For me, Summer is definitely a time to make sure I can feel as good as possible. It’s no secret that I actually hate Summer; I cant handle the heat, it makes me anxious and often leaves me feeling ill. I also don’t enjoy sneezing 400 times a day and being a general snotty mess from May till September. But alas, I have to endure it like everyone else but at least this time of year makes me want to drink more water, eat more fruit, cut out more meat and just generally consume more healthier products. So you know, you win some, you lose some.
In case you hadn’t heard me screaming about it on every social media platform I own… I’m going on a Yoga retreat! I’m still absolutely buzzing and I cannot wait – this is something I’ve never done before and something I’d never even considered doing. I’ve been really into my Yoga for about 2 years now; I practice daily, I work on different areas of Yoga and I’m always trying to expand my practice and work on my body. Not just to get fitter and trimmer – although that’s a bonus – but just learning about my own body, what feels good, what doesn’t and unlocking different areas and poses that I didn’t really know existed. Yoga has changed my life but I’ve never considered taking it further than the comfort of my living room before now.
If I have a chance to talk about Yoga, I will. People I know who don’t care about Yoga are probably sick to death of me talking about it but hey, guess what? I’m not going to stop. In fact, I’m one click away from booking myself into a Yoga retreat in November so that’ll give me another excuse to talk about it even more! Wheyy! Anyway, Yoga is a big part of my life. I practice it every single day (unless I really can’t like being ill or on holiday) and over the last year or so, it really has changed my life.
I’ve always suffered with headaches. They started when I was in my teens and have differed in frequency but all in all, I’m just a headachey person. It’s mostly stress or tension and now, having anxiety, you can imagine I stress and tense quite a bit. Headaches are a strange thing because they can stem from almost anything; mental or physical stress. DID YOU KNOW that once I had a boyfriend that gave me headaches. No… Literally. I had a headache almost every single day that I was with him and I bet you can guess what happened after we broke up? That’s right, bye bye headaches! So if knowing the fact that boys can literally give you headaches is the only thing you take from this post then I’m happy.
At the time of writing this post, it has been revealed that cervical screenings (smear tests) are at an all-time low. It’s a statistic I don’t even want to think about. I turned 25 last September and as predicted, was invited for my first smear test – which I had done 4 days before my 25th birthday (I wrote about my experience here). I suffer with anxiety – GAD to be specific (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) but I suffer extra anxiety when it comes to medical related things.
Self care is something I’ve really tried to embrace and focus on more in 2017. I truly believe that we need to look after ourselves and treat ourselves with the same level of love, care and respect as you would your partner, parents, pet, house plant – whoever. Of course that’s easier said than done and I’m certainly not the only one who repeatedly punishes themselves when they feel shit or have had a bad day by not eating, sleeping too much, not washing or speaking to anyone. These behaviours are damaging – there’s no two ways about it and we need to try harder to embrace positive actions when we feel bad, rather than negative ones.
This time of year can be magical and joyous and sparkly and happy but for a lot of people, including myself in the past, it can also be miserable and depressing and sad. Literally SAD. I’m talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a very real condition which can affect anyone in the Winter months, when daylight is shorter, darkness creeps in at 4 p.m and ultimately can leave people feeling, well, miserable.
Oh that was very dramatic wasn’t it? At the beginning of September, I went for my first smear test and I wrote a post about it, which you can read here. This post went down really well and I spoke to lots of bloggery women about theirs; some who have had many and some who haven’t been for one yet. I was thrilled to be a part of the bigger voice that will help women be more open and honest about smear tests which in turn will hopefully, encourage more women to go and get theirs.
If you know me or follow my blog you might be aware that I’m a huge advocate for self-care. Self-care is a term I’ve only really come to know (and love) since starting blogging. Before joining the big ol’ blogosphere, I obviously knew we had to take care of ourselves, take time for ourselves and focus on our physical and mental wellbeing – but I didn’t realize quite how important and crucial it was. Especially the mental side of the coin.
At approximately 24 and a half years old, I received the letter in the post that I had been dreading, ever since I knew what a smear test was. The fact that the letter used words like “invited” didn’t make it any more cutesy or appealing. The fact of the matter was, I was at the age where a doctor needed me to spread my legs on a table and look into my fanny. There’s no beating around the bush (pun intended) and no sugar coating it really. It was time for my very first smear test.