Will Your Loved One's Illness Burn You Out?*

Hi loves,

This is a pre-written/collaborative post (not written by me).

Chronic health issues affect a lot of us. Besides having to cope with our own issues, we often find ourselves playing a vital role in supporting those we love as they battle with physical conditions, long-term diseases, and serious mental health issues. But when you’re helping to support them, you need to make sure that you’re not abandoning yourself. Here, we’re going to look at how you can attempt to maintain a safe and healthy relationship when you’re loved one is going through the worst of it.

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Know you can’t force them to get help

It’s true of any illness, but particularly prominent when you’re dealing with a mental health issue or dependency on alcohol or other seriously harmful substances. You can’t force anyone to seek treatment or to take a certain course of action. What you should do, instead, is show your concern and encourage them subtly to admit that they may need help. If you can do that, you can highlight options like treatment from Addiction Recovery Centre or therapy. You can help compile resources that give them a direction to take, but you can’t make them take that all-important first step.

Know you’re not going to know everything

When it comes to chronic illness or serious mental health issues, then you aren’t going to know everything there is to know about it. You can attend support sessions with them, you can (and should) research all the literature about the condition. But chronic health is like an iceberg. You are only reading what is on the surface level as well as what your loved chooses to show you. You don’t know their lived experience, so if you’re talking about methods of relief or treatment, or what they may be able to do or not do, you have to defer to them. If they don’t feel comfortable going outside or exercising, for instance, trust their judgement.

Know you need to look after yourself, too

Providing care actively can be difficult. Supporting someone with serious emotional health disturbances or a dependency can be risky, too. Their condition can make them prone to behave abusively or manipulatively, and if you’re not careful, you could find yourself suffering your own emotional harm by exposing yourself to them too much. As Good Therapy suggests, you need to practice self-care when you’re trying to help a loved one going through a tough time. You might need to find some counselling of your own. You may need to take a break now and then. You might even have to distance yourself if you are being taken advantage of.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different. Your loved one may look to you for guidance and be entirely cooperative if they’re scared and confused about their situation. Or they may want to take care of it mostly themselves and you might be relegated to supporting them from the side. You need to talk seriously with them about their needs while ensuring you aren’t putting yourself at serious risk of burnout.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Healthiness Isn't A Race: Finding A Routine That Works For You*

Hello lovelies,

This is a pre-written/collaborative post (not written by me).

***Always consult your doctor before embarking on major lifestyle changes***

The reason that so many of us struggle to stick to a healthy lifestyle is that we opt for the “quick fix”. However, the quick fix is often an unhealthy solution that can’t be maintained. Maybe you tried a fad diet to lose a lot of weight very quickly but ended up returning to your original size because you were too hungry on such a limited eating plan. Maybe you finally went to the gym but pushed yourself too hard too quickly and didn’t want to return for a long time (you might have even injured yourself).

The point is that healthiness isn’t a race. You can’t get the ideal body shape in a day or eradicate mental health issues simply by meditating once. You need to try a long-term solution. By improving your overall routine, you’ll gradually improve your health. Whilst this may be a slow solution, it’s one that’ll give you permanent results. You’ll be able to look and feel good in the knowledge that you’re actually taking care of yourself. The advice in this post should help you on that journey.

Find a consistent diet.

As mentioned in the introduction, fad diets are useless. You can’t stick to such a scarce and restrictive diet in the long-run, and it’s actually unhealthy to follow such a diet in the first place. Your body needs a certain level of sustenance to stay healthy. Avoiding calories and carbs doesn’t always make you healthier. The key is to avoid empty calories. You should cut down on junk food and other sugary treats, but substitute them with filling foods that have the right vitamins and nutrients for a healthy diet. You might even want to try a meal replacement diet so that you figure out how to eat the right kind of food for your weight loss needs. It’s good to set yourself the goal of losing weight if you’re overweight and want to lose weight; it’s just important that you do so healthily.

The food you eat also has a massive impact on your mental health. Something as simple as eating more fruit every day could help to alleviate anxiety and depression. Obviously, the nature of our hectic lives has a big impact on our minds, and we’ll discuss ways in which you can improve your mental state later in this article. However, there’s a lot you can do to improve the health of your mind by working on the health of your body. Finding a consistent diet won’t just give you a great physique; it’ll keep your mental state in check. That’s why you need to stick to a regular eating plan that works for you.

Make daily exercise a part of your routine.

Doing a strenuous gym workout once every month isn’t going to give you the results you want. You might feel exhausted after such a session. You might even feel as if you’ve earned a few weeks of recovery. However, the fact remains that irregular exercise won’t improve your health. Exercising strenuously isn’t the key to staying healthy; you need to focus on exercising frequently. And that’s much easier to maintain in the long-run anyway. Wouldn’t you much rather jog for 10 minutes every day than dread the occasional 5-hour session at the gym? You’ll be able to gradually ease yourself into an exercise routine if you start off with a simple run around your local park, for example.

Just make sure that you get your body moving every day. You’ll notice a huge improvement in your health. You’ll easily achieve a toned and slim figure if you keep up the good work. In fact, it’ll improve the health of your heart too. There are so many health benefits to exercising frequently. You don’t have to start running marathons of lifting insanely heavy weights at the gym if you don’t want to do those things. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the rewards of exercising. You’d be surprised how far a little bit of physical activity can take you. Just make sure you find a form of exercise that works for you. Maybe you prefer social activities. You could go for a long walk with friends; you’d be exercising without even having to think about it. It’d just be a fun way to spend your time.

Sleep well.

How often do you sleep every night? 8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep for most adults, though it does vary depending on the individual. Perhaps you feel rested after 7 hours or perhaps you need as many as 9. The point is that everybody needs a certain amount of sleep in order to function properly. Sleep deprivation doesn’t just deplete your energy levels; it depletes your overall health. It can weaken your immune system and even worsen your mental state. Resting sufficiently is necessary to the recovery of your body and mind after a long day.

Stay mentally healthy.

Finally, you need to prioritise your mental health. Find time in your daily routine to check in with yourself. Overcoming mental struggles can be a gradual process, but you need to make small steps in the right direction. An important part of a healthy routine is a very active social life. Whilst you’re most likely aware of the fact that your friends and family members make you happy, you might not appreciate just how important this aspect of your life is to your overall health. Isolating yourself can lead to loneliness, and that’s the root of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It’s so important to surround yourself with loved ones because this provides a support network that keeps you healthy. No matter how busy your life gets, make sure you find time in your routine to see the people who matter. And talk about your issues with your loved ones too. If work is stressful then you need to tell people how it’s making you feel; keeping things bottled up will only make you feel more isolated.

Remember, looking after yourself is all about creating a routine that takes into account the regular needs of your physical and mental health.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

7 months on from my break up

Hello lovelies,

It's an actual post written by me! 😁 I meant to write it at the 6 month mark but time got away from me. So, it's been 7 months since I've become a single unit, and this is a check-in to let you know how I'm doing.

When James and I split up I was so shocked I honestly didn't know how progress would take place, and to be honest, what progress there is has been made in my mental health rather than tangible things like getting the best job ever, or taking over the world. 😉 I can say now my bipolar is under good control and doesn't trouble me at all. It was confusing at first realising bipolar and depression are two very separate things needing separate treatment. My depression is still troublesome but I started a new antidepressant a few months ago which is helping a little. My psych has written to my GP asking her to up my dose of antidepressant and hopefully that'll equip me with the tools to make more progress in my life.

I'm still living with my aunt, thanks to her kindness. The plan is for me to get my own place at some point, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet. My mental health is still such that I don't think I can look after myself fully. I don't know when that time will be, but it'll happen when it's right.

James and I talk every couple of weeks and he came to see me the day before my birthday. I can see him now without wanting to punch him in the throat. He's dating, I've been dating, we're both moving on. Obviously the way he ended things will always be a sore point but it's not in me to hold a grudge.

My love life has been up and down. I have a couple of 'friends with benefits' and have been seeing a bloke local to me but I don't think it's going anywhere so there's nothing exciting to share. It's too early. I still have such a long way to go before I can offer anything to someone else. I need to work on me first.

Being disabled and not working is really, REALLY bothering me at the moment. I'm not sure what I expect to do about it, other than beating myself up constantly. I've got Fibromyalgia, ME, joint hypermobility syndrome, depression - and I found out recently after an accident in my 20s my left kneecap is in two halves and I have osteoarthritis in it. That'll be why it hurts like hell every day and seriously limits my mobility. I'm waiting to be referred to the hospital about it and my GP thinks I'm going to need an operation.

Since I stopped blogging regularly I've lost my purpose and sense of identity. When I was with James I was his wife and I was a plus size blogger. Now I'm no one's wife - or I won't be in 5 weeks time when the decree absolute is through - and I don't have my blog as a sense of pride any more. I've lost my confidence and my voice to write. I'm on a low income so I can't really be a fashion blogger any more - there's only so many times I can wear the same dresses.

The overriding thing screaming at me is I need to find OR CREATE my identity from the ground up and I don't know how to do that. I need to find out who I am again, not as an attachment to a man, but in my own right, and that is as scary as fuck. I need to build a life in this new place I'm living in, all my physical disabilities and mental health problems taken into account, and I don't know where to begin. But I know I DO need to begin, and that's half the battle, isn't it?

I hope my next big update at the year mark has some tangible progress to report, but as long as my mental health is on an even keel and I'm still here to write, that will be a bonus.

I hope this finds you well, and thank you for reading.

Leah xxx

The Quickest Ways To Change Your Look And Allure*

Hey lovelies,

This is a pre-written/collaborative post (not written by me).

Every woman wants to look and feel her best. While some aspects of your appearance require an ongoing investment of time and effort, it is possible to see an improvement in next to no time. The hardest challenge, however, is knowing which changes will bring the biggest and quickest impact.

Here are five simple ideas that will alter your look and general allure for the better.


Alter Makeup Routines

The right makeup applications are a crucial weapon in any woman’s arsenal. With versatile and professional products, it’s possible to look like an entirely different person. While you won’t want to go that far, you can at least enhance your natural charms. Finding the right foundation for your skin tone is essential. When supported with the right lipsticks, eyeshadows and eyeliners, you can’t go far wrong. These are very affordable with online beauty retailers. In fact, you could alter your whole appearance in a matter of minutes.

Change Accessories

Accessories are crucial for making outfits pop. The right bags and belts are just the start, though. An online piercing shop enables you to find the right facial jewellery and items for a renewed look and energy. From nose rings to ear studs, having a few options at your disposal can put the power back in your hands. It may be necessary to avoid some products for certain situations. Nonetheless, adding or removing a piece of body jewellery can make a huge impact in an instant.

Get A New Hairstyle

Most women have quickly revamped their look by altering their hair colour at least once. However, this isn’t the only way to let your hair set the tone. Hairstyles can help shape and define your facial features. Aside from the instant benefits, you’ll notice that the positive responses from friends and family boost your confidence. Given that this is one of the main reasons for wanting to change your appearance in the first place, this is a hugely important factor.

Change Your Smell

It’s not all about the appearances, though. Your overall charm and appeal is influenced by all of the senses, which is why you must not forget the others. Smell is noticeable during all human interactions, and switching to a new perfume can make a significant impact. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of staying loyal to the brand you’ve used since your pre-teen years. As such, this is one step that many women can embrace for the better.

Live Better

While all of the above ideas are great ways to influence your aura, nothing impacts you look quite like a better lifestyle. Your home life provides the foundations of everything. This is why getting a good night’s sleep and maintaining a clean property can work wonders. You’ll see physical benefits to your skin, hair, and other features. Moreover, you’ll feel healthier and more energetic in the process. What’s not to love?
Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo