Feeling down and out? How to GET IT TOGETHER during quarantine

#stayinghome, mental health, mindfulness

Quarantine. A word I wasn’t aware of until it became my reality. Getting through the days have been a rollercoaster of highs and lows for us all. It would have been nice to get a heads up that our 2020 vision was going to be postponed until further notice, but unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.

The first three weeks was the most unproductive I have felt in a very long time. My low appetite somehow was replaced with huge cravings of everything in my kitchen and although spending majority of the day playing with Mylah is considered a good thing, I completely forgot about myself (just when self-care was becoming more consistent). It has all been a bit manic, but I am tired of the complaining and so Is sharing with you what I am doing to GET IT TOGETHER during this quarantine season.

1. Building and Maintaining a routine

The first step to getting anything together is to start with the basics. Washing my face and brushing my teeth twice a day, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and not using a fresh set of pyjamas as an everyday outfit.

You may not see the point if your staying in all day. Although no matter how much ‘other stuff’ you get done, your never fully comfortable or ready until you have completed the basics, so if your stuck on getting your life on during lock down, the basics would be a good place to start.

2.Spend more conscious time with yourself


If your not on a dating app then your on Instagram, if your not on Instagram then your on houseparty and if your not on house party then your watching netflix or porn. Who knows lol.

Even if none of thoes are of your interest, the point that I am trying to make is that we are constantly finding anything to distract us from whats really happening within and around us. No I am not telling you to go and switch on the news but what I am telling you to do is to switch on the channel of just you.

Learn to embrace your present moment rather than what is going on beyond our control in the world. This way we will be able to feel sense of reconnection within, allowing moments of gratitude and peace to uplift your mood.

3.Complete course work or anything you need to do!


After receiving low marks on my assignment because my baby brain (yes that is still my excuse at 18months postpartum!!) forgot to double-check and only handed in one part. I felt extremely discouraged to carry on but with lockdown in place and only so much I can do, I have decided to complete my course.

What have you been putting off? What can you do that will benefit you?

Whatever that is, you may as well get it done now and if you have no idea then get creative, learn a new skill, read a new book or a complete an online course


4.Eating more consciously

When I first stocked up, I made sure that I grabbed every snack and sweet, that I liked and had finished it all by week two. My skin broke out, my pot belly was extreme, and my mood swings was changing so fast that I could barely keep up with myself. I felt like a slug.

Moving forward I now start my day with my ‘5 a day’ (fruit) blended into a smoothie for breakfast and is more conscious of what I am eating. Most importantly, making sure that I don’t overload myself on the portion size. I also only buy water as it curves my temptation and enforces my goal to be more hydrated the H2o way!

5. Exercise

I have accepted the fact that I enjoy being active. Yes, it leaves the body aching but it also makes me feel proud, happy, energetic and present. Feelings we can all do with during this season. So if you haven’t already, give it a go. I’ve started doing a 10 minute morning yoga challenge for 30 days, which allows me to start the day feeling positive and bright.

When lemons are thrown at us we just make lemonade! Uplifting the world starts with uplifting yourself. So lets get back on track together the best way we can and help spread more love and compassion to ourselves and others instead of fear and worry.

Sending you positive vibes.

Ren x

Attaining self-care as a Mother

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Having just dropped Mylah off to her Nans, I began to make my way home. Feeling as gloomy as the clouds and my phone on 1%. I braced myself for the twenty minute wait I had until my train arrived.

With nothing to distract me from myself, I was stuck with how I’ve been really feeling.

Like utter shit.

Yes I have had good days, that I have felt self-cared for but since becoming a mother, self-care and self-effort has been a struggle for me.

I had this expectation that motherhood would bring out a new look, a new style and a want to self-care even more than I did before becoming a Mother.

Although my reality so far hasn’t gone the way I expected and it was days like this standing at the train station that remided me of my desperate need for a reality check (and then a huge hug).

Its not often that I get to go out with my girlfriends. I had been longing for this day to come. I onced loved wearing makeup but now was cringing at how terrible it would look on my irritable skin. I used to love dressing up and making an effort even on a random tuesday, but that old excitement now felt like a chore.

Once I had got home, I felt even more stuck in my rut but after being bonbarded with persuation from my friends, I decided to gather the energy to get ready.

It wasnt until I had got ready that I realised that I’d been missing this part of me. I felt beautiful, I felt confident and rejuvenated. Thats when I realised where I’d been going wrong.

Exposing and letting go of the expectations

Self-care before having a baby was something I would indulge in, take my time to complete and thoroughly enjoy. I valued the importance of self-care that it became part of me and was never something I had to force to attain.

I realised that I still relyed on that expectation to be the same with being a mother and becuase what I had expected did not instantly become my reality, subconsciously I was slowly letting that part of me wither away.


Accepting the hard truth for attaining self care as a Mother

1.The want to self-care WILL NOT come as a natural need everyday

Sometimes I miss washing my face at night because I am completely shattered. Sometimes I cant be asked to shave my arm pits because Mylah is too silent (which means shes probably doing something she shouldn’t) and opt for a long sleeve top.

Self-care will slip your mind as quick as your reflexes when your child puts something they shouldn’t in their mouth.

Even when I am aware that I need to make the time for self-care,does not mean I want to do it in that moment ( yes you are not alone).

These feelings are normal so become more aware of them, accept them, understand them and most importantly be kind yourself.

Its ok if you miss a day or few. As long as you get back up, your still in control.

2. It can take a little to ALOT of force

The truth is simple, you have you force yourself, especially on thoes days ( like my day at the train station) where you just cant be asked!

That day took ALOT of force but now I am soo thankful because it reminded me how important self care is.

To relax doesnt come as easy when your a parent. Sometimes you have to force yourself to get up and make the bottle, you have to force yourself to change your baby’s nappy, you have to force yourself to wipe thoes tears and keep going.

You force yourself because you care. So be sure to care for you, force yourself to take a step in the self-care you deserve.

Sending you positive vibes, always.

Rens x

Cons of being a Young Parent

friendship, housing, mental health, motherhood, youngmum
Me and My Mylah

Having a baby is far from your childhood memories of when you used to play mums and dads. Its takes understanding, growth, patience, responsibility and the list can go on and on. No matter how old you are the principles are still the same, that there is no rule book to parenthood.

Although being a young Mum we tend to have a slight different experience to the average mother ( whatever that means). So below are some cons I’ve discovered since becoming a young parent.

1. You WILL miss out

Being a Young mum your more than likely to still have that buzz to want to go out with your friends and attend social events however that’s not a reality you’ll be living until your child is at least 18. Harsh to hear but it’s the truth. Not every time you’ll have a baby sitter available so expect it, don’t get upset about it as there will be many more events in the future that you will be able to attend.

2. Your independence is replaced with responsibility

Last year I could just get up and go. Fast forward to today, I now have a checklist of everything I need to pack before I step out the door. I am now more mindful of every choice and decision I make as every consequence that affects me will affect my daughter also.

Being young, you already haven’t had independence for as long as you initially thought (speaking in terms of an unplanned pregnancy), and now with a baby, the consequence can be overwhelming and hard to balance for some. Especially if you’re not mentally prepared, this can be a challenge at first.

3. It can get lonely

You may be the only one out of all your friends who has a child. With that, finding people who can relate to your situation can be a difficult task and in the meantime can get very lonely.

We all get lonely and it’s important for us to try to stay connected and find ways that will help and conquer our feelings of loneliness at times. For example, writing this blog helps me get out of my head when I sometimes feel lonely.

4. You may feel isolated from Motherhood

Again relating to loneliness, when I take my daughter to her baby groups I am always the youngest one there. I feel this stands out amongst the other Mothers. They may smile and a few may have a brief conversation with me but for the most part and In my head, I always felt like they are just trying to figure out exactly how old I am.

When I first started going I used to feel isolated because of this. It wasn’t somewhere I felt welcomed and took time for me to feel comfortable and gain confidence again.

5. The physical changes

Loving my body has been a rollercoaster. I thought I would snap back to normal like some of my other friends who have had children, although God had other plans.

My tummy, covered in stretch Mark and loose skin is my new reality. Surprisingly it hasn’t affected me as bad as I thought it would. Although now I’m a lot more conscious of what I wear whereas before I could wear anything.

6. Emotional changes

Young parents are more likely to experience postpartum depression which is a lot to handle whilst taking care of a baby, as it is easy to ignore the signs. Common symptoms can be feeling in a constant state of sadness, loss of appetite, feeling hopeless and less interested in the world around you, having trouble concentrating/making decisions and difficulty bonding with your baby.

As I am no expert I’d advise you to go on the NHS website for more information and to contact a professional if you feel you can relate to the symptoms above.

7. Education career and sacrifice

It’s hard. Especially if you don’t have the support from family regarding childcare. This can easily make you feel stuck as you want to do more to be able to provide yourself and child but get restricted by high childcare cost, housing situation and any other factors that goes against you making progress. You may have to drop out of work or education and return when your child is older in age. As young parents making those sacrifices are tough.

You are strong as no matter what goes against you as young mum, you continue to rise above. I would like to end this blog on that note as being reminded of the cons can be a bit self-sabotaging. This may not be your reality but if it is just know that you are not alone and that everything will fall into place in due time.

Send you positive vibes always.

Rens x

Reasons why I love breastfeeding!

breastfeeding, mindfulness, motherhood, Pregnancy, youngmum
Photo: pinterest

From once being adamant that I wasn’t going to breastfeed, to now still breastfeeding at 16 months and not knowing when to stop. For me, breastfeeding has been a vital part of surviving motherhood so far. Its times like this now Mylah has chicken poxs, I thank the Lord for my struggling boob (I only breast feed on one side) for some how still producing milk. It is remarkable how our bodies work and so I wanted to share with you why I personally love breastfeeding.

1. The convenience


Surely, I can’t be the only parent, after checking numerous times that you’ve packed everything in your babies bag, and later realise that you have forgotten to pack the formula when your baby Is demanding food. This is when the milk lady (what I like to refer myself as) is here to save the day, to quickly whip out the boobie and feed my baby, whenever and wherever she needs.

2.The best way to build babys immune system


It’s a hard truth but companies can try to make as many formula concoctions but can never be as equivalent to the power your breastmilk holds. You really are a woman of powers. For the first 6 months of your child’s life, YOU are all you need to provide your little one with all the nutrients to build their immune system, containing the right number of hormones, probiotics, healthy sugars and fats. You even shield your baby from infections by creating antibodies, which fight against germs, protecting your baby.

3. No more zombie night feeds

Making bottles during the night is NOT fun. I thought that pumping would save me from the trouble night feeds and lack of sleep but I was wrong.

If you want quick, hassle free night feeds then breastfeeding is your answer.

4. Helps snatch post-baby tummy

After giving birth, my belly still looked like I was 5 months pregnant. Everyone had told me that breastfeeding helped to lose the baby weight, to which I can agree.

At first, it felt so uncomfortable. Imagine feeling your organs and uterus cramping itself back to its original place in your body. As gruesome as it sounds that’s your body adjusting to its new familiar home. Breastfeeding speeds up that process as it burns calories from the body, helping to loose that baby weight and snatch the tummy.

5. She knows I’m the milk lady and you can’t get better bond than that!

There’s something special that happens when your little one snuggles themselves on you during a feed. It reminds me that she is literally apart of me. I feel so proud, responsible and sometimes even tearful knowing that as I’m still considered a home for my daughter internally when was growing and externally as she grows.

Breastfeeding is a journey within itself that involves a lot of sore trials and errors, although once mastered is a journey of growth, connection and convenience, lol. I hope this post helps you to stick with or consider trying breastfeeding.

Sending you positive vibes always.

Ren x

First Birthday ideas that doesn’t involve throwing a party

motherhood
Image from Pexel

A random post to save the parent who doesn’t know what to do for their child’s birthday. I remember busting my brains for alternatives when I decided that I wasn’t going to throw a party for Mylah’s first birthday. Although I eventually got there in the end, coming up with ideas was difficult, but don’t worry that’s why I am here to save you the hassle, sharing party alternatives will make the day just as special.

Book a holiday

It was only right that i made this my first suggestion as this is what we decided to do for Mylah’s birthday. Instead of having one day of Fun, Mylah had 4 days of fun in Barcelona. This was also her first holiday which for us is significant as we will never forget our first holiday as a family and the many photos we have to show her when she get older.

The Rainforest Café

This isn’t your average restaurant as when you first walk in it looks like a kiddies Safari toy store. However downstairs, is the coolest jungle themed restaurant, filled with the most amazing decoration for pictures. With fake animals moving and making sounds, they also do amazing cocktails for the adults. So If your little one isn’t afraid of the jungle this is a great place to invite family and friends for a celebration.

The Zoo

If the weather is lovely then why not take a trip to the zoo. Bring the books you read to your little one to life by letting them explore natures animals.

The Aquarium

In London we have a Aquarium called SEA LIFE where they hold fishes you’d wish your tank at home could hold. With soo many different fishes to see and soo much you can learn, your little one is bound to have there eyes hooked. They may also slap the glass which is what Mylah did scaring the poor fishies but overall had a blast exploring the underwater world.

Soft play centre

At the age of one your little one is preparing, if not already has started to walk and is trying to explore everything you don’t want them to. So why not put them in a safe environment away from hazards, to go wild at a soft play centre with other children. If you did want to have a cake cut with family and friends most soft play centres like Gambardos in London offer party packages giving them the responsibility of running the party for you.

A Baby Theatre

I haven’t been with Mylah as of yet but know others that have been. So if your a parent who loves the theatre and your baby loves watching ceebeeies then they may also enjoy the live entertainment of a baby theatre show, that will allow them to interact with the characters on the stage.

After all it is their birthday, so heck! Let them scream all they want. It’s not like you can stop them.

The first birthday is a tricky one as its a first and special milestone but also doenst have much of a variety dedicated for a birthday of that age. That’s probably because the most important thing your baby cares about is feeling the love you already give every single day.

I hope this post gave you some party alternative ideas you didn’t consider before. 

Sending you positive vibes always.

 Rens xo

The problem living in temporary accommodation

adulting, housing, youngmum

During mid pregnancy, I moved into the housing system. Since then I have moved three times, living in three different types of temporary accommodations. On a journey that can feel lonely I have met people from all walks of life, in the same situation.

I am most definitely grateful that I have a roof over my head although want to share with you some of the issues and feelings that has impacted me and many others since living in temporary accommodation.

You are constantly feeling uncertain

The biggest problem with the housing system is how uncertain the whole thing is.

There are areas that make us feel safer than others, areas were would like to raise our kids. Some of us would rather live on the ground flood and others, like me fear lifts. The point I am trying to make is that we all have different preferences.

The world is our oyster and although we do have the option to live anywhere in the world, it often feels like that is stripped away from our right as human beings within the housing system.

Just because we don’t have the money for a house deposit right now doesn’t mean we should be excluded from having a say of preference when finding a home for our family.

It is nearly impossible for you to move to a different borough out of preference, yet families are being moved across and out of London. The government takes advantage at the fact that people have nowhere else to go, therefore compelling families to forcefully start anew.

You feel restricted

Living in temporary accommodation can also have you stuck in a rut of restriction. Feeling hopeless to better your current situation. Depending on where your housing has placed you.

A lot of people who work, feel obliged to leave their jobs as a way of bettering their housing situation. This is because families are being moved to live in private rented properties, with ridiculously high rent. Not to mention council tax, other bills and never forgetting food.

I know you may be thinking this contradicts the purpose of working to maintain an income and take responsibility, which the government claims to promote.

Although individuals are deliberately placed in vulnerable positions, as if they work over a certain number of hours (usually 16), they are responsible to pay the extremely high charging rent of their private accommodation and receive minimum help from the government.

This then becomes a vicious cycle trying to keep up with payments, unable to maintain savings and making it impossible to clear any previous debts. If anything, this causes more debt to accumulate.

Which leads me onto my next point.

Mental health

With options at a minimum and years of bidding and waiting, id be surprised if someone told me they hadn’t been through a time of mental drainage. It’s a damaging cycle as people with mental health before living in temporary accommodation can find it harder to cope, making your mental health worse and also causing mental health.

‘If wherever you’re living feels unsafe, uncomfortable or insecure, you might constantly feel stressed, anxious, panicked or depressed.’ (mind.org)

For me the journey hasn’t been easy especially moving during pregnancy and dealing with mental health previously, there are many other factors like money problems, low self esteem and problems working or studying that you may not have known your living situation can affect. The mental health charity, Mind explains this in more detail.

Its important that if your going through a time of mental strain to find ways that allows you release mental pressure.

My intention for this post as sceptical as I was to share, is to bring awareness of some of the feelings over 84,704 others are facing. If you are in this situation I hope this post gives you comfort to remind you that you are not alone.

Sending you positive vibes always.

Rens x

Friendships that won’t serve your 2020 vision

growth

We are finally in the new year.

New you, new boo, new career but still screaming, No new friends?

Sis.

I’m about to give you a reality check of some of behaviours your friends may be showing that don’t serve you being your best, feeling your best and living your best.

THE COMPETITOR

Do you have a friend that feels like they are always trying to compete with you? This friend seems to never be satisfied with anything because they aren’t satisfied with themselves. They will make you feel like you’re not good enough and will always act like they are one step ahead of everything you do, like and enjoy. 

You are in no competition, you may feel at times that the friendship is one sided. You are the first one to congratulate and celebrate their achievements but when it’s your turn they will briefly congratulate you, followed by advice of what they did and what you should have done or what they could have done for you that would have made it even better.

This type of friend will continue to show you that they are ONLY out for themselves. Keep this friend around you long enough, and their insecurities may rub off on you.

THE ATTENTION SEEKER

  Similar to the competitor, an attention seeker will always ‘secretly’ want everything to be about them. When both of you are together everything will be normal until company is compromised with another person or even worse, a group of people. This is when a true attention seekers colours will show.

With no Alcohol needed this person will do anything to keep the attention on them for as long as possible. They may speak extremely loudly and enjoy making a scene by crying or starting drama with another person. They will act like a victim, for the outcome to attract attention and have the limelight shine on them, always.

A attention seeker will know how to make you feel guilty for not giving them the attention they believe they deserve. Although you won’t admit it to others you know deep down which friend of yours is an attention seeker. Be aware of this friend form now because if not you are not you’ll be under their attention spell always wondering what is wrong and finding ways to constantly please them.

THE PITTY FRIEND

This type of friend loves a good pity party. They will use every opportunity to complain and whinge about how bad their life is and why everything always goes wrong for them. When you try and sway the conversation to something positive they will always revert to pity by responding negatively.

We all have moments in life (I certainly do) that have us feeling overwhelmed, over drained and over everything. It’s good to speak to someone who understands you as it allows you to release some of the pressures, overflowing in your mind. The difference with a ‘pity friend ‘is that they secretly enjoy having negative conversations. It’s their comfort zone to be negative and although you may want to help your friend, no one can be helped in this world unless they really want it.

This energy is infectious if you invest yourself in it for too long. Conversations with this person will always have you feeling negative and doubtful about your life, completely forgetting how happy you were before speaking to them.

THE COMFORTABLE FRIEND

This type of friend doesn’t have any intention to grow and develop as a person. Same old attitude and same old mindset but wonder why they are in the same old situation (Read this one again, I certainly did).

This friend can’t see beyond their own current situation and therefore may not understand how to support your vision for more. You may find yourself being the motivator, always trying to help yourself and friend by suggesting business ideas or just trying something new and spontaneous for a change. This friend may agree with you in the moment but has no intentions to act upon anything.

Becoming aware of this kind of friend will allow you to be in control of how much of your time you should give to this friendship. Especially when coming out of your comfort zone it’s important that your time Is spent more with the people who support the person you are becoming, then the current version that everyone is familiar with.

Don’t wait on another person to allow yourself to grow. We all do thing at different times.

I hope this post helps you to stay woke on some of the behaviours that don’t serve your vision and allows you attract new friendships that will support your goals this new year.

Sending you positive vibes always.

  Rens x

Building New Friendships with a Baby!

friendship, motherhood, social media, youngmum

I never had many friends and since having Mylah that amount has depreciated even more. I’m so busy being a Mother that I hardly ever notice. I am lucky to have friends who I see enough not to feel isolated from the social world and do go out occasionally although want to build new friendships and connect with more people because…well,why not?

Below are a few suggestions on the things I am currently doing and may try out to build new friendships, who knows they might help you also.

Recognising the company, you DO have!

A quick life lesson story. My final year in secondary school felt extremely awkward and boring. I was desperate for a change and was tired of seeing the same people. It was weird because I remember having conversation with friends that we wanted to make new friends and couldn’t wait to start college. Obviously not leaving our friendships behind but building new.

Looking back, I realised that what really made that year so boring was the fact that I didn’t truly appreciate the friends I had right in front of me. We get so caught up in what we want that we forget to realise what we have.

What’s your reason for wanting to build new friendships?

When I was younger my reason was to overcome loneliness. At the time I thought building new friendship was the cure and so set myself up for failure at achieving to make new friends because it was all for the wrong reasons. When your unhappy with yourself internally the external can only bring you so much joy. Even your favourite artist feels lonely at times, its normal.

Since then I’ve Learned to enjoy my own company and show gratitude for the friends I do have. How can you possibly maintain friendships if you can’t even entertain yourself? Figure out what makes you happy, for me its music and dancing around the house with Mylah. Sounds small but it’s one way I express self-love.

Now let’s get into some practical tips that may not lead to friendships but does give the exposure to network with others.

Utilising social media

Everyone and their grandma uses social media nowadays. I have a love/ hate relationship with social media however it does open many doors to connect with people all over the world.

For example, if you’re an Instagram user. You can use hashtags where you’ll probably find hundreds if not thousands of other people who enjoy the same things as you. From there you can follow and comment on that person’s post which can easily be a way to start conversation based on a topic you already have in common.

Joining Groups on Facebook

Another similar way to Instagram although a lot more specific and intimate is to join a Facebook group. You can make your own group or join a group which allows to share your story and connect with others on the things you all have in common.

Friendship Apps

Just being honest. When I first saw that there were App’s for making friends, I cringed. My first thought was, “Is this what world has really come to?”. I feel like technology has brainwashed and separated us to be so involved with ourselves, that we can’t even make friends without it! But who knows that may just be the conspiracy in me.

When out in public I am more likely to be starred at, then conversated with so I guess we now reply on Apps?

So I can feel better about myself and also assure you that we are FAR from alone. The App Bubble has over 10m users, Yubo has over 5m users and friends talk has over 1milion users.

I made a Bubble account just to overcome my curiosity. It gave me Tinder (not like I’ve ever been on there) but for friendships kind of vibe. I didn’t have any conversations with anyone and quickly deleted the App when I saw an ex’s side chick as a suggestion, LOL. Who knows, I might download the App again and use it next time.

I hope this post has given you a starter point of a way to connect with others. Please share below your experience if you have ever tried to use an App for building friendship, it will be very much appreciated. Sending you positive vibes always. Rens x

Sending you positive vibes always