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

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

January – Day 31/31

CONGRATULATIONS – YOU DID IT!!!

You’ve followed me for a whole month reading and learning about things you may or may not already have known about, and probably had a few unexpected topics in the mix.

I’m not the strongest of writers but I am working on it and this month has seen me become more confident in what I am doing so I would like to thank you all for that.

Following on from this free series, I would like to let you know I am available for one to one support on fitness and health should it be something you would like going forward. There’ll be more posts on here in future too (maybe after a bit of a quiet spell with baby).

I think for me, from completing this journey, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned that I can stick to something when I put my mind to it – I haven’t missed a single day of posting, even when I have felt so incredibly tired that I didn’t know what to write about. I’ve learned that showing parts of myself is not as scary as I thought – sharing they types of things I do on a daily basis like write about my gratitude and affirmations. I’m still learning the types of topics that you lot all love to read about; the insights on my webpage are really interesting and I’ve actually reached people as far as India and Canada with some of my content on here!

Most of all, I have learned that actually, I really enjoy doing this. And, even if I look back in the future and cringe at the content I have been posting, I will know that I pushed myself into starting a new path at a time when I thought I wasn’t going anywhere.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being you.

On that note – thank you for being you – I truly hoped that this program has helped you realise what you really want; do you want the weight loss or did you just think that was what was going to make you happy? Has the mindset work helped more than the weight loss advice? Has the exercise helped soothe the mind more than you expected?

We all want to be happy but chasing happiness is generally the path to nowhere. If you can take one thing from my program and use it to be happy today then I feel like I have made a true impact on you.

Be you. Be all you. Be un-apologetically you; for you are a unique creature of beauty and life, and you are fabulous.

Lots of love, H xxx

January – Day 30/31

It’s my baby’s due date!!! Is he here? Is he coming? Is he late? No idea right now as I am writing this in advance – I will update if I get the chance. Waaaa!

***Update – he’s not here. Tick tock little dude, we are very impatient!***

How are you all getting on? Have you had a read every day this month? What have you put into practice and what have you cast aside? I have put this whole program together with it being about more than just the physical body but the mind and the emotional aspects of life too.

Are there things that you have found that have been or particular interest to you? Things that are working well in your daily life? I would love to hear from you and know how you are getting on.

Today, the penultimate day in this series, I’d love if you could share on social media what you have learned and tag me (HM Health & Well-being) into your posts. You’ll find me on Facebook: HM Health and Well-being or you can just copy the blog post across that you have enjoyed the most. I would be incredibly grateful.

I’d also love if you could complete a random act of kindness – when you’re out and about today. Do something randomly kind for someone, it doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just do something that you think if someone did it for you, you would really appreciate. Keep it to yourself. Don’t tell others that you have done it. Keep that golden feeling all to you and treasure it, for it is a wonderful feeling knowing you may have made another person’s day.

January – Day 29/31

Yesterday we spoke about gratitude and how showing thanks for the things you have can help improve your happiness and well-being. Today I would like to touch on affirmations.

To some this one might come across as a little bit “woo-woo” or a bit “spiritual” but I believe that talking yourself up can dramatically improve your thought process and how you feel about yourself in the long term.

It takes practice and it takes time.

What are affirmations?

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes.

How do you start using affirmations?

You can use positive affirmations in any situation where you would like to see positive change in your life. This could be anything from self-esteem to confidence at work, to finishing projects or overcoming bad habits. If you know there is an area of your life you negatively towards, try turning it around with the use of positive affirmations.

Picture the change you would like to see – really visualise it.

Say it out loud – repeat it to yourself a number of times until it becomes easier to say and you believe it.

Write it down – set your goal and write down your affirmation to accompany it, this can help massively in you actually achieving your desired goals.

Ideally you need to be practising your affirmations regularly, repeating them to yourself throughout the day and repeating them to yourself whenever you feel the negative thought or behaviour you want to overcome.

What is the first thing you would like to work on with positive affirmations? Get it written down, set your goal, know your affirmation and begin practising today. You can do it.

January – Day 28/31

Are you thankful for what you have? Do you show thanks on a daily basis for even the little things in your life?

Practising gratitude is a great way to shift your focus from one that’s potentially a little negative to one that’s more positive. Being thankful for little things, like just being able to have a cup of tea when you want one, for the roof over your head, for the people in your life, or that you can eat today are big things to think about. You are so much more blessed that you even realise.

Personally, I like to start my day by writing down three things I am grateful for. It was difficult at first but you soon realise that there are many blessings all around you. Once you start this practice, it gets easier and easier over time as you become more open to showing your thanks.

There’s even been some research done to show the benefits of showing gratitude which include:

  • opening the door to more relationships – showing appreciation can help with new friends and old.
  • improved physical health – people who are grateful report fewer aches and pains.
  • imported psychological health – showing gratitude reduces envy and resentment, to frustration and stress.
  • enhanced empathy and reduced aggression – people who show gratitude are more likely to behave in a more social manner, even when others are behaving in a less kind way.
  • improved sleep – grateful people sleep better. Try spending 15 minutes before bed writing down all the things you are grateful for.
  • improved self-esteem – linked with becoming less envious and resentful, showing gratitude actually helps people feel happier for others.
  • increased mental strength – showing gratitude reduces stress and helps overcome trauma; recognising all that you are thankful for, especially during the worst times in your life, fosters resilience.

From the points above you can probably gauge that it’s not just about writing things down. It’s about showing gratitude to others. Be kind. Be polite. Say thank you and express what you are actually thankful. “Thank you for your help today, I appreciate it because….”.

What are you thankful for right now. Write it down or tell someone. It feels good.