Mental Health Awareness Week: The food we eat

Day 5 and my final blog post on this subject for this week is all about the food we eat. Over the past 6-months I have been really been watching everything I eat. From juicing every day to becoming vegeterian, I do believe that the food we eat and what we put in our body can deeply impact our mood and sense of wellbeing. Check out this video I did about juicing:

Id love to hear your views on this subject and if you have noticed diet making a change in your wellbeing

Thanks so much for watching / reading and here’s to keeping on with a self care and healthy happy lifestyle.. xx

Mental Health Awareness Week: Grass isn’t Greener

Todays theme is one I know many of us battle with every day and in this modern age of ‘perfect pintrest sewing rooms’ &  ‘Instagram lifestlyle’ it’s harder than ever to not be affected by the ‘Grass is greener’ syndrome.

I would so love to hear your thoughts on this and see how you overcome it on a daily basis and what you do to bring yourself ‘back to you’..

I know, in my own case I am very ‘different’ and always have been. Most people would find this fun and a bit quirky but I do battle with it too. I remember as a child my mum (quite rightly) would say ‘you dont want to be like everyone else’ and I did find it hard then.
Sometimes you just dont want to stand out, or be different, having different viewpoints, always questioning – why? why must we do it that way? and why not? why can’t we do this, this way?
Then there’s the biggie: not always wanting to follow the same path as everyone else, which would in most cases be so much easier!

My family are all very creative, so we always stood out at parties (esspecially with the flamboyance of the 80’s)  and I know that sometimes I just wanted to ‘fit in’ or to buy clothing from the shops like everyone else.. Now, I wouldn’t change a thing and do totally appreciate all that was offered to me in life. To be taught sewing and design from a very young age makes me who I am today..

The way I always bring myself back to me is to go back to yesterdays post and take myself out of the situation. If I feel a bit overwhelmed (or even underwhelmed) taking a break and doing something I love will bring me back to loving and accepting who I am and my space in the world..

So, if you want to share your story and how you overcome this, do get in touch!

With love and happiness in being you..

Libby x

Mental Health Awareness Week: Take a Break

In todays #MentalHealthawareness piece I wanted to visit the theme of taking a break!

Even today, I am finding it hard to give myself a break before I have even started!  So I’d love it if you would join me, and look at a way to get to the bottom of this.   #letsdothis

I do know that for some of us even stopping for a cup of tea is a break, or if you’re really pushed, having a break while eating lunch / dinner and not reading / typing / making between bites is a bonus!

A lot of us (well me) have lived the life of ‘work hard, play hard’ meaning that if I cram and get all my work done by pulling late nights, up early and straight into it, achieving loads and then as a reward I give myself a few days of play hard: meeting up with friends,  late night, and party. I know, like I know, that this lifestyle is not sustainable and actually allowing yourself balance is the ONLY way to go to lead a life with less stress, and inner peace.

I have learnt that ‘Busy’ is not cool.. when a dear friend asks how you are and you reply ‘oh you know.. Busy’ it can actually be a real turn off to friendships and one day when you stop ‘over-busying’ yourself you will look to see that people have taken their friendships elsewhere to leave you to it.  It’s really hurtful to think of this as true, but you can’t really blame them when you are always too busy for a chat or to check in on someone and find out how they truly are (why not stop now and send someone a text or email or even better a phone call for the pure reason of seeing how they are doing – believe me it’s an awesome wellbeing tip and gives YOU a warm glow inside just to put someone else before you and stop battling with your own inner-stress)

So, how can we un-busy ourselves with deadlines looming,  battling with the constant fear of the ‘next big thing’ will come along and somehow steal your thunder, or someone will steal your idea if you dont do it and get it out there right now or whatever the inner battles might be that you are fighting..
(I do another piece on this ‘grass is greener’ outlook in another piece this week so do look out for that if this resonates with you)

Well, all I can say is ‘STOP’: my own mentor doesn’t even need to coach me much anymore on this one as we have worked on this so much together. When it feels too much, when you’re chasing your tail, when you get overwhelmed, when none of the pieces of lifes puzzle or tapestry are fitting the ONLY thing to do is STOP! Believe me, it is true. If you fight it, you will keep battling until you do.. Take yourself away from your current situation and do something totally different!  As the poster above states ‘taking a break is good for us. A change of scene or a change of pace can be good for your mental health’ 

I’d love to hear what you can do to take yourself out and take a break. From a run, walk, cuppa tea, watch a funny programme, call a friend, meet a friend to a meditation (if you’d like to try meditation, do keep an eye on these posts as there’s another one dedicated to meditation)

My top 5 ways to take myself away and do something that will really clear my energy are:

  1. Swimming:  I love it! I try and get to the swimming pool every morning before I even start my day.
    NO MATTER WHAT! It’s that important to me.
  2. Cooking something nutritous and lovely: I love looking at diet, nutrition and food can help our moods. So taking myself to the kitchen, juicing, cooking a meal or baking some flapjacks is so theraputic and YUMMY!
  3. Going for a walk:  “Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.”     I moved out of London earlier this year and now live right at the edge of the New Forest.
    I step outside my front door, down a path and I am surrounded by trees, forest, deer, cows and all that nature has to offer. Try some ‘Forest Bathing’ for yourself !!
  4. SEWING! and crafting is absolutely my go to break! I know that this is also part of my job, but that is also the reason it is part of my job. I honestly believe in the power of craft #sewingmakesyousmile
  5. Going to the beach and watching the waves! Again a form of meditation, but I do find that going to sea really helps put reality into persepctive: look out to the horizon and think of how big the world, the moon, the universe is and you’ll soon see things in a new light..

I’d love to hear your ‘top 5’ ways to take a break and perhaps you could offer some insight on what works for you.


Mental Health Awareness Week: Do something you love!

On day 2 of mental health awareness week, I’d love to talk about doing something you love!

For me, that totally means emersing myself in creating, designing and sewing.
I will go back to talking about the ‘donk’ on my head alst weekend and being told by the A&E Nurse that I shouldn’t do ANYTHING to stimulate my brain too much.
So this meant: No television, no computer, no phone, no reading, and my mouth just dropped – I joked with her ‘So what do I do while I’m resting?’  I guess I have taken the weekend to ponder this and I thought to myself ‘even when I’m resting, I’m still doing!’  sounds simple but I think this was an A-HA moment for me, what an insight!

So, I did find a way and actually listened to audio books

If you’re looking for a good read and haven’t read it yet may I suggest this book (pic to the left) and many thanks to one of my gorgeous students for putting me on to it!’

Then I finally rested so much that I actually sucummed to my old friend meditation – but more on that in another post.

SO, the theme for todays post and one of the techniques posted on the mental health awareness site is to ‘Do something you’re good at’ Enjoying yourself can help beat stress.. I would love to hear what you do to help beat stress and in particular if it’s related to sewing & craft and how you use this as a tool to overcome a stressy day or week!

I finally decided to, while resting, get some simplicity patterns out that I was meaning to cut out for ages. As these are projects that I am planning to sew and wear myself they often get put on the bottom of the pile, which is actually quite sad when I think of it!  So, while this wasnt going to stretch my brain too much, I decided to cut out all the pattern pieces I needed. So, surrounded by tissue paper patterns and excess pieces I was soon as hapy as a piggy in mud!

I do love to wave the flag that #sewingmakesyousmile and I do love to use my craft (sewing) as a tool for a more happier self and helping to beat stress. This is why I also do not EVER push my students to make things perfect. I think perfection is a myth! esspecially in the sewing and craft world.

We are all put on this earth with our own quirks & talents. Some of us are more refined than others and I urge you to give sewing & craft a go – whatever it is from making a shirt / skirt / trousers or a mini purse with a zip – go for it and love your results no matter what!

Check out my youtube channel if you’re stuck for ideas:

Sending you lots of joy & happiness today, and check back with me tomorrow in the sewing stories section of my blog for another post in celebration of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Mental Health Awareness Week: STRESS!

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness week. This is a subject very close to my heart and as many of you will know, I often talk about using sewing and craft as a tool for helping us along with a more positive mental state of mind and indeed that #sewingmakesyousmile.

So my week started off not as I expected and in a very unusual turn of events I knocked myself on a table and gave myself concussion on Saturday morning at the start of a full weekend of workshops.. After an A&E trip and a full weekend of rest, I am now back – not firing on all cylinders yet, but back and better than I was on Saturday!

My body has been asking for a rest for AGES! and even though I thought I had been resting, and living my idylic life in the forest, I am actually not resting. It was not until the nurse instructed me to do NOTHING that will stimulate my brain too much that I actually realised what rest is, and of course I started to revisit my old friend meditation (more on that in another post)

But for now, I wanted to do the first in my posts that will be in here under ‘Sewing Stories’ in my blog. This is something I’ve been meaning to focus on for a while, and it has taken a knock on the head to force me to do it. So here’s to a more open chat on Mental Health and for this week while we are in #MentalHealthAwareness week I will follow suit and look at stress an how it affects us and what we can do about it.

If this is a subject that is close to your heart too then do follow @mind and @mentalhealth to see updates on this very important topic…  I love this post on twitter from the @mentalhealth foundation.. What’s yours?