Artists and famous activists would agree to say that inspiration is everywhere. But inspiration is not reserved for the people you see in the magazines. Inspiration is a force that pushes you to act, to create, to make a change. More often than not inspiration makes you a better person, whether you become more creative, or whether you choose to make a social difference in the world. But in the end, while it is available to everyone, the best way to nurture it is to find out what inspires you. So you can have more of it!

Inspired To Do What?

First of all, it’s natural to ask about the impact of inspiration. In short, what are you inspired to do? Inspiration is wrongly associated with the word of artists. In reality, inspiration is about having an idea and following it. So it doesn’t have to take you to your own painting exhibition to call yourself inspired. But there are commonly three types of inspiration. You can be inspired to improve your ways and become a better person as seen on http://www.lifehack.org. Whether it’s going on a fitness journey or learning a new language, inspiration is behind it. You can also be inspired to create something. In this case, it’s about the process of making something. A cake, a dress, a poem… all these are the result of creative inspiration. Finally, you can be inspired to think bigger ideas and look at the bigger picture, such as trying to protect the ecosystem or to help the homeless population. The social inspiration is not for your benefit.

Visual Inspirations

We all respond to different stimuli. So it’s good to find out where your inspiration comes from so that you can surround yourself with the right kind of stimuli. If you’re the kind of person who responds best to visual stimuli, you should look for creative ways to bring colours and shapes into your world. It’s down to your personality and tastes, whether you prefer a landscape canvas or whether you like to create a playful interior décor with vintage pop trends. A good idea is to mix trends and colourful palettes so that you can surf on a creative wave every single time.

Inspiring People

Sometimes there’s nothing stronger than discovering people who have set an example. Louise Parry is an inspirational blogger in her own right because she discusses the effect of mental illness on motherhood. It’s brave and powerful. But at the same time, you might be inspired by your neighbour who’ve lost a lot of weight in a short period, or by the story of a historical figure who fought for freedom. If someone can be this strong, so could you.

Stumbling Across Someone Else’s Creation

What inspires a lot of people is to dive into a world of creative ideas and concepts. This is often the case when you discover artistic creations. Via the art, you feel connected to a new world of ideas. It’s like taking a ride into someone else’s mind: you discover new ways of thinking and new ways of perceiving the world. It’s only natural to embrace some of these new ideas and develop them into your own thing. Let’s say you’ve watched Frozen and it inspired you to bake Frozen-themed cupcakes It’s as simple as this.

I love a bit of a gratitude and also sharing things that make me happy. I think positivity can have a bit of a knock on affect with others so here without delay are things (product based) that have made me happy recently.

Beach Hut Mug from Jin Designs.

One of the little luxuries of life is the humble cup of coffee. I love a pretty mug and was a sucker for this gorgeous beach hut mug from Jin Designs. It actually made me happy in two ways – it’s a local to me business and it is rather pretty! Plus its £8.95 in the sale too. Winner!

If you’re like me and insta your mugs let me know!

Splashes of colour and a hint of organisation from Jester Watch.

I followed Jester Watch over on instagram recently and they offered me the chance to design my own watch. This independent brand is really all about putting the colour into your life with thousands of endless possibilities as you design your own watch! Donna from the brand is super friendly and it’s super exciting to be part of supporting this start up too. I opted for a mix of pastels and brights for my watch.

I haven’t had a watch for over 10 years but with this summer and 3 kids to time manage, a business course and meetings it’s been essential to get to places on time.


I think because I have specifically chosen the colour of each element and made it me makes it all the more special and I’ve promised Fizz one for christmas too.

Lastly I am loving my Valentines necklace from Rock Cakes.

This is guaranteed to brighten up any outfit at the moment. I live in darker clothes mostly so it’s lovely to add a splash of colour – it’s like wearing that favourite lippy!

I’d love to know what is making you happy this week!

 

Being truly happy isn’t something many people can say that they are. The truth is; money doesn’t make us happy. Things don’t make us happy. People always want something outside of themselves and believe that it will make them happy, but it doesn’t. The only thing that can make you truly happy, is you. The things you do and think every day will determine whether you’re happy or not, not the things you buy and how much you have. Here are the key things you should do every day to help fill your cup:

Exercise

Exercise has both short and long term effects on happiness levels. Not only does it helps to release endorphins, the body’s happy hormone, it helps us to feel more confident about ourselves. We feel more confident in the way we move and look, and this can positively affect just about every aspect of our lives. In the long term, exercise can fend off both physical and mental health issues. The more mobile and healthy you are as you age, the happier you will be!

Spend Quality Time

Take the time to spend quality time with your loved ones. Quality time is where your attention is focused solely on the other person. Maybe you could go for a walk, play a game, have a coffee, or do something else that allows you to have fun and catch up. Remaining socially engaged is a huge factor in happiness, and is another way to remain happier in old age.

Work On Letting Go

There are many things humans need to let go of, yet we all struggle. Letting go of situations we can’t control is tricky. The truth is, control is nothing more than an illusion. We don’t have control over anything, although sometimes it may feel like we do. The best thing you can do is trust the universe and let go. When you let go of the need to control, your trust should flow. Things often turn out even better than we could have imagined they would when we were controlling them.

 

What else do we need to let go of? The feeling that we need to own stuff to be happy. Of course you are allowed to want stuff and have stuff. But it’s important to realize that our lives do not depend on it. We can often live without the things we think we so desperately want. As long as you realize that you don’t really need this stuff and that you’re not going into debt and causing bigger problems for yourself by purchasing it, you’re OK.

 

Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress may be invisible, but it’s a huge danger to many people. Stress can cause a lack of focus at work, and a short temper with the spouse/kids. It can even cause physical ailments, such as hair loss or a poorly tummy. There are no end to the dangers stress can cause. Learn how to manage your stress levels with things like deep breathing techniques, and you’ll be able to avoid these issues.

 

Are you truly happy? Leave your thoughts below!

Self care isn’t always about the pretty things that can make life look nicer, in fact there is much more to it. If you are thinking about making your own self care your number 1 priority then here are a few ways you can help yourself!

Bullet Journalling or Art Journalling

Both of these can release your busy mind. Focus on the page in front of you and what you need to organise or get out.

Bullet Journal can help you organise yourself which will help alleviate stress or feeling like you have too much on.

Art Journalling can help you get your creative side back, carry a notebook and doodle. I have a little watercolour set that is handbag friendly.

Escape for a weekend

If you are like me and always find things to do around the house even if there is spare time then a trip away can really focus the mind on enjoying the moment. Book an apartment in a new city and experience what it has to offer. You don’t need to take the kids – why not switch a weekend with your partner and then focus on something that is entirely for you, visit art galleries or snuggle in the apartment and watch Netflix until 2am with the knownledge no-one will be jumping on your head at 6am!

Look after your mind

Self care isn’t always about a spa day.  There is so much more and mental health is one of those things you need to look after. Pick up a book or start a course – something that will get your interest peaked and work with your intellect. I love taking a new short course or picking up a book. I’ve just finished Witch by Lisa Lister and although it has taken me 3 months every time i picked it up those moments were just for me.

Create a Ritual

Whether it is concentrating on your breathing first thing in the morning, a short online yoga class, that first coffee of the day or a bath make sure that before you start your day to do something unique to you. I love that first coffee of the morning and saviour it as much as I can. I find that something to start the day the right way makes my creativity flow better. Rewards dont always have to be at the end of the day.

So what rituals do you include in your self care plan?

However as much as those first few weeks can whizz by in a blur there are things you also need to focus on. It’s not just the baby who has been through it. Post-natal healing is such an important thing, physically and mentally – from taking iron tablets if you’ve experienced blood loss to making sure you get sleep when you can so that you feel well and rested too.

Fast forward doing this 2 more times and I’m super aware of what to say and do and I thought I would share a few of my top tips on spending some time on yourself during the fourth trimester especially those first few special weeks.

  1. Make sure you are not just functioning on caffeine.

Everyone warns new parents about lack of sleep but what they don’t tell you is some days you will feel like you have been hit by a bus. A lot of mums I know think they need to keep the house together but please don’t worry about that!! A good friend will always let you sleep while they do the washing up and cook you a bit of dinner! Put a shout out on Facebook for help! I had a few friends batch cook meals for us which really meant a lot as it freed up my time to focus on me and my family not chores!

  1. Don’t forget any medication!

The healing process post birth can be slow but it’ll be even slower if you don’t take care of your body. Make sure you take any medication on time by setting an alarm on your phone, enjoy a soak in the tub to gently clean a c-section.

  1. Know your body and listen to it!

Every mum experiences post-natal aches, pains and blood loss as their body returns back to normal. Focus on what is right for your body. Eat well and try not to skip meals. I always try to have a bowl of fruit around and bottled water to grab because this makes it easier to be healthier and avoid the kids snacks and crisps.

If you have blood loss or any scarring you have doesn’t feel right make use of the midwife and health visitor appointments. These people are there to help you and during the first 10 days you should have regular visits. Use them to your advantage!

Book yourself in for a post-natal massage so that any aches and pains are worked on too. Let your partner take the baby for an hour so you can just delve into your head, enjoy some headspace. They will be able to cope!

  1. Do something for your mental health.

Tiredness, a new baby, baby sleep, breastfeeding and a change in family dynamics all take time to figure out. I like to have a journal next to me for jotting down the great things during the day. Small steps really do feel like big celebrations during the first few weeks of a baby’s life so do share them! Baby spam on Facebook if need be!

When friends come over and offer to make tea, do a school run or run you a bath then grab the opportunity with both hands! Your head may be so busy with baby you wonder if there was ever space to just think. So take a bath, read a book, dye your hair or paint your nails – do something you like to do that’s just for you!

  1. Have a friend on What’s App.

It’s easy to let friendships go when you feel exhausted so why not have your besties on a group app where you can speak to them all at once. It is essential to have as much support as possible in those first weeks and months. Choose a supportive group that you can trust your inner thoughts with.

If you feel like you’re swimming against the tide, speak. I can guarantee you are not alone. Every mum feels full of emotion post birth and this is normal! Don’t be afraid to speak to your partner, your friends instead of withdrawing. Relationships change, that is true, but they can only strengthen with honesty and support. If you feel you can’t (it’s hard I know) then please do speak to a professional.

Most of all congratulations Mama, with each day life will get easier, there will be joy and laughter, there will be tears and tiredness. Most of all though, welcome to the Mama Club, we’ve got your back.

Resources like Bepanthen’s www.10thmonth.co.uk can also be invaluable to a new mum. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time mum or have a sibling on the way it really is important to feel like you have support along the way. Asking for help should be encouraged at any stage of parenthood and by finding the resources you need in one place, well, that can make all the difference to you when you’re feeling like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. The motherhood haze is hard enough and this site makes it easy to find help, support and relevant information tailored to you.

I’m working with Bepanthen and BritMums in a paid relationship to promote Bepanthen’s 10th Month Campaign. Visit 10thmonth.co.uk for more information, advice and support in the time after new baby arrives.