This shiny hand gel fell from a chestnut tree, I swear! With the clocks already back an hour, the sky a dragged out purple, the day is late to bloom. The absence of light means the roads gleam
and sparkle in the cold street light; it picks out the fingernail curve of the pavements and together, everything is swallowed in the bleakness. On some days I feel very unwell and everything I can do feels like a triumph. I get low in mood and sleepy as well and fall in to the 'what is the point' complex, which, at the time, feels like a safe place for my mind to retreat to, but it is entirely unproductive! I think it's a good thing in all though because here are a few things that I have learned; some I have picked up from my CBT sessions and others I have simply learnt: I hope they will provide some kind of solace in this dark time of year!
. Every little thing you can do creates magic. Even with the most daunting tasks hanging over you just making one small contribution to them can count so much. Start anywhere if it's truly the only thing you do today. There is no 'all or nothing' because everything you do counts a little bit! Anything you can do will help to transform your day and the way you look at it.
. Distance yourself from your ideal day. Perfection is an illusion. I am often clinging to the idea of my perfect day - what it 'should' look like - and feeling dissatisfied when it doesn't match up. An exercise I love to do to remind me of this is grabbing some paper and pens and penning a picture of my ideal day on the right side of the page, then a little Liz figure on the very left side! I then draw my hand across the space available between myself and my dream day and realise all the freedom I have when I stop chasing it. Having all this, I get more room in my day for creativity and joyful opportunities that often arise, such as photo taking. I feel more easily motivated to do things and I find that often I get more done in my day than I originally planned.
. The one about escapism. I love escaping from the world sometimes, pulling a duvet around me and getting lost in the tempting and happy little gingerbread worlds of books and online games. It's gorgeous to be so completely lost in a novel you want to skip the pages and so fun to flick 'next episode' on a Netflix series, sometimes you just want to stay in that joyful moment. It can then often be even harder to come back to the real world and by running away all the time we make the world feel like a bad place worth escaping from, rather than something magical and full of opportunities. I think our generation is the one of escapism, with all of our TV series', games and endless possibilities online, we could spend our whole lives there! But because we have all of these wonderful places to escape to, it can make the real world feel dull and disappointing in comparison, and us out of place in it. Which brings us to our next...
. Going to appreciate nature. Nature provides so much for us still, even now when the cycle of life is less important and has less impact on us; instead of fearing for our crops we rely on greater technology and we have no shortage of food in our western world. Instead of through a screen, appreciate what is here and now. Notice everything fully through your senses the way you cannot through a screen; the smell of damp, sweet earth and smoke, see the leaves swirl down, one after the next, the sounds of birds and wood pigeons, taste the new air, feel the cold, damp rotting grains of wooden gate, coming away lightly shrivelled on your fingertips. Notice how wonderful each little sensation feels, as if it were your very first time on an alien planet. This is something lovely to practice wherever you are as well, helping you to feel more connected to your surroundings and in the moment.
. "I'll do it when I feel better". This one is a big one for me but it is what my CBT practitioner tell me, even if she cannot relate to how I am feeling! Don't put doing something off for another day because doing it might be the first step to feeling better. For me it is socialising, it may not stop me feeling yucky but I will be challenging myself and that brings its own rewards.
. Make little happy changes. The little things truly do add up to big things! Start small like cleaning your teeth and dressing up smart every morning, inviting more citrine gemstones in to your home and fill it with citrus-y scents - even add a dash of cinnamon for warmth - to energise your space. Bring a little nature in as well with a bowl full of conkers you collected, gourds or pumpkins, pine branches or fresh flowers from the supermarket as a table feature. I love having novelty socks to put on in the morning, gingerbread ones remind me of winter coming! Add a pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon or raisins to your baking. Say hello to a nice stranger, wish them well! Sometimes the simplest really are the best, they always make the day feel sweeter and have a magical effect on your world; they ripple outwards and spread positivity everywhere. These little things can often help so much you'd think they had magical powers!
Five things I am grateful for:
1. Discovering the Vanillery Garden: Natalie is the loveliest fairy mori girl at heart; I love her thoughtful articles, actual art and she has inspired me to create my own little grateful lists!
2. Being able to read others blogs: I have such an extensive list that I read religiously and I'm so glad to have the blessed Bloglovin' app on my iPad.
3. Finding the most fairytale-esque tree on one of our little walks, it looks so beautiful with all of its roots sprawling over the stone wall. (I might get a picture up on instagram!)
4. Oscar making zombie/dinosaur noises, then laughing about it.
5. I had the loveliest time in the West Midlands, seeing family, finding the most perfect vintage dress in a shop while in Wolverhampton (even if I couldn't buy it), window shopping, comic browsing, laughing, my citalopram working so well, eating pizza and Smore moonpie candy bites - and Mitch's friend buying Oscar a brand new baby suit out of kindness.
What are you grateful for lately? Speaking of instagram I wondered if you would ever like to follow for a follow? (link here) I'm looking to make some new friends on there. Please let me know if you'd like to in the comments with your username!