Changing my routine is my big thing at the moment. I don’t like the word routine and am naturally very freedom-loving. That’s not real life though is it? I spent a decade suffering from depression and I came out the other side eventually with a routine that worked well enough. It has become boring and I want to shake things up a bit.

Firstly, the blog which used to be my sanctuary and therapy has changed over the years. It is now work a lot of the time. It is so easy to get sucked into the belief that if you are not working on it 24 hours a day 7 days a week it will die. There are so many blogging gurus out there now who want to berate you if you are not doing it their way.

Secondly now out of depression I want to keep my house nice and clean. This takes time and I want to delegate some tasks. That will take time as the children do nothing and the husband very little on the house front. So I am proving to myself I can keep up with it all but it is time to start educating the children in the realities of keeping the house spick and span.

Thirdly, I am not particularly happy with our home education journey. I veer between doing lots of structured stuff and then losing energy and leaving the children to their own devices. I would like us to have more of the magic that I see in other home education journeys. We are in a beautiful space now and should be making the absolute most of it.

Today, I did blog stuff in the morning and then left it alone. I gave my daughter a colouring sheet and chose one myself so that I could do some of that mindfulness type drawing that people were banging on about years ago.

I got through loads of housework doing bits at a time including some of those jobs I usually put off.

I watched a television programme or two that interested me. I took time out to enjoy the outdoors and glorious sunshine.

These might not seem huge steps to you but they are baby ones in the right direction and actually quite massive ones for me. When I have finished this blog, I am going to do some reading working on my own personal development.

It just feels a lot more balanced today and I know I can build on this. I have collected some tips from other bloggers on shaking up routine which I will be sharing soon but there is sunshine to sit in and it is time to step away from the blog.

Lots of people have an aim to have the most glorious skin for summer and think this can be achieved by beauty lotions, but could bad skin be down to your nutrition?

Oxygen and nutrients are needed for your skins cells to ensure great posture. Many creams and moisturisers claim to support the fight against anti-ageing, but essentially nutrition helps improve your skin from the inside out. Pharma Nord explains more:

The damage caused by free radicals

When you’re out in the sunlight, free radicals can cause damage to your skin. There are 25 types of collagen in the body and, along with elastin, they give skin texture and structure. Free radical damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to wrinkles and skin losing its firmness. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and Coenzyme Q10 can protect cells from the damaging affects of these toxic chemicals.

We need to improve our vitamin C levels, and this can be achieved through eating raw fruit and vegetables — as the vitamin can be reduced when cooked or processed. Levels of vitamin C are also reduced by factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and certain drugs like antidepressants and oral contraceptives. As a result, many people turn to supplements to ensure they get enough of this vital nutrient. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60mg/day or 120mg/day if you are a smoker.

Vitamin-like substances can be manufactured from our own bodies, but when it comes to what we gain from our diets — Coenzyme Q10 is generated. Our ability to do this decreases from our mid-twenties, making supplements important. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in producing energy in our bodies and is also a powerful antioxidant. This means it protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes effective skin repair. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven to reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles over time.

Do we need fatty acids for our skin repair?

Omega 3 is one type of fatty acid that we need to keep ourselves healthy — from our skin, hair and nails. The richest source of Omega 3 is fish oil from oily fish such as herring, salmon, tuna and sardines. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory, making it good for irritable, sore skin. Many people choose to take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. Due to concern about environmental pollution in fish, it is safest to choose a supplement which contains oil from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver.

In particular, Omega 7 is another fatty acid that can work wonders for our skin. Omega 7 sea buckthorn oil capsules from Pharma Nord contain oil from a tiny berry and help with lubrication through the body, protecting the internal organs, as well as the linings of the eyes, mouth and skin. Sea buckthorn oil is one of the best natural oils for mature and wrinkled skin due to its essential fatty acid and vitamin E, C and A properties. It has nourishing, moisturising and restorative action, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing age-induced skin wrinkling and signs of premature ageing. Sea buckthorn oil also has natural sun protecting power.

Why is blood flow important?

Our oxygen and nutrients travel through our blood, so we must have an overall healthy blood supply. Pycnogenol is a plant-based extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and can be taken as a supplement to improve blood circulation. This can help with skin hydration and vitality. Pycnogenol can also help to reduce wrinkles by binding with skin proteins collagen and elastin to protect from various harmful enzymes. It also rebuilds elasticity, which is essential for smooth, youthful skin. It has also been shown to reduce over-pigmentation for a more even complexion.

When the weather is hot, you should be protecting your skin at all costs. Sunburn is inflammation caused by free radical induced tissue damage. By neutralising these free radicals, pycnogenol helps protect the skin from the stress and damage of sunburn.

If you are someone who finds it important to look after your mental health in an active way, then you probably want to know everything that can possibly affect it in a negative way. This is harder than you might think, in part because pretty much anything can affect our mental health if we are not careful, and it would mean that we have to be vigilant at all times to be aware of them all. This is not practical, but what you can do is look at some of the things which you can easily control, which do happen to have a say on what our minds are doing. As it happens, there are a few things which have such a direct effect on our mental health that it is actually quite surprising – those are what we are going to look at today.

Mental Health

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Your Smile

There is something of a common trend between people who suffer with mental health problems and those who suffer with dental problems. In general, this is because of a bad cycle which is allowed to continue. You might not have great confidence in your smile, and this subtly affects your feeling of self-worth, and then that leads you to stop looking after your teeth so well. In this way, you allow your teeth to worsen and worsen, all the while also allowing that in turn to worsen your idea of yourself. If you think this applies to you, then you might be surprised at what a profound difference you can make just by improving the nature and quality of your smile. What’s more, this is easier to do than you might think.

If you do want to improve your smile, then you might need to get dental work done – but that does not have to be as scary as it sounds. As long as you go with a trusted professional like renowned cosmetic dentist, Dr Fadi Yassmin, you will be able to have more confidence in your ability to smile again, no matter how bad things might have become for you dentally. This will then vastly improve your self-worth when you enjoy what you see in the mirror much more, and that will begin to create more of what you want in your life. As you can see, your dental hygiene is actually intimately related to your mental health.

Mental Health

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The Weather

Something that a lot of people with mental health issues tend to do is to assume that everything is on them, that it is always their own fault that they are feeling the way they do. Actually, this is unfair, and it is hardly ever the case that we are entirely responsible for our own emotions as human beings. There are plenty of outside forces which affect our emotions regularly, and one of the biggest is something we can do nothing about: the weather. If you live in a highly changeable climate, you are much more likely to experience depression and anxiety than someone who lives in solely sunnier climes. Clearly, this is worth knowing, as it means that you are less likely to put pressure on yourself to feel happier when the weather is poor. What’s more, the more instinctively and strongly you know these correlations, the more likely it is that you are able to do something about it, and try your hardest to lift yourself out of your dark moods. That being said, sometimes the weather just gets the better of us.

Your Water Intake

How much water do you drink every day? The truth is that most of us do not drink anything like the required minimum amount, and this is actually highly dangerous when it comes to our mental health. It’s one of those things that are hard to notice the effects of in our daily life, but the amount of water you take in has a direct correlation with how you are feeling. In general, if you are depressed a lot of the time, you can drastically improve the situation just by making an effort to drink more and more water, even perhaps exceeding the recommended eight glasses a day. Just try it – you will be amazed at how much better you feel, and how quickly. If you find it hard to remember to do, try taking a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Then you will be bound to keep drinking it no matter what.

Mental Health

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Your Sleeping Patterns

Although you are probably aware that your sleep is tied up with your mental health, you might not know exactly how intimately, or just how this is the case. The truth is that if you are not getting much sleep, this can mean that you feel worse in your mind, and that can in turn lead to a loss of sleep the following night. Add to this the fact that people in this situation will generally also drink more coffee to stay awake throughout the day – therefore fuelling anxiety – and you can see why this might be a cocktail for mental disaster. It is hard to get out of this cycle once you are in it, and for some people it continues for months and months. Taking basic steps such as exercising or cutting out caffeine can help, as too can talking aloud about your feelings to someone. If it comes to it, you can always go to the doctor and see if they can prescribe you something, but only if you feel it is necessary. You might be amazed at how much better you feel once you start to sleep properly again, so it is definitely worth looking into if you are starting to feel depressed and you’re not getting much sleep.

The above are all things you can fix in the long term, in some way or another, even if it is just by understanding them better. By doing so, you will be taking an active stance with your own mental health, which is about the best that anyone can hope for.

4 Things That Affect Your Mental Health More Than You Think

Run Jump Scrap

Making eco-friendly choices is important. It took me a while to realise this. I was very late to the party in caring about the environment. Of course, having children makes you wake up and want to protect the planet and their future at least a little bit more than previously.

Eco-Friendly Choices

So why is it important to make eco-friendly choices and how can we do it?

It’s selfless

Well it isn’t quite selfless because protecting our environment makes it better for us as well as everyone else. However, it does mean you are thinking of others and that is always a great thing to do and brings its own rewards. We can live in our own tiny worlds or think about the bigger picture and take baby steps to make things better.

It connects us to future generations

Whether we are parents or not, there will be future generations and why should they have a worse time of it than we do?

It’s easy to do

Making eco-friendly choices often means little but powerful changes such as deciding what we buy to eat or how we deal with our rubbish.

It’s better for you and your family

Going green might mean growing your own food and buying locally. So you will be eating healthily and having a strong sense of community for starters. If the worst happens and your income decreases, you have a little safety net knowing you have a degree of self-sufficiency in place.

It’s social

When we work on a common cause we almost always make friends as a bonus. Get to know the stall-holders at your local farmers’ market. Join a recycling group, participates in things like freegle and friends will come your way who share your values.

It’s a powerful way to save money

I used to be a debt counsellor. I still remember a family who became self-sufficient and they paid off their debts so speedily in comparison with other clients as they were not at the supermarket and grew their own food. They also made their own clothing. Some eco-friendly choices like cloth nappies seem more expensive at the outset but save you money in the long run.

Get inventive when making eco-friendly choices for your home, business or school. For example even things like noticeboards and whiteboards can be eco-friendly as I discovered when checking out the Sundeala website. As you can see their products look the business but are also helping the environment and there’s a lesson in that.

Have you made eco-friendly choices? What do you get out of doing so?

 

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My Random Musings

Many of us dream of entering Masterchef and showing what we can do in the kitchen. Today, I am speaking to Angela who became a finalist on Masterchef following the loss of her beloved mum. She also tells us about her exciting skincare business.

Masterchef

Tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years

I was very lucky – I had a wonderful childhood – brought up in a loving family and got on brilliantly with my family. I still have great friends from my childhood and teenage years too.

What was your first job?

I started off working in marketing and PR. My first job was working for the Prince’s Trust

What led to you entering Masterchef and how did you find that experience?

I entered Masterchef just after my gorgeous Mum lost her battle with cancer. She loved watching the programme as much as I did so I only applied in memory to her. It was a fabulous experience and one that I would do again in a flash.

Masterchef

Please tell us what led to you setting up your skincare business?

It started as a hobby but essentially I was living in Spain and was made redundant and at that time (it was quite a few years ago) I couldn’t get the products that I normally used as I wasn’t coming back to the UK as often. I had plenty of time on my hands and I thought I could possibly make products myself so I started experimenting and then went on a course. That course led me to other courses and I loved everything that I learnt and eventually this led to me setting up my business.

Please tell us what is wonderful about your products?

I research each and every ingredient that goes into every product. I use the best ingredients I can and use high levels of active ingredients from nature’s larder so not only are the products good for your skin, I get amazing feedback from customers who tell me what an improvement they see when they use them.

Who supported you in setting up your business?

I used the money from my redundancy to fund and set up my business. My partner, family and friends have been (and still are) very supportive, offering my advice and encouragement.

What would you say to a woman who wants to try something new but lacks confidence?

Don’t think too hard about it – if you want to try something new, just do it. If you don’t try, you’ll never know if you’ll succeed. Also just doing something new can lead you to amazing things you would never know about had you not taken that first step.

What tip would you give to someone who wants to set up a business for the first time?

Research well and do something that ultimately gives you pleasure and that you love. I spend a lot of time working but it doesn’t feel like work because I’m passionate about what I do and I love it.

Angela Langford creates organic, vegan, cruelty free, mood-boosting skincare products by hand in Somerset. This highly effective, affordable, natural range harnesses the finest ingredients from natures larder to feed your skin – with no chemical nasties. Suitable for even the most temperamental of complexions, Angela Langford Skincare offers a tailor-made solution to each unique skincare concern.

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Lucy At Home