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.

hands holding a candle

3 Little Reminders for When You Are Feeling Stressed

Are you feeling stressed? This post might help to take away some of the things which are on your mind and are continuing to put a strain on you. Or at least, I hope it helps you to find a different perspective.

We all feel stressed from time to time and there are different coping mechanisms that work for each of us. Stress can cause many anxieties but there is a way to fight back if you take control. Feeling under pressure or worrying about situations, even the smallest things or events that haven’t even happened, there’s a type of stress which hits us all. For someone who suffers with a number of conditions that can be worsened by stress, I need to start taking a leaf or two out of my own book!

Why not think about these reminders below…

This period of time is temporary and will pass

What you are feeling so low about? Do you think it’ll matter in a few weeks, months, or a year from now? I like to think that challenges arise to test us but we can learn how we react to certain situations which also encourages us to grow. I have experienced this on both a professional and personal level. Learning to find a coping mechanism like taking deep breaths, or having a quick break from the thoughts swimming around in my head, seems to help. Sometimes, you have to remove yourself from the environment that’s making you feel this way.

There is guaranteed to be things in your life that make you feel happy and grateful to have. So, next time you are feeling stressed, focus on those positive things to help make you smile.

Always remember to switch off

It doesn’t matter if you need to switch off from work, family matters, friendship/relationship problems, or to come away from something personal, do it. I have struggled with this one before now and too many times, I have let negative thoughts beat me up inside. My mind has been overblown to the point where I don’t understand anything, yet I’ll still quietly say “yes” or agree to everything because I am mentally and physically drained to say anything different.

Also, another thing to mention, about life in general is, we aren’t here to just sit around and question why someone thinks what they do. It’s your responsibility to live your life how you want to live it and accept that people will always have something to say whether you like it or not.

Pay attention to things that settle you

What helps you the most when it comes to removing yourself from a stressful scenario? I can think of more than a few things, can you relate to any of these? A hug, something to make you laugh, having a soak in the bath, going for a walk to clear your head, listening to music, the list goes on…

When stress triggers had hit me in the past, and were much more long-term, I completed a mindfulness course online and it worked wonders! Give it a go if you haven’t already.

Remember, try not to create scenarios in your head when they haven’t happened yet or might not even happen at all. It’s quite hard for us perfectionists when trying not to stress if things don’t go exactly how you wanted them to but these things happen and it’s just how life can be.

You might also like to read: 5 Ways to Wind Down and Relax

alarm clock on quilt

Hypothyroidism Could Be the Answer!

I haven’t wrote a blog post for over a month now. So, I thought one thing I could talk about is health because there a few things that have been going on recently. I realise now that in the past, I might have brushed a lot of things off, or related a certain feeling to something which wasn’t actually the cause. It wasn’t until this week when I received my latest blood test results that the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together. My recent blood tests have come back and the GP suspects hypothyroidism. I just need one more test and to discuss medication.

Considering the thyroid is only a small butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, it can affect more parts of your body over the years than you would think. Anyone who has hypothyroidism will know the symptoms inside out. Here are most of the common signs:

  • Always feeling tired
  • Gaining weight – for me, I put on a significant amount in a short period of time, which so unusual for my body. Nobody notices but it doesn’t help how you feel about yourself.
  • Heavier or irregular periods
  • Dry/scaly skin
  • Tingling sensation
  • Constipation
  • Being sensitive to cold
  • Having sad thoughts (now I get why my emotional side is triggered)
  • Excessive hair growth on your body
  • Brittle hair on your head

Over the years I have experienced all of these symptoms. I have also suffered with migraines and I have high blood pressure but I have never known why. Could this be the root of it all? There are still a few things which need explaining but I do think it could be part of the answer.

2011

It was around half way through my first year of college when I experienced a major health change. I was suffering with headaches, an awful lot of them. I was nauseous and had a pins and needles feeling in my fingers, arms, and legs (I still do). This was occurring pretty much every day along with dizziness and losing balance. So, I spoke to the doctor, made sure I wasn’t dehydrated, created a food diary etc. After a short while, I was prescribed Propranolol beta blockers and was told I was having migraines. The only cause they figured back then was visual disturbances like bright or flashing lights. I was sent for a CT scan on my brain and my medication was upped. This helped to reduce the frequency of the migraines but not so much the severity. A dark room and sleep is what I would recommend to anyone is starting to experience migraines.

2016/2017

It might not be the nicest of things to talk about but if I’m going to share an honest experience, it needs to be included. I have suffered with constipation for around the last 3-4 years. Let me tell you, if you haven’t had constipation, don’t presume it’s just ‘constipation’. It starts off bearable. Then over the years it can cause other complications. I have tried over 6 different laxatives, a tablet from the GP, ate different seeds and foods that help you to go to the toilet, the list goes on.

My body always reverts back to normal and the above have only ever worked as a temporary measure. My stomach swells making it look like I have been carrying a food baby! The flare ups can be triggered by certain foods or emotions like stress. You can feel fed up more often than not and feel very negatively about yourself. Later, I had a colonic transit study at the hospital. I remember seeing the x-ray on screen to be told that almost all of the markers were collected on the left side and didn’t come out. I was diagnosed with slow transit constipation, leaning towards IBS.

2018

The year I was given the news I have high blood pressure. After loads of tests including an ECG, 24-hour monitor machine x2 ocassions, I remember being given the news because the appointment with my GP was on my birthday. Diet and lifestyle changes didn’t make a difference and there any other clear reasons for the cause, other than it possibly being a hereditary condition. Other than the blood pressure readings, other signs were: a difference in the blood vessels in my eyes and my heart was beating faster than usual.

Some would worry at a young age but I felt lucky to know and I was put on Ramipril to keep it controlled. There’s been no long-term damage to my eyes now other than slight reduced vision in my left eye. Also, I have worn glasses with antiglare ever since I was told I was having migraines.

2019/2020

After a long think, I decided to stop taking Propranolol, once I had spoke to the GP of course. This was obviously something I had to wean off. The migraines were not happening as frequently. Were things getting better? Not really…

Things have started to worsen. I feel exhausted. Sometimes, I feel so tired that I can’t be bothered talking or doing life’s day-to-day tasks or tasks at work. I brush my hair to find so much more hair malting than usual. The rash on my chest returns again and again. I am bleeding, which I won’t go into too much detail about but I have been referred to gastro and I’m being sent for a sigmoidoscopy. I also have a consultation with gynaecology coming up due to cervical eclroption (common with women where cells from inside the cervix go onto the outside of the cervix).

I’m lucky if I can go a week without being or feeling sick, and going to the toilet more than once every 2 weeks. In between all of this, I have been prescribed some iron tablets. I am not anaemic but due to the blood loss, my iron count is a little low. This is a win-lose situation because they help the iron count but not the bowel issue so, I have decided to take one every other day.

This brings me to today. Okay, I am finally getting somewhere. This might only answer part of what I have been experiencing over the years but I am relieved to know that I haven’t been going crazy. I feel quite annoyed that it’s took so long for things to happen before I was listened to but I like to see the positives.

There are many people out there with other chronic illnesses but I just wanted to share my story in the hope that it will help someone who is experiencing similar symptoms. Don’t be afraid to speak to your GP, no matter how many times you have repeated yourself. Keep fighting to get answers. And remember, your health always come first.

The NHS and Thyroid UK have some useful links on hypothyroidism: