back of the head shot of Tasha on her Mac

Daily Positive Wellness Check In

Positive wellness is good for the body and the mind. Do you practice any healthy habits? I often think that wellness is something we think is here for us ‘to survive’ but it’s so much more than that. Regardless of what’s going on in your life, instead of just living to go to work, coming home, getting the tea on etc. why not think about thriving for more, for happiness? For me, this starts when you see how precious the little moments in life are. I hope you will be able to take away one or two of these examples, that help me when I feel myself heading towards a slightly difficult or lower state of mind.

Going outside

If you follow me on Instagram, you will see like I like to go out and about, getting those steps in, and I do enjoy a good walk. Anyone who knows me, knows how I am willing to walk anywhere and everywhere. But there’s something about taking myself for a stroll that enlightens my mind. It is a breath of fresh air and nice to stretch your legs, but it’s also escapism. I don’t just been being cooped up in the house to COVID-19, it’s a way to reduce any worry and to focus on things clearer. Going for a walk helps me to focus.

Dancing in the kitchen when there’s no music

From the moment we became homeowners in February 2019, one of our favourite firsts was dancing in the kitchen with no music. Then we started to bring it through to the living room. It makes me feel so warm inside and moments like that really melt my heart. Sometimes, all you need is to be held and feel calm with your favourite person.

Choose something to be thankful for

Has today been one of many of those ‘worst days ever’? How many times have you told yourself it’s been a rubbish day? Stop for a moment and think about the things you are grateful for that day. Just one thing, make a note of it, or just keep it in your mind. It could be something as simple as that nice cup of tea you had this morning or that moment after work when you soak yourself into a hot bubbly bath.

Smiling and laughing

I was saying the other day, how would I cope if I didn’t laugh so much? Unfortunately, that is the case for some people. I am so lucky to have people around me who brighten the mood no matter what. Whenever I am not in that situation, I tell myself to now remove myself and find another ‘place’ as in taking myself away from a person, place, or time. Smile back at the old lady at the bus stop, the shopkeeper who serves you, smiles can mean much more than you think.

Find a good mechanism

If you have been a reader of this blog since day one, you will know that writing is my therapy. That why I am here on this blog. But I must admit, I have come a long way since I hit the publish button on my first post. It’s taken a good few years but I find myself feeling much more positive in situations and I also have a different perspective in those times when worrying and negative thoughts used to take over in the past. Listening to music also releases the energy that isn’t needed. I am a very active person that discovers there is something to tidy, clean, or clear away (even if others don’t see it). We all have something eh?

Remember to take part in things you enjoy. Some things you can’t pick and choose and things can happen that aren’t predictable. But it helps to have a positive mindset no matter what you are experiencing.

person looking at the mountain view

There Will be a Light at the End of the Tunnel

Here we go again… Boris has announced that England will enter a second national lockdown this November, which is expected to last a month. Many of us are referring to it as ‘Lockdown 2’. There’s something about this time round that doesn’t have me feeling as much emotion as last time.

I was one of those who experienced a birthday in lockdown and missed a long awaited trip to New York (I will return one day). But what you need to remember is that, although it may feel like ‘forever’, it isn’t. There are better times ahead at the end of all this. Coronavirus will not magically disappear but we can adapt to different ways on how we respond to changes, restrictions, and just as anything that the future holds, keep a forward-thinking mindset. 

What are you supposed to think now?

It’s normal to feel frustrated during these challenging times. Let’s face it, it’s like deja vu and almost feels like we are going backwards. There’s so much negativity in the news and different media outlets. You just want to hear something uplifting for once, right? I have decided to think about the things that make me happy, even if people can’t take that approach, it’s okay. 

I feel like my thoughts over the spring and summer took a toll and enough is enough, you know? I now realise how much time you can waste worrying. The truth is, you can’t always change things and you will experience unfortunate events.

My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones and friends, no matter how old or young. They are lives which have been taken. There are too many conditions and illnesses in the world as it is, why does there need to a place for something else? 

I think the whole COVID era has given me an insight to how people handle situations in different ways. We are all in this together and some people still need to realise that, and the much bigger picture.

Sadly, there are also people who are alone. I can’t bear to think about how all of this feels for them. I like to think I smile more at strangers in the street because you just never know if it’ll help how they are feeling. No one ever knows what someone is going through unless you really know. 

Looking forward and thinking about Christmas

I am still excited for Christmas even if it “won’t be the same.” Whether it’s for the fact that’s it’s a break, or it’s just me and the festive spirit. Either way, I honestly think it’s one of the nicest times of the year.

I was brought up to know how important it is to have family together at Christmas. Although I won’t be around all of my family members at the table, I am very lucky to have the one that I do need. I have Danny, who has been by my side many years now and we will be celebrating our 8th Christmas together this year. 

This COVID period has taught me a lot and has helped me gain a greater perspective of what means the most to me. I know how much I long for a family of my own and for the last few years, we have visioned that dream. So, this Christmas I will be thankful for everyone I have around me day-to-day, maybe not in person but who I know are truly there with or without COVID. I will not let the virus take the magic of Christmas away and I will continue to think about all the great festive seasons I’ve had with the most special people in my life. 

Now it’s down to you

From reading this post, I hope you manage to see things in a better light. There’s a ray of sunshine out there if you look a little further. Stay connected to those who you are close to. Even a small conversation matters, try not to lose touch. It’s so important to keep those relationships flowing.

holding hands for comfort

Speak Up About Your Health – Thyroid Awareness Week

It’s Thyroid Awareness Week. For something that’s a small butterfly shaped gland, the thyroid is so powerful, and can attack many different parts of the body if there’s an imbalance of hormone levels. Although I haven’t had an official diagnosis, I want to share my story as my symptoms and test results are leaning towards and under active thyroid (hypothyroidism). I also know a few people that have a thyroid condition, some under active and others over active (hyperthyroidism). I need to have one more test in a couple of months to be able to get a clear answer. This will help to determine whether there’s a need to start me on levothyroxine.

If you are wondering whether you could fall into the under active thyroid category, hopefully this post will shed some light and help you get the answers you need.

Since 2011, my thyroid levels (mainly TSH) have up and down like a yo-yo. In the last 6 months, they have been higher than usual. Every time something has lowered or increased, I have been advised, “It’s okay, it’s borderline.” But how does that interpret what’s low/high for every individual? We are all different and have different medical history, some heavier for some than others.

Since 2009, I have experienced a number of medical issues, some in more recent months, including:

  • Migraines (I was subscribed to Propranolol 80mg for 8-9 years by the hospital)
  • High blood pressure (controlled by medication)
  • Slow transit constipation/IBS – and now rectal bleeding – I am currently waiting for a sigmoidoscopy appointment
  • Tingling like pins and needles all over my body, on a daily basis
  • Longer, heavier, and more painful periods (to the point where sometimes, I only have a week window until my next one in-between the period itself and extra bleeding in-between)
  • Low iron levels
  • Raised cholesterol – this could be caused by a gene my mum has called ‘Familial hypercholesterolaemia‘ (I’ll just stuck to calling it FH!)
  • Low vitamin D – no chance of a beach holiday just yet though eh!

    Thyroid UK have reported on their Instagram account this week that, a lack of Vitamin D can be associated with thyroid disease.

Overall, I feel completely drained, and tend to have a lot of foggy moments. It’s been incredibly challenging in the more recent months, leading to low thoughts and feeling like giving up on finding answers. The weight gain on top of bloating due to bowel issues, not that many people notice, has still took quite a toll on me. However, with an extra influence from my boyfriend, I decided it was time to make a change. I have joined a new GP practice and it’s been one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I am heading in the right direction now.

During the last 6 or so months, I have been experiencing more cervical bleeding in between periods and after sex. So, with that on top of the rectal bleeding, you can understand why I’m on iron medication. 

I have an unexplained excruciating pain on the left side of my abdomen which could be caused by gynaecological problems or relating back to my bowel… or both? I don’t know at this stage but the pain has worsened over the last 12 months. My colposcopy results revealed there was nothing sinister and the cells which were causing me to bleed were treated. The only comment was that, my cervix still had some inflammation but it could be “a hormonal issue”. 

Although having the copper coil was good choice for me health wise (or so it seemed at the time as I can’t take other contraceptives), having it removed could be the next step. It wouldn’t scare me if anything happens as a result of this. I dream of having children, so I hope I get to experience this coming true in the near future once everything’s sorted. 

I am sharing this personal story in the hope that, if you ever develop symptoms, always push for answers. Your health is more important than anything – mentally and physically. Remember to look after yourself. I never used to speak up in the past but now I am glad to finally be getting somewhere. The answers might not be what you want to hear but it means you can get the help you need. 


If you have a thyroid condition, share your story on Facebook or Twitter using #ThyroidAwarenessMonth. Thyroid UK have lots of useful resources and support available on their website: https://thyroiduk.org/

Tasha walking up Mount Snowdon

The Days When You Are Feeling ‘Ugly’ or ‘Meh’

We are all human so I’m pretty sure you have had some days when you have felt, ‘meh’. Sometimes it’s down to busy or stressful times. On others, it might be because you feel down about yourself, mentally and/or physically. Let me tell you something – I am with you. Over the last week or so I have been thinking of ways to distract myself from when these kind of moments hit me. So, if you feel anything similar to the above, I hope this post will help you.

Stop seeing an ‘ugly’ version of yourself

Take away Instagram, filters, makeup etc. for a moment and think about what pretty is. Look in the mirror and see who you are as your natural self. Remind yourself that you don’t meed to look ‘perfect’ everyday. Feeling bloated is absolutely fine. Bad skins day are okay too. Even bad hair or more tired looking days are normal. Each day, think about what’s important, and what really makes you happy, then your smile will appear without any thoughts getting in the way.

You are doing your best

Life can be hard but really, we are should enjoy it as best as we can. Challenges will arise, you wouldn’t be in the real world if they didn’t. Don’t avoid them, take them on, and tackle them with the determination you know you’ve got. More often than not, the more you try, you can actually surprise yourself with where it can take you. If you don’t get something quite right, it doesn’t make you look bad. Looking good starts with feeling good inside – a key thing I really need to remind myself. 

Everyone is different 

People you know shine in their own ways – each have their own personality and beauty about them. So, why do you look at yourself in a different light when you see how ‘different’ you are? It’s good to have something unique about you even if that means you can be the most random and giddy person in the room; then quiet on other occasions. Don’t change to be someone you are not or to please others.

There will be less motivational days

Try to find something that re-energises you. I know one of my downfalls recently has been down to fitness. I know that a form of my escapism which has worked really well are long walks and running outdoors. I haven’t been hitting the gym on weekends like I used that that’s okay. I just need to remember how important being active on the days when I feel absolutely drained physically and emotionally. A good kick up the bum and I’ll be back at it! 


Are you still thinking negatively about yourself? If the answer is yes, please reach out to someone. This could be a family member, a friend, work colleague, or anyone you feel comfortable around. I decided to do this and trust me, it made a huge difference. Times will get tough every now and again but you will find the strength to get through them.

woman's hands typing on laptop in hospital environment

My Experience of Having a Colposcopy Procedure

When I mentioned to the odd person that I was referred to gynaecology for a colposcopy, they replied, “Oh you are going for a colonoscopy?” Nope – a colPOSCOPY. 

Initially, I was told it was a 35 week wait for a referral. Then, I told my GP that I was willing to go to any hospital. Shortly afterwards, I had a telephone consultation and was sent a letter in the post for a colposcopy appointment – all within 4 weeks. Getting the appointment for the right date was important because well, the main reason for my appointment was due to so much more bleeding than usual. At first, I attended but they couldn’t carry out the procedure due to heavy bleeding so I had to re-book. Then, I needed a COVID-19 test because I had coronavirus symptoms. Finally, I was able to go for my appointment at the hospital a few days after the test as the result was negative. Third time lucky kinda thing! 

Why was I sent for a colposcopy?

For around 6 months now, I’ve had irregular bleeding and dark discharge throughout my menstrual cycle. My periods have been longer and much heavier, causing me to have accidents, which I didn’t even experience at 12 years old when I had my first period! Although, I’m coming up to 3 years since I had the copper coil fitted, it is expected that periods can be heavier when you have this type of IUD. However, other signs indicated that further investigation was needed. I continue to experience a sharp pain in my left side during and after sex, a much heavier cramping sensation during my periods, and overall fatigue and weakness. Whenever I get a pain in my side, I have to wonder if it’s cervix or bowel related. Having the two combined is… very uncomfortable. The pelvic pain though is more of a constant stab feeling.

I had a scan a few years ago to see if I had polycystic ovaries – but I didn’t. More recently I had an ultrasound and they said everything was fine and nothing sinister was apparent. However, before that, I had a cervical examination and cells were found on the outside of my cervix and the area was also inflamed. During that moment, I realised that when I had my first smear, the nurse did comment that it was “slightly red” and now, “it looks quite red”. The nurse said it looks as though as I have some ectropion bleeding, also known as cervical erosion which sounds scarier than it is. As soon as she touched my cervix with a cotton swab, it bled.

Unfortunately, I am also seeing blood when I go to the toilet (when I’m lucky enough to be able to go that is) and again, I get an excruciating pain on the left of my abdomen but that’s another story to tell you once I’ve had a sigmoidoscopy.

A couple of months ago, I was prescribed iron tablets because my iron levels were very low. It’s no surprise really when I’ve lost so much blood. They don’t help the bowel issues though because they can make you more bunged up. At least they help my iron levels though. There’s always a positive eh!

How did it feel to have a colposcopy for the first time?

Having a smear, cervical examination, or getting a coil fitted, doesn’t bother me. This procedure was also fine. I lay down and was told to relax and let the padded supports take the weight of my legs and push myself forward a little further. Just a warning if you are squeamish, everything can be seen on the screen beside you. I was completely fine with it other than seeing where I was bleeding around my cervix. It got me feeling a little sad because I just wanted it to go away. But apparently, it can be such a common thing for women. 

The nurse applied a couple of different liquids to highlight if there were any abnormal areas (biopsies are also taken if they think anything might be there). Overall, the cervix looked okay other than some inflammation again, but nothing to worry about. Medicine was applied to the cells that shouldn’t have been on the outside of my cervix, so hopefully this will reduce the bleeding in-between periods. But unfortunately, they don’t think it’ll answer the longer and heavier periods. The colposcopist is sure it’s hormone related which isn’t a shock as I am currently having my thyroid investigated. All I can do is persevere for a little while longer and see what happens after further tests. 

Swabs were also taken and I was given a sanitary pad for any bleeding and discharge. During these type of procedures, I prefer to let the nurses do what they need to do and get it over and done with. Maybe I’m luckier in the sense I could be one of those people who can persevere through the twinges and slightly uncomfortable feelings inside.

I did feel some discomfort afterwards, which was mostly period-like. Once I got home, I put my pyjamas on and had a cup of tea which of course was much cosier!

They said bleeding or brown discharge can occur 3-5 days after the procedure. Update: it’s a week afterwards now and I’m still getting this, which means I’ve bled for 3 weeks. Hopefully it’ll wear off soon.

The gynaecology department at Rochdale hospital and Royal Oldham Hospital have been so lovely and have made me feel comfortable throughout the whole process. If you are referred for a colposcopy, don’t ignore it or put it off, please attend. The nurses will make you feel as comfortable as they possibly can. 

I think what scares me, is knowing what my mum went through with two of her pregnancies (one being me). But hopefully there won’t be any reason why I can’t have a healthy pregnancy in the future. It’s one of my biggest dreams to have children. Many times, I have pictured so much in my head like, looking out of the kitchen window to see them playing in the garden or all of the first-time experiences that will be like no other. It’s important to keep a positive mindset and look forward to the future though. 

More information on how to prepare for a colposcopy and what happens can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/colposcopy/

COVID-19 virus

What to Expect When Having a COVID-19 Test

This is my experience of attending a walk-in centre by appointment. Near you, there might also be a drive-in centre, or the option to book a test online when/if they become available again.

Booking a COVID-19 Test

I was lucky when it came to booking a test. There were not any home tests available but over 100 slots had opened up at the University of Salford. I visited GOV.UK and followed the steps to proceed with booking an appointment.

If you are thinking of booking a COVID-19 test, expect to enter the date that the first symptom started to happen along with some personal details (name, date of birth, postcode etc.) The website will then bring up the closest testing centres. If you don’t have a car or live with someone who has a car, you are advised to walk or cycle to your appointment to reduce the risk of infecting others (if you have the virus) rather than taking public transport. 

When you arrive at your selected testing centre, a member of security or staff will ask you for your pass or email/text with confirmation of your appointment. You are likely to have received a QR code which they will scan and allow you into the building. This was the case for me as the test was taking place indoors. You must sanitise your hands upon entry then someone will direct you to a cubicle. 

Having the Coronavirus Test

A member of staff shown me where to go and I was provided with an information leaflet and testing pack. There was also further instructions on how to take the test with step by step illustrations on the wall in front of me. Staff members were around for further assistance if needed.

To start the test, you must blow your nose and dispose of the tissue in the bin. If you too attend a testing centre where you carry the test out yourself, you’ll find a swab in the pack on a table. You are asked to put the swab at the back of your throat for 10-15 seconds then using the same side, repeat up one of your nostrils approximately 2.5 centimetres. The only downside for me was that, my eyes were ridiculously watery on this day due to feeling unwell so, my eyes began to stream and I couldn’t stop sneezing because the swab tickled my nose! I think the staff looked at me as if to say “Well, that’s a different one!” haha. 

Once you have done the above, you place the swab into a container, snapping the other half off so it fits. Then, seal the bag you are given with the test inside. A member of staff will guide you to the next area where you sanitise your hands again, your QR code will be scanned for a second time, place your bag into a tray and you are all done. I was advised that my result would arrive through a text and email within 48 hours.

Getting Your Result

Less than 24 hours later, I received my result in a text then shortly afterwards by email. The sender will appear as NHS by text and NHS COVID-19 Notification on email. Thankfully, the result was negative. It felt good not only to discover I didn’t have the virus but to have received answers so soon. 

If you want, you can enter your code on the NHS Test and Trace app under the ‘Enter test result’ tab which will again notify you of your result. Further advice was given about isolation, if it’s necessary, and how to keep others safe.

I know it’s quite frustrating for people in some areas of the UK at the minute trying to get hold of a test or an appointment for one. But remember, your health comes first. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, book a test if you can. The first day I checked, there were no appointments available but the next day, luckily there was.

More information on testing and coronavirus can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test