July 2020 – Update on mat. leave & the pandemic

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Firstly I would like to apologise for being very quiet on my website, social media etc. With lockdown, a husband working away much of the time and two little people to keep entertained it’s been a bit of a roller coaster!

I just want to update everyone with what is happening with HM Health & Well-being at the minute and what my plans are going forward from here.

In line with my maternity allowance I could stay off work until October should I wish (or need) to. I still have Keeping In Touch days that I can use during this time on leave – these days allow me to come into work and complete up to 10 full days of regular working activities. As there are still restrictions on the sector; sports massage therapists are yet to be allowed back to work (insurance won’t cover it either). HM Health & Well-being is situated within a gym therefore it is most like we will not only need massage to be allowed but also for the gyms to open.

I will shortly be looking at going into the clinic and making all of the necessary changes to work inline with the guidance for whenever it is we get give the green light to go back. I will be removing any sort furnishing – thinks like the extra blankets, heated couch cover, any additional towels etc above what is absolutely necessary. I will be putting additional cleaning and sanitising procedures in place, this means I will require additional time between clients; Upon being given the go ahead to get back to the clinic it will be just that, very clinical. I will also only be offering appointments of around 45 minutes (tbc).

I will be limiting my treatments upon reopening with sports massage being my main focus.

Many clients have already been in touch expressing interest in getting booked in for an appointment as soon as possible. I thank you all for your patience at this time and, although we may be in very different boats, we are all in the same sea.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch please visit the contact page.

Lockdown Life

So lockdown was announced after it seemed a large quantity of the British population couldn’t do as politely requested and stay at home. Instead we have now been told that we are to stay in our properties with the exception of going out for essentials when necessary, and an hours exercise each day.

As it happens in our house, we have pretty much been doing just that since Isla had chickenpox three weeks ago (Dan is still going out to work as he is classed at NHS support – makes sense making sure all the machines and tables are working). Needless to say, it feels like we have been restricted for an eternity all ready. We have however found some activities that definitely break up the day and help pass the time:

Kids entertainment

  1. Baking – Isla’s absolute FAVOURITE of all the things we have done. She loves to make and decorate cupcakes! It’s super simple, really inexpensive and teaches the little ones a bit of patience while they wait for the goods to bake and cool. We generally make up a simple cake mix that will do 12 cupcakes – 4oz Marg/Butter, 4oz Sugar, 4oz Self-raising Flour, 2 eggs, 1tsp vanilla flavouring, milk (or variant) to get the batter to the right consistency. You can even just chuck it all in a bowl at once and give it a good mix. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at about 170C for 15 minutes. Check a scewer comes out clean and your done. Allow to cool and decorate with simple water or butter icing (icing sugar and very little water or icing sugar and butter to taste) and whatever sprinkles, chocolate etc you might have kicking around.
  2. Garden time – we got all of the garden toys out of the garage, including the sand pit and this makes for some very easy entertainment for the little one. And it allows Mam and Dad the chance of a quiet cuppa.
  3. Board games – ok, Isla is generally a little young to understand the rules to a lot of games HOWEVER if you can allow yourself to let your little people makes there own rules up and just let loose, it’s a good hour of entertainment.
  4. Painting and drawing – get out the colouring books, paper and colouring stuff, print off some pictures for free from Google, and off you go. Nice thing is, if you as a parent enjoy art then you can actually get some time to relax too.
  5. Jigsaws – We have some normal and some that have maths puzzles on them. Either way the concentration required for this one provides some peace.
  6. Crafts – similar to drawing and painting, set it up and revert to childhood. There’s some great kits you can get your hands on but you can just use empty boxes, toilet roll tubes and whatever you have at home already.
  7. Reading – Isla loves a good book. She enjoys having us read to her but she also enjoys “reading” to her little brother where she looks at the pages and makes up her own story. It’s super cute.
  8. Facebook LIVE Classes – toddler groups such as Captain Fantastic and Tumble Tots are providing free classes at certain times each day.
  9. Chores – Got jobs to do around the house? Give the little one something to do too – Isla loves to clean so I tend to give her a cloth to go round with when I am cleaning the kitchen or dusting.
  10. Lego – I know that most people cringe at the sound of the Lego box being tipped over BUT it does provide a decent period of entertainment. You’ll probably find that either you or your other half can get fairly taken away with it too; remember to let the kids have fun!

For the Adults:

  1. Video Calls – call friends and family via one of the video call options. It’s an easy way to see people when we can’t actually be with them. Zoom, WhatsApp, and FaceTime are just a few options.
  2. Outdoor time – doing up or tidying the garden, tending to your plants, spending evenings by the firepit, get outside if you can and relax.
  3. Start a blog – document how you get through each day, see what you get up to and you never know who you might inspire. You can set up a blog for free on a platform such at WordPress or Wix.
  4. Pick up a hobby – what have you always wanted to learn but never had the chance to? Now is the time.
  5. Clean and organise your home – this might not be one for everyone but there are thousands of people who find cleaning and it’s results incredibly relaxing and fulfilling. When I get the chance I am one of those people though with kids it doesn’t last for long!
  6. Have a date night – cook a nice dinner, have a bottle of wine, turn the TV OFF and talk. Remember the old times, when you first got together and some of the best memories you have made.
  7. Start a gratitude log – there are so many things to be thankful for and I think that many people are starting to see this now. Write down the things that you are grateful for so you can look back at them on more difficult days.
  8. Get fit – if you’re generally well and there’s no medical reason not to, get yourself active. It kills the boredom and make you feel a million times better. There are all kinds of free workouts available via Facebook or YouTube, just search and see what you fancy.

These are just some of the things that we have found, I’m sure there are lots of other things people are doing and I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments.

Take care, stay home and look after each other.

Lots of love, Holly Xx

Covid19 Update

Following the increase of Covid19 cases and the response of the Prime Minister, I am saddened to say that I will not be offering any further KIT days until further notice.

I have made this decision for a number of reasons; the major ones being to protect YOU, my loyal clients, and also to take care of my young family and minimise risk to them.

I believe we all must do everything we can in order to limit the spread of the virus and be calm and understanding of others in this time.

Please look after yourselves and, if you are in a position to do so, check on your vulnerable friends, family and neighbours as much as you can – drop a note through their door with your mobile number offering help with collecting essentials, or even just state you’re available for a friendly phone call to fight the loneliness that the isolation is bound to cause to individuals living alone. Be good to each other.

Lots of love, H xxx

Buggy Mums

This one is a bit different…

I’m reaching out today. I want to start a mum and buggy walking group. My thoughts are:

Mondays at 9.30am (day could change depending on demand). The first few to be at the QE2 Lakeside at Woodhorn. Have a walk around the lake, or as far as you would like to go, followed by a coffee in the pub/softplay afterwards.

Just want to create a free group for new and experienced mums alike, who would like to get to know some new people and have some time with other adults during the week. Can buggy or sling with your little one(s).

I will be looking to start this from April (my daughter currently has chickenpox so just want that totally out of the way before trying to get anything going).

Please drop me a message via the contact page or on my facebook if you’re interested.

Reality Check

I’ve been feeling a bit crappy about the last couple of days; with very little sleep and eating any old thing as well as being quarantined by chickenpox (thanks isla), I bit the bullet and got on the sad step (scales) to see what was going on…

I’ve lost another 3lbs!

Now, I can only put this down to breastfeeding and expressing as I have been a lazy bitch while housebound.

My point is – it is not always how you feel. The action you take make a HUGE impact on how you feel in yourself and about yourself. Lazing around, not getting your steps in or getting fresh air in your lungs MAKES YOU FEEL SHITTY!

If I’d been out and about as normal, getting things done, going to the park etc I’m going to say I would have had no desire to even look at my weight.

So, if you’re feeling wick – DO NOT JUMP OFF THE WAGON, a binge will not help you. Instead – GET UP OFF YOUR ASS and get some fresh air.

One Month On

Saturday 7th March marked Fynn being one month old and what a month…

Isla has had a cough for what seems like forever and since getting home from the hospital with Fynn it has had her up EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Some nights have been worse than others but it has meant that even if Fynn has been asleep, Dan and I have been awake – all the time! On top of that she now has chicken pox so I can’t even get her out in the day time to play as she’s fully contagious; thinking it’ll be about 2 weeks and Fynn will have them too. Love a good incubation virus!

Anyway, other than the illness, life with two is interesting but now I can’t judge what is normal transition for Isla going from only child to sharing Mummy and Daddy and what has been caused by the development of the chickenpox. She has been a diva, and she has been misbehaved but it’s a huge change for her and a lot for her to deal with all at once. I think Dan and I would probably deal better with her tantrums if we were getting decent sleep but hey ho, this is real life.

I have had one KIT day back at work and it was wonderful to see some of my regular clients, catch up with them and have some adult, none child related, conversations! I’m not sure Dan would agree that the day was quite so enjoyable as it was his first time home alone with the two kids. There was wine that night. Ha.

I’ll be putting another KIT day in at the end of this month (a regular work day I am able to do whilst on maternity leave). If you are interested in an appointment for sports or deep tissue massage on this date please message me via the contact page or text 07771522312. I look forward to these dates coming up I feel a little lost being off work even though I know that this time will fly by!

So there’s my little update to everyone. I am hopefully going to get back into producing some regular content sometime soon too, lets just get the pox and viruses out the way first and back to a bit of normality. Whatever that is!

Post partum truth.

I’ve probably done this the wrong way round as I have posted it on my Facebook page prior to writing a blog post but I want to share it anyway…

My truth around post partum body reality:

2 weeks post partum and I am 10lbs off my pre-pregnancy weight but resemble nothing like the body I had before and THAT’S OK!

It took 9 months for my body to grow and nurture Fynn into the healthy 7lbs 14oz baby he was at birth and I am fully accepting that it will take TIME and effort to get back to anything remotely like where I was before.

With this pregnancy I was unable to exercise for much of it and unable to work at the end due to SPD and sciatica. I took time out. I ate what I wanted (which I do regret a little but when those cravings take over they’re hard to ignore). And now I am waiting, not so patiently, to get back into exercise.

For anyone going through pregnancy, enjoy it. For anyone waiting for your bundle to arrive, good luck. For those who have recently had a baby, try not to be too hard on yourself. Enjoy your new addition and look after yourself, for a healthy, happy mum and baby are far more important than anything else at this stage.

I wanted to share these images of my belly straight after birth to show you what to expect if you haven’t seen – it’s not pretty, and it’s not celeb washboard abs. It is a vessel which has just produced a miracle. Don’t hate on it.

Introducing…

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. I hope your day is filled with love all of all kinds. I know mine is…

At one week old today, I introduce to you all Fynn Daniel Pickering, born on 7th February 2020 at 10.10am weighing in at 7lbs 140zs (just 2 ounces more than his sister was at birth).

As many of you know, our baby boy was due on 30th January but it would seem that I created too cosy a home for him in my belly and so we were admitted for forced eviction via induction on 6th February at 6pm before Fynn eventually arrived at 10,10am on Friday 7th February. Though not straight forward the birth was fine. We were to stay in hospital through until the Monday though as Fynn had a temperature and the hospital advised a course of antibiotics for him. It was a long 4 days and a long time from saying bye to Isla as she went off to the childminder on the Thursday morning until I saw her again on the Monday evening – I’ve never been away from her for that long before.

We got home to be greeted by the animals and had an hour before we collected Isla from the childminder. When she came in and saw Fynn I’m not sure that she even knew what to think. After a short while and the realisation that her little brother was now home to stay she has already proved herself a most excellent big sister. She is helpful and attentive towards her brother and very loving with him. It’s a pleasure to experience.

Fynn is now one week old (already!) and it’s coming to the end of Dan’s time off with us in our little bubble. Next week brings new challenges of being able to get a toddler and a baby up and ready to go to the childminder on time as well as keep them both clean, fed and watered whilst it’s just me and them! I’m sure it’ll be fine…

As my labour didn’t result in any surgeries (after Isla’s birth I had no idea how this one would make it out) I will be looking to come back to work to do KIT days as soon as possible. I’ll be sending a message out to those of you who asked to be added to the list regarding appointments on these days shortly. If you would like updated on the days I will be working whilst off on maternity leave please drop me a text or whats app to my mobile number (on the contact page). I’ll be offering the appointment times on a first come first served basis.

Thanks for your time folks and i look forward to seeing you all soon. Xx

Post Pregnancy Plan of Action

We’re STILL waiting! This little man is either very lazy or is just far to warm and snug to come and meet us just yet. Whilst it is getting incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable, I know that as long as we are both fit and well then there’s no better place for him until he’s ready to show face.

All being said, I am desperate to get back to some sort of physical activity, even if it’s just getting out for a proper walk! As some of you will know I have suffered with sciatica, SPD and PGP for the majority of this pregnancy meaning that I had to cut hours in clinic, control and limit my exercise and complete physio exercises to try and ease the issues as much as I could. It hasn’t been great but I know there are people that have suffered much worse so I can’t really complain.

So, I have been thinking a lot again about getting active and regaining my strength following the arrival of this little dude, whenever that might be.

First off, I have no intention of doing anything other than rest, recover and enjoy at least the first week with my new, complete family. There will more than likely be frequent take-aways, quick and easy to make meals, and plenty of snacks. I will also be looking to get in plenty of vitamins and minerals through my food intake via fruit and veg, and some good quality whole foods. I have no plan to get straight out there and start any physical activity immediately as 1) I have no idea how delivery is going to go and 2) whichever way our boy arrives the body needs time to settle and recover.

When I do feel up to it I will be getting out in the fresh air, walking with baby, Isla and Rocket (our little chihuahua) and maybe dan too if he’s not already back at work at that point. If recovery is good and the midwives are happy with me that’s when I will look at getting something more structured back in place. Maybe some pilates for the core and I will write my own gym plan – starting back at basics to see how I move and where my weaknesses really lie.

In terms of diet, once the initial week of adjustment to a new way of life has set in I will get back to the plan that I share with you all over January – caloric deficit with the 80/20 rule and getting myself back on at least 10,000 steps per day. I have every intention of breastfeeding if I can which will mean that I will need a few more hundred calories that I would usually be on but I will monitor it and see how weight loss goes over firsts few weeks and months. What’s most important is that I get adequate nutrition to look after me and baby. Water is key to this too so that water bottle will be by my side at all times!

I’ll be continuing on a daily multi-vit, just to make sure that I am getting all the daily essentials, and I am currently looking at probiotics to improve my gut health – I’ll go into these more on another post once I have chosen what I am going to try.

For ease, I’ll probably be going back to Asda for my food shops for a while as, although they are more expensive than Aldi, the click and collect locker service that they do is AWESOME. Such and easy way to shop. I can sit at home and order online – from my weekly meal plan – select a time slot and then I get a confirmation and code sent to me which is used to collect it all. The best part being, I can give the code to someone else to collect for me if I can’t make it, no need for a bank card or proof of ID etc, just take the code, pop it in at the lockers and follow the doors round as they open. IDEAL!

So, not the most exciting post my loves but it gives you an idea of where I am and what I am thinking about. This sitting on my ass, not working, not exercising malarkey is no good for anyone!

February 2020

Hello!

Happy February to everyone. I hope you have all survived January and battled through like a pro, THAT was a long month!

I’m going to start and share some of my baby journey with you all on here, not daily but just as I feel I should update and add as the journey goes along. This will include everything from feelings and emotions, honesty about how I am feeling, food, sleep (ha), exercise and daily actively.

Our little fellas is still tucked up nice and cosy atm and even at just 2 days overdue I am so over being pregnant now. I’m very bless to be pregnant don’t get me wrong but at this stage I am more than ready for him to be here in the world and me have a little but of movement back along with a little less pain.

I’ve struggled with this pregnancy more than I did with Isla – she was a bit of a breeze pregnancy in all reality, I was still training in the gym and teaching spinning classes at 36 weeks pregnant! This time around my body is definitely taking more of a toll. I have been under a physio for sciatica and spd – massage clients you mostly already know about this. I’ve had a brace to help support my bump and a variety of exercises to try and help ease the discomfort and pain. Some of it works, some of it just makes no difference. The varying hormones running riot in my body are, in my opinion, the cause of the issue and until my pregnancy [and breastfeeding] journey is over, it’s something I just have to live with.

Today I am mega grateful for my pare ts who, once again have taken Isla for the night so I can try to get a better sleep. She knows something is changing soon and my word she is playing up to it! So tonight is a feat up, be lazy, try and get some rest type evening because sometimes you just have to listen to your body and do what feels right.

I was hoping I might be able to indulge in an alcoholic beverage along with everyone that has seen dry January through (well done to you) but that’s obviously not meant to be just yet. Not long now surely.

Catch up with you all soon. Xxx