Today is my 38th Birthday, so I’d like to share with you 38 things that I’ve learnt on my journey so far

1. Above all else, know yourself, and always be true to who you are at your core. Integrity is everything, and will help you sleep easy at night.

2. Honesty is the best policy, never be afraid to put your hand up and admit that you were at fault.

3. You can’t argue with, or rewrite history, but you can do everything in your power to create a brighter future. 

4. You won’t win a fight by getting angry. Calmness is key to problem solving. 

5. To prolong a suntan, moisturise twice a day. 

6. The world is a friendlier place at five or six in the morning after your first cup of coffee. 

7. Eating clean is a form of self respect, people who make fun of the term simply don’t understand it.

8. To eat clean without it bankrupting you, it is absolutely essential to find a way of making the very best quality food accessible. 

9. Cooking a meal from scratch (especially for guests) will always feel like an achievement. 

10. Growing your own food even more so, but it takes time, patience and a willingness to follow instructions (the latter is not my strongest trait).

11. It’s better to do five or ten minutes of exercise every day, than say you’ll spend hours per week at the gym, but never making it there. 

12. Running is great in perfect conditions, or with friends, or as a head clearer, but Unless you’re a natural runner, it will feel like torture. 

13. Good friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget. 

14. Unless you’ve behaved in an appalling way, and only you will know that, other people’s mean-ness is them projecting their own hurt and little or nothing to do with you.

15. Never go to sleep on a fight, it’ll give you nightmares. 

16. Wasting time on people who don’t appreciate you will make you feel like crap. Beware the fair weather friends who only chat small talk.

17. However, it’s good to remember that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. There is a deeper meaning to everything, and everyone we cross paths with has a purpose.

18. You cannot change another persons behaviour, but you can control the way you react to it, which in turn will help control its effect over you. 

19. The only way to have a small influence over rubbish behaviour from another person is to kill it with kindness (the behaviour, not the person, obvs). 

20. Travelling while you’re young will provide memories forever. 

21. Sometimes the only option is to walk away, but good eggs will find a route back to each other. 

22. Saying no is a great skill to learn.

23. As is properly distinguishing between your wants and your needs. 

24. Buying clothes and household goods second hand is not only kind to the bank balance, but easy on the environment. 

25. To combat sleep deprivation, go to bed as early as you possibly can and take the Zzzzz’s where you can. 

26. When the chips are down, Instagram is not your friend. However, a Facebook group hug of proper old mates will do more to pull you out of a deep dark hole than a lot of other things. 

27. Don’t fall foul to FOMO, the grass is rarely greener on the other side of the fence.

28. Not doing something you love, every single day, will start to chip away at your soul.

29. Tapping into your creative side will make your heart sing.

30. It is possible to write a book amid a super hectic life, you just need to form a solid writing habit.

31. If it’s important you’ll find the time, if it’s not, you’ll find an excuse. 

32. Sometimes it’s best all round if you zip your lips and throw the key away.

33. There is no shame in taking an extra long loo break with your phone for ten or fifteen minutes whilst hiding from your children. How do you think I’m writing this?

34. No matter how much you love your kids, time out from them is the only way to recharge your batteries.

35. It will pass, no matter how raw or painful it is right now.

36. Laughter is always, always, the best medicine.

37. Some days are best written off with a large glass of vino. 

38. Other days you’ll swallow down all the unpalatable memories, put on your brave face and happy pants/knickers, and conquer the world.

 

All you need is… 😍😍😍

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introducing-michelle-reeves-aka-the-joy-chaserIt brings me pleasure to bring you a guest post from award winning blogger Michelle Reeves today. Michelle blogs at The Joy Chaser, and The Essex Barn, she is also a life coach, MIND charity ambassador, entrepreneur and busy mama of two. Michelle is passionate about helping busy mamas and bloggers become their most positive, powerful and productive selves. Over to you Michelle…

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?

When I think about the times I’ve felt completely overwhelmed I get all sweaty and uncomfortable – like I’m reliving the whole thing over again. Churning stomach, tumbling thoughts, rising panic… eurgh it’s a horrible place to be.

For example, in 2009 I hit rock bottom. After a successful career in the City I was struggling to get through each day. I was an expat in China, with a premature baby daughter who struggled to feed or sleep, and I didn’t really care what happened to me. Overwhelm hit me like a brick. On the day I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression my new start – my journey back to ME – began.

And step by step, day by day, I found myself again

I started blogging around this time and having a creative outlet was definitely an essential part of my therapy. But while I became a positive person on the outside – full of energy and busyness on the inside – my glass was still almost permanently half empty.

I strongly believe that negativity can become a habit – it was for me. Through therapy, time and support I recovered from postnatal depression but even so negativity was my first reaction to a situation, with negative words often tumbling out of my mouth before my brain had time to engage and stop them. And whenever I felt overwhelmed in a situation it would rear it’s head again.

hhr-sales-page-imageWhen I feel overwhelmed I want to run away, I want to escape, bury my head in the sand, or at least in a good book or an afternoon of trashy tv. But I know from experience that it really doesn’t help… the reasons I feel overwhelmed in the first place are still there lurking in the background ready to bubble back up to the surface again.

One of the questions I’ve been asked most since I launched The Joy Chaser is how I broke this habit of negativity and how I continue to stay positive and overcome that horrible feeling of overwhelm on a daily basis.

As a business owner, blogger, ambassador for the MIND mental health charity and a mum of two, it’s sometimes tough to find time in the day for ME, let alone anything else!

But I DO find the time for me. Every. Single. Day. And I feel passionately that every woman should try to do the same. As busy mamas, wives, sisters, daughters, colleagues so much of our daily routines revolve around everyone BUT ourselves, right? And I was in that exact, same place. Wanting to take a time-out (without feeling guilty about it) to discover my more positive, happier and successful self.

My default negativity took time to build up and become a part of my life. So if I wanted positivity and joy to be part of my every day, it followed that they needed to become habits too. To break the habit of negativity I realised I needed to create a new normal – a new routine that would intentionally create the space in my day to help me practice positive habits – my 8 happiness habits – every single day and help to overcome that feeling of overwhelm.

So I created one. A routine that gives me time back for ME. That boosts my positivity and self-esteem every day. That helps me reach what I call my ‘I’m-a-mama-but-still-me’ goals. That sets me on the right course, with purpose, every morning and puts me to bed with gratitude.

And it worked. People started noticing the new, more positive me and I knew that I had to share it with others. So I urge you, find a routine that works for YOU, make time in the day for YOU. Even just 15 minutes to yourself can make all the difference to your wellbeing.

You can sign up here for Michelle’s free 5-day email challenge How to Overcome Overwhelm

happiness-habits-routine-ecourse-logo

Michelle is also the creator of 8-week eCourse The Happiness Habits Routine™

The course was designed to help busy mamas create their own simple daily routine using eight happiness habits. Michelle is offering Mummy Tries readers a 10% discount on the course until 30 November 2016. Just use the code MUMMYTRIES at checkout. You can find out more about the course at HappinessHabitsRoutine.com

Thanks so much for chatting to us and sharing your story today Michelle. The course sounds wonderful, and I’m sure many busy mum’s will benefit from it! 

inspirationThe greatest compliment I get is when people tell me that I’m an inspiration to them.

A true inspiration

Strangers send me emails and leave comments on my social media feeds saying that my words make their pain a little less painful, and that sharing my life makes them feel less alone (see the comments on this post).

Close friends whom I have nothing but respect for, tell me that I’m the most inspirational person they know. A few have told me that my story was the catalyst for them writing a book, or setting up a business.

Some have confided that even though they’ve read my book, and know the facts, they still can’t quite believe how I managed to get from there to here. 

On a daily basis people say that they are astounded by how much I achieve on such little sleep, with so much additional crap on my plate that most have to deal with.

When you don’t feel very inspirational

I’ve had dark periods in life where I haven’t been able to accept these kind words. I didn’t feel that I deserved them, and I questioned how on earth wonderful, intelligent people could possibly find me inspirational when I’m so flawed.

Face the FearSome days, even now, I can’t see past these flaws, and it takes every ounce of strength I have to tune out to the self-doubt demons.

There are nights when my past haunts me in my sleep, and my days are so hard they make me weep. When the challenges have been non-stop, and I have barely scraped the bottom of the parenting barrel, I think ‘wow, if only you could see me now.’

Then there are the really dark days. The ones where loathe myself, and can hardly face looking in the mirror. When the flaws are the only things I can see, and I truly question how I will make it through another year.

But you are inspirational

Then on other days I realise how well I’m doing. That the hard work I put into turning my life around ten years ago has been paying me back ever since. I can see the progress that the kids are making, and even though we still have plenty of challenges to overcome, who doesn’t? 

write from the heartI can also see that I’m achieving far more than I ever dreamed I would with my writing. I am able to quash the monsters who tell me I’m rubbish, and get through the next round of edits for my book. I know, deep down, that I will get it published, however which way, and it will sell.

I’m proud of this blog, and the doors that it has opened for me and my family. I’ve written almost eight hundred posts now, and don’t look back at any of them and cringe. I’ve remained true to myself, I never collaborate with brands I don’t believe in, or write sponsored posts just for the money. I write from the heart, and only from the heart.

Be the change you want to see

In a confusing media-driven world we are up against it not to doubt ourselves. We are told what we should be doing, who we should be aspiring toward, and what constitutes inspiration. We are bombarded with Insta-perfection and Pinable lives, which quite frankly are so out of reach for most of us, that they make us feel awful not inspired. 

So I say screw the cliches. Instead we should be our own inspiration! Especially when we have children.

MotherhoodIf they can see us achieving and being proud of those achievements, they will want to mimic us. If they watch us being able to accept a compliment gracefully, they will learn to smile and say thank you when someone tells them how wonderful they are. 

If we aren’t setting our kids the biggest positive examples in their lives, then we are in trouble my friends.

So next time you feel bogged down, dig deep. Face those demons and challenges head on, and give yourself a high five.

If you care enough to read this blog, I can guarantee that you are doing much better than you give yourself credit for.

Be strong. Be proud. Be inspirational!