How far we’ve come

Sometimes it is hard to focus on the progress we have actually made when faced with continual challenge. For those that have great strength of character and determination they will continue fighting whilst those around watch on in sheer amazement.

I am following the great challenge a rather special lady has been facing daily for the past six months and watching her smiling face on a short video today was like winning the lottery. The lovely Kim Smith is setting the bar so high in being inspirational! If only more people could summon her courage in what may be far less daunting challenges. However, my counselling training reminds me that everything is relative and what seems irrelevant to one person is insurmountable to another.

However, there is no doubt that having a positive attitude helps us overcome what life throws at us, and, in my own experience will carry us further than any other rehabilitation. Reflecting on how far we have come will hopefully spur us on to continue our battle whatever that may be. Keep shuffling Kim.

For anyone facing an uphill challenge…don’t give up..but don’t be too hard on yourself either and treat yourself to a break and something you enjoy doing..however simple that may be. Chocolate isn’t always the answer but boy it makes us feel better, and, it is actually good for you.

 

 

Being kind

Being kind and grateful feature frequently on my blog and I often say how kindness is not a weakness. Today I will quote a few words from ‘Alfie’ by the great Burt Bacharach to ponder:-

‘What’s it all about, Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind, Alfie…’

On speaking about kindness and being grateful with various pastoral colleagues it often seems that to some modern day people it’s uncool to be either…but I am an old-fashioned girl and believe we only get out what we put in and demonstrating kindness in all that we do, considering others… then we are happier ourselves. At the end of the day be grateful for any small achievement, success or happy moment and I promise you will wake up the next day feeling more positive and ready to face the day ahead.

Speaking to a recently bereaved gentleman yesterday; I reminded him to think about the good times and funny moments he had shared with his wife and after our unscheduled encounter he said he felt better and that made me feel grateful for my training too.

To the icecream man who gave me a free icecream this week after a hot afternoon invigilating- thanks for that tiny act of kindness Mr Whippy. You made an old girl very happy.

 

 

Exam stress

It is that time of year when students all over the country are revising for their exams and true to form the weather is hot, the pollen count is up just as they need to focus.

As ever, I remind those that are busy cramming to have regular screen breaks, exercise, keep hydrated and enjoy a break away and an ice cream or chocolate bar or two too!

Seriously, keeping up the exercise is vital as it releases all the positive endorphins, reduces stress, clears the head and re-energises to help keep the momentum going. For those so inclined I have always recommended yoga classes and most gym clubs now have yoga lessons available. So pick up your mat and join a class. Relaxation and meditation work wonders I promise.  Keep calm…you know your subjects…you are almost there!

I will be doing my bit in starting invigilating next week and sign off wishing all students the best of luck for the coming weeks.

Everyday is special

The marketing people are at it again telling us to be in love and shower those we love with chocolate hearts and roses.  Those we love are just as happy to have a hug, a kiss and kindness. On the subject of kissing for those still on the dating scene, in love, still kissing they may like to read a copy of The little book of kisses’ by Dolly Christmas, available from Amazon in Kindle download.

An amusing publication about kissing, An ideal gift for your own Valentine. Kissing is a serious fun past time but is it becoming a dying art? The author examines the truth about kissing, instinct and protocol. Behavioural or preference? Keeping healthy…yes burning calories is just one advantage …the perfect lovers diet and how kissing is good for your dental hygiene. Her mission is to encourage more kissing to produce natural heat and save the planet. She reveals some of the good and the bad personal experiences and the joys of kissing a few frogs.’

A Kiss for Christmas…

Christmas is on the horizon and for those romantics who value the joy of kissing what better way to get in the mood than read a book on the very subject?

‘The Little Book of Kisses’  by Dolly Christmas is available to download from Amazon

Including funny true stories and some interesting facts on just how beneficial kissing can be – how to keep your dentist happy and to lose calories making way for that extra mince pie!

 

Change is good

We all struggle at times with change but change is not all bad or is it? Yesterday I was tempted, like many little girls…at the checkout to buy a toffee apple. But…toffee apples are a different colour than from my day when the toffee was brown and made by the local green grocer -now it is a hysterical red colour??? Too many additives me thinks and, so did the lady similar age to me at said checkout.

OK what do we do in these circumstances when we want to be healthy? I went for the chocolate covered apple instead…of course. I really enjoyed this after an afternoon of bereavement befriending. The apple in side was pretty darn good too.

We have to live and we have to embrace change though sadly in life the decisions are more difficult than deciding on what naughty treat to eat.

Have a good day fellow bloggers, followers and toffee apple eaters!

End of exams..where’s my flip flops

The examination period is finally coming to an end for invigilators and students. It has been a long hot summer for many and I am mindful for all students as they now have the anticipated wait for the results of said exams. You have done your best (hopefully) and remember if you don’t get that first option at university the second may end up being the better option for you in the longer term.

Now is the time to recharge those batteries, wind down and have some fun. I say that with a degree of caution reminding students not to over do things, after exams one can feel run down and it is easy to feel unwell.

I think we have all experienced the holiday flu as our body sighs a relief that it is starting to relax…prime time for bugs to creep in. I am telling myself the exact same things as I wind down for a well deserved break away in Cornwall. The nature of my work, which although an enjoyable challenge takes its toll and I will try to practice what I preach about taking time out to do the things we enjoy.

Packing goodies for my retreat, plenty of treats and good reading material, last three months writers news (never get time to read that!!)..just incase the weather is unkind. Who knows I may even get time to write some poetry – I am inspired by a lovely new writer friend who is a talented writer of Haiku works.

No broadband at my cottage; so off line for emails and away from the blog but will return bursting with energy and full of cream teas!

Keep healthy and be happy fellow bloggers and my lovely followers – life is short so have that naughty ice cream..you know you want to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell Mum…chocolate brownies go with everything!

Today I shared a moment on media with an old school chum, blog follower too. In the absence of my great Mum being around I shared my little educational success I had received as a mature student.

The older we get we miss those loved ones more not less and I often find myself wanting to share something with my mum…these are all natural feelings of course. The biggest gift is to love with all your heart and to remember that love is a gift in itself.

Aside of talking achievements I shared the discovery of a new ice cream…equally as important I would say.  Coconut ice cream with lime sorbet yum! Whatever flavour icecream..don’t you find that a chocolate brownie goes with it??? Indeed, a chocolate brownie goes with everything and that’s a fact known to serious choccy lovers.

Oh come on fellow bloggers and faithful followers I cannot be serious every day and my random blogs are posted just to see if anybody is actually paying attention. To those still taking exams it is a medical fact that chocolate is good for you…I read it in a book so it must be true surely!

It is now Pimms o’clock so signing off.

 

 

NHS and friends

Been away from the blog for a few days recovering from treatment and sedation. Huge thank you to the great staff at ULCH London Hospital who are always professional and give great care. Everyone is oh so quick to criticise the NHS but the dedication of staff is second to none.

As ever I’m grateful to my amazing girlfriends; one who accompanied to hospital and others who took shifts in visiting with icecream and flowers etc. I am indeed rich in friends and never hopefully take that for granted.

I often write about the value of friendship especially when people are feeling under par. Support and kindness definitely is a key factor in our emotional recovery as well as our physical recovery.

I am mindful it is the season of exams and many students are feeling anxious. As my last blog recommended find time for breaks away from the studying and enjoy the company of friends (hopefully positive ones).  Speaking with colleagues in pastoral I am fully aware that negative influences are unhelpful at these times but keep positive, keep hydrated and exercise..even if it’s just a walk with the dog imaginary or real! Nowadays one can even include the dog in Yoga exercises (doga)

Oh of course..better mention chocolate, not too much to bring on a migraine though.

 

Exam and Revision stress

So for many students it is now full on revising leading up to the exam period. As always I am mindful this is a very difficult time for many students of all ages. The key is to get plenty of rest and keep hydrated. To ensure that the cramming sessions are broken into realistic chunks with time off for regular exercise if possible as that really helps cognitively. Remember to include relaxation and treats into your schedules.

Treats don’t necessarily mean a bagful of chocolate; as your complexion may be more sensitive to and likely to react in skin break-outs brought on by stress at this time, but regular intake of water will really help with this too!

A bit of pampering girls is always a good idea, whether this be a manicure,  a new hair style or if the budget runs to it maybe a massage. A break away from the laptop to the cinema may be just the break you need along with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream obviously.

Seriously, now, keep focused but mindful and if you are feeling really stressed talk to somebody, if this isn’t your parent, talk to a tutor, or pastoral care they will always be supportive and may have some excellent tips that are really easy to implement on a day to day basis. Many colleges and universities have all sorts of stress buster ideas and schemes so find out what yours has to offer and make ultimate use of what’s available.

Please don’t suffer in silence but avoid taking on other student’s stress -it is easy for others to make you feel stressed it can be contagious.

I will be posting regular tips throughout May and June so keep following. I will be invigilating again this summer so I see fully appreciate how stressful it can be for many students. I will be posting little tips for ‘on the exam day’ too.

Keep calm, focused and keep positive.