonderful human beings and I thank the Lord every day for them.
So lets get back to today. It's wet and dark and a bit cold but rather than be sad and miserable I've just had a great trip down memory lane and relived some amazing memories of my past which have made me smile. I have taken part in a much loved hobby of mine...writing and I am determined now to go and organise an activity with my family which will create a memory we can all look back on in another 20 or 30 years and then I am going to fill my day with some of my favorite things like snuggling my two poorly boys, crochet, my work, walking my dog and really enjoy the beautiful autumn weather because my otherwise dark day has just been lite up and filled with positive thoughts. I hope yours has too xx
Hi my Name is Philippa Woodsford and I am a Holistic therapist, Reiki Master Teacher and Hypnotherapist. I suffer with anxiety and depression due to a condition called fibromyalgia which I believe is linked with an auto immune disease I was diagnosed with at just 17. My blog is written for me as a sort of journal but also in the hope it may bring hope and healing to others suffering with similar issues on a daily basis. Enjoy