Italy

If you follow me on Instagram you would know that I have just come back from Italy. I always knew I would love Italy but after visiting I have utterly fallen in love. Me and my friend Samantha went to Verona for a little get away over Easter… it was overdue will all the stress of work and feeling as though life was starting to take control of me, rather than me taking control of life.

Sam had decided to that we should go to Verona and being someone who has always wanted to go to Italy I bit her hand off! It was inexpensive, only costing us around £120 for the 4 days… a bargain I know! Which meant I didn’t to worry too much about the money side of things… a bonus for good old anxiety me.

Verona is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to and for saying it had given out rain all weekend, we had glorious sunshine… this was a nice surprise when we arrived! Looking at the city through the sunshine made it more enjoyable as we did have to walk a good 30 minutes to the town centre from where we was stopping.

Going on holiday made all the worries/anxieties disappear for a while… I honestly didn’t think this was possible being someone who gets anxious over the littlest of things. Being able to take in what the world has to offer made my mind clear and see what ‘could be’. There were a few moments of anxiety but we will go into this later, so for now I will share some photos which I took along my trip.









Italy has got to one of the most beautiful places I ever have been to and I will be going back again thats for sure… take me now please! I am having some serious holiday blues! Before going I was told how expensive it was and I have to say I did not think it was too pricey at all. Don’t get me wrong Venice was a bit pricey at times but in Verona the cost for a pizza was around 7/8 Euros and that’s nothing when you think about how much you would pay for a dominos, so I was very impressed.

Recently finding my love for wine again I was very happy to see the price of wine was the same as getting a soft drink, so I thought it would be rude not to have a few glasses while out for dinner in Italy. You really cannot go wrong with a good glass of Rosé.

The 4 days I spent around €200, but this was for everything including a bit of retail shopping, eating out every night… eating my weight in Pizza. Paying for trips to certain places such as Venice and museums, also buying all food and drink for the long weekend. Personally I don’t think I did too bad money wise and it didn’t cost too much at all.




Suffering with mental health the day to day stresses can become all too overwhelming and well going away to Italy was time for me to have some ‘me’ time and “become one” with myself as they say. Italy made me realise that there is more to life than just work and stress. It allowed me to see all the beautiful things the world has to offer. I am so excited to see all the other parts of a planet, there is definitely more to life than you think and seeing the world is definitely showing me this.

Waking up on our third day in Italy I could start to feel the anxiety kicking in and poor Sam had to put up with me, she was good! I felt as though going to Venice on the train was a mammoth of a task and I just had to make sure that I took my medication and had some breathing time to prepare myself for the journey. On the train I could feel myself getting more and more worked up… I knew what I needed to do! Close my eyes and do some breathing exercises. Little did I know that due to the lack of sleep the night before from the anxiety attacks which decided to take me by surprise I fell asleep on the train and before I knew it Sam was waking me telling me we had arrived! Well it sure made the anxiety disappear! Next you know it, we was in Venice eating Pizza… I have learnt I do love a good Italian Pizza!


This photo really does capture my holiday experience



Overall Italy allowed me to take some time away from all the day to day anxieties and really gave me time to focus on me. It did make coming home a lot harder than I originally thought. Going away has really given me the chance to see how good life can be and has for sure given me so many reasons to see why life is worth living.

For those of you who are suffering you are not alone and there is so much in live for you live for, don’t let things get you down. Remember if this was any other illness yo would speak out so let’s stamp out the stigma and join me on my road to recovery.

*All photos are my own

5 ways to clear your head

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I think we all struggle from time to time with brain fog, this can be down to work getting too much or maybe down to your mental illness. We all struggle from time to time, but there are a few things which we can all do to clear our minds. I have learnt a few things on my way and thought I would share these will you. You never know they may help you… fingers crossed!

Exercise

I can only imagine that you have heard this one too many times… It is something that I was always being told and I didn’t believe that this would work for me. One I am not a lover of exercise and two my head is 1000 mikes per hour most days and nothing works to slow the thoughts down… so why would exercise?

It all depends on what works for you. I have tried different forms of exercise but I love running in the fresh air, but I haven’t been able to do this for a while due to the horrible icy weather, I don’t want to break an ankle. In the colder months I go the gym and tend to do the cross trainer as I can put my headphones in and forget all of my worries. It really allows me to focus on me and clear my head of those day to day thoughts/stresses.

Exercise is known to balance hormones and support your health in numerous ways. Studies have proven that if you have brain fog the best thing to do is to get up and move; so go for walks regularly, go out in to nature on your bike or just a walk and talk with a friend. You will for sure notice the clarity after exercise.

Write it down

When suffering with a clouded head it might be that there is too much going on in your head. Sometimes it can feel a though there are 100’s of thoughts loitering in your brain. It can become a bit of a burden and make you want to turn your thoughts off.

Clouded head can cause no sleep, struggle with concentrating etc. I would 100% recommend that you write all these feelings down, it allows you to get all those thoughts down on paper and declutter your mind. It can take a few attempts to work but trust me if you persist you can make this work for you.

Never underestimate the power of pen and paper!

Speak to someone

Never feel bad for speaking to someone about the things which are scrambling your head. Talking to someone whether it’s a friend of a family member or even a stranger, they may be able to shed some light on the issues that are causing you destress or just cluttering your head. They can be a listening ear for you.

Speaking to someone else will let you get some clarity on issues with you may have been dealing with for a while now.

Read a book

In order to escape from the thoughts in your head sometimes you need to be able to escape from reality. The perfect way to do this, is to get a good book for 20 minutes or more just escape from reality. Depending on what books you read you may be able to gain something from the book while reading or it could just be a chance to let your mind be free and escape, without having to really move an inch.

I am currently loving All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I tend to read this just before going to bed or in the evening to give me a bit of time to escape before winding down.

Meditation

This might not be for everyone! Meditation is something which can take  little time and practice. However, if you give it time you can really benefit from meditation when having a bad day of brain fog or just in general!

There are lots of different ways you can do meditation. You can use guided meditations, a  really good app is Simple Habit which you can use on your phone or you go visit their website. It provides meditations for all different occasions e.g. lunch breaks at work, sleeping and even for your morning coffee… there is pretty much everything on there. It’s the perfect way to get some time to clear your mind and focus on something  that really matters other than the clutter.

You can also use meditation music to focus on rather than the guided meditations it depends what works for you best. I sometimes use meditation music when on my way to work or just relaxing.

Is there anything which you do to help clear your mind?

*All photos my own