Friday, 29 April 2022

70 ways to distract yourself from anxiety.

Hey readers, 

Now sometimes using distractions as a tool to help reduce anxiety can be of benefit because you are not focusing on anxiety. The fewer thoughts you give to anxiety the less change of the anxiety manifesting and getting which could lead to a bad place. 

70 ways to distract yourself from anxiety.

Distractions are a great way to not only reduce anxiety but also give back the sense of control over the thoughts. I have been in these situations as anxiety suffers I know firsthand that they can work and be of real benefit in times of need when anxiety feels like it is taking over.

Of course, it must be noted that distractions are only a temporary solution nevertheless can be of benefit because it gives you a break from being in that constant anxiety state. It allows you to pause and it can make the anxiety when it returns a lot less intense so much more manageable. 

Below I have a list of 70 distraction techniques that you can take away and practice when needed.

1. Watch a tv show.

2. Watch a movie.
 
3. Sing your heart out.

4. Watch a Youtube video.

5. watch TikTok videos. 

6. Grab a snack.

7. Mindful doodling.

8. Play a game.

9. Clean.

10. Listen to music.

11. Wash your face or hands. 

12. Gratitude list.

13. Exercise.
 
14. go out for a walk 

15. Listen to a podcast.

16. Listen to an audiobook.
 
17. Untangle the necklaces or leads you to have to lie in the drawn. 

18. Sell stuff on eBay. 

19. Take photographs. 

20. Do some cooking. 

21. Play with a fidget tool. 

22. Name all the colours in the room. 

23. Create a mantra if you don't have one and repeat it to yourself, e.g. "I can do this", "This too shall pass". Literally, spell it out if repeating is not enough. 

24.  Think of a common task and go through it step-by-step. Imagine you're explaining the process to someone else. 

25. Mow the lawn. 

26. Make a budget. 

27. Meal plan. 

28. Create an emergency fund. 

29. Unsubscribe to any unwanted emails. 

30. Clean out your emails. 

31. Watch a Ted Talk.

32. Observe something and describe it in extreme detail. Notice how it looks, its pattern, texture, and how it feels. For example, you could say it is a green apple with two small bruises.

33. Practice mindfulness.

34. Journal. 

35. Colour in. 

36. Make a video. 

37. Make lists (to read, to watch, to do, to listen, to play...).

38.  Do the laundry. 

39. Rank things (top 1o movies, best cuisines, top 5 musical artists...).

40. Make music playlists for different occasions (songs to dance to, relaxing music, music to listen to whilst reading...).

41.  Discuss what you watched, read, or played with someone. 

42. Browse social media. 

43. Look at memes.

44. Dance.

45. Start a collection (stickers, memes, leaves...).

46. Make memes. 

47. Write a positive review for something you enjoyed. 

48. Learn about a culture. 

49. Explore Wikipedia. 

50. Warch a foreign film or drama. 

51. Read a graphic novel or comics. 

52. Make a bucket list. 

53. Create a game. 

54. Make a bucket list. 

55. Observe wildlife. 

56. Take a virtual tour. 

57. Attend a virtual concert. 

58. Travel the world using Goggle Earth. 

59. Read some jokes. 

60. Read articles on things you're interested in. 

61. Take silly quizzes online. 

62. Do a jigsaw puzzle.

63. Play scrabble. 

64. Volunteer.

65. Make a gift or care package for someone. 

66. Do nail art. 

67. Redecocrate something. 

68. Plant something. 

69. Try a new recipe. 

70. Make a stop motion animation. 

What do you think of my list of distractions to help when feeling anxious? Have I missed any good ones that work for you? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X

loopyloulaura

Monday, 25 April 2022

On the side

Hey readers,

When I was a child I learned the art of a thing called masking, aka faking it and what this means is that I learned the behaviour of others. The problem being is that if something changes that I can mess up badly because I can't be flexible with my thinking.

 That is one of the characteristics of autism is we manage change to some degree but we only see it in a structured way that is black or white (through past learned experiences or what we have read up on the problem where we fail is that if something slightly different happens in the format then we screw up basically. It can lead to getting things wrong, saying something wrong, coming across as rude, not coping, having meltdowns or shutdowns, etc. 

on the side

I think it's really hard being an autistic girl growing up because there is so much more pressure to be sociable than a boy. When I was growing up I felt that boys got away with not getting noticed therefore resulting in having less social pressure. 

I used to absolutely hate being a girl because of this reason and I thought boys had it a lot easier or more relaxed attitude with regard to social and communication which suited me perfectly.

Now that I'm an adult I find it a bit easier because I have more experience and knowledge but I still frequently mess up. If I am feeling anxious or if there is too much going on in my head can't seem to focus on the rules.

 There are times when stressful factors cause me more brainpower than normal and it is like I regress in my behaviour. That is why it's so hard to measure autism, as it is not something that you can say x y and z it's constantly shifting depending on the environment and mindset of that individual.

Since being a parent I have learned that there are so many other social rules involved when bringing up a child.

I first it was lovely when my children were newborns as there is less pressure on me to be sociable but since my children are at school I have noticed that there's a hell of a lot more interaction going on.

Me being an autistic parent does affect my self-esteem. A lot of the time I feel inadequate,  especially as my husband is very good at communicating and engaging with others. It leaves me feeling really angry and frustrated. I know comparing is the worst thing to do but it coincides with me learning about other people.

I think one of the hardest and most upsetting things is when people don't see you as an individual but as some sort of invalid because you're autistic. They don't look past the label or they do but then they just talk down to you in a condescending way. The thing is I am aware of exactly what is happening, I just don't have the skills to communicate and express myself as clearly as other people do.

It has really made me feel quite low at times because I feel like I can't give my child everything that a typical parent has to offer. I suppose that is why I enjoy the school holidays more because I don't have to worry about social things. 

The only downside is that when I return I have to deal with the social side of education and whatnot. I feel rubbish and I have felt very very low causing me to struggle to get up in the mornings. 

I have also learned to avoid situations and tend to get my husband to do the tasks because it's too upsetting at times to have to face discrimination against me. I think that's one of the saddest things about being an autistic parent is the fact that you deal with a lot of rejection or misunderstanding. I like my voice isn't heard and again that familiar outcast feeling appears.

Cheers for reading X

 

Sunday, 24 April 2022

My Sunday Photo 24/04/2022



Bubble magic! 


         RachelSwirl


Friday, 22 April 2022

CheckoutSmart app review

 Hey readers, 

Not long ago I reviewed the Shopmium app here and there is a similar cashback app also available to download called CheckoutSmart which I am going to explore today. 

It is very similar to Shopmium in the sense that you can get free or reduced food from shops in-store and online (CheckoutSmart has more stores). I think personally though CheckoutSmart is a better app because there are more offers the only downfall is the cashout element which I go into detail about later. 

CheckoutSmart app review
What is it?

CheckoutSmart is an app you can download on your phone for free on android and apple stores that offers cashback on products either for the full amount or a reduced amount. It is a great way to reduce the cost of your supermarket shopping and also sometimes you can try new food that you may not originally buy.  

You just need to sign up to the app with your email or you can use your Facebook login details. 

Make sure you check the app regularly as they frequently update their offers on the app.

The types of products range from Proper popcorn, Marrs chocolate bars, and Cadbury chocolate cookie mix. Richmond toad in the whole kid, flavored water,  coffee syrups, Kellogs cereal, fiber bars to name a few that spring to mind.

CheckoutSmart app review

CheckoutSmart app review

How to use it. 

Search for products you want (make sure you check the location is correct as well). Go to the store buy the item and get the receipt. Open up the app click on the red icon with your hand at the bottom of the screen (see picture below) then select the store you went to, then the day (you have 6 days to claim back) then either add from the list click on the item or you can scan the barcode of the product and click next.
CheckoutSmart app review
 Finally, scan in the receipt, and if it is a long receipt you can take multiple photos, and then at the bottom click claim cashback. Make sure you have good lighting and the receipt is as straight as possible so that it can be read clearly to get your money back.

 It shouldn't take no more than 24-48 hours to receive notification of it is being processed or not. Obviously, if it comes back as they can't read the receipt you have an opportunity to reupload again. 

Filter option.  

What I like about the app is the feature where you can click to choose all stores or chose a particular store of your choice which will come up with only offers for that store. Also, you can sort out offers by cashback in pounds, cashback in %, or when the offer start date is, which makes it so much easier to navigate around the app. 

CheckoutSmart app review

CheckoutSmart app review

Shops you can use it in. 

Of course, offers are available from the big supermarkets - Asda. Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, and Lidl but they also offer in other stalls such as Whsmith, Holland and Barratt & Wilkos for example. Also if you buy the offers from CheckoutSmart then you could get branded items cheaper than the supermarket's own items. 

Deliveries

Not only can you get cashback from supermarket items but you can also claim back 1% in cashback from your delivered takeaways from places like Just Eat and Deliveroo.

Claim money back. 

Once you’ve scanned a receipt, it takes up to 7 days for your reward to be tracked. The money will show in your account after this. You can request the money directly to your bank account, or you can choose to cash out with PayPal instead – it’s your choice.

For your first payment, you can claim anything over £1. After that, you can withdraw the cashback when your account reaches £5 and over. Please note, that there is a 5% processing fee charged if you transfer less than £20, so make sure you’ve earned cash back over £19.99 before you request a payment.

Conclusion.

CheckoutSmart app is a fantastic app to help reduce the cost of shopping, you often get free food and there are frequent new offers. It doesn't take long to add up to the £20.00 mark so you won't have to worry about waiting months to cash out. Overall it is my favorite food cashback type app and if you haven't downloaded it what are you waiting for?!

Cheers for reading X 
loopyloulaura

Monday, 18 April 2022

why I blog.

Hey readers,

I love blogging and there are so many reasons why you should try it. Check out my reasons why I blog down below.  

why I blog

1. Share my thoughts.

I started my blog as a way to share my thoughts, they were personal to me, and sometimes they were light and fluffy. Depending on my mood and what I wanted to write the posts would reflect that.

 I write about life, which isn't perfect, sometimes I write a matter of fairness, and other times I write like my heart is on my sleeve. My blog is a place that is mine, and I write whatever tickles my tastes buds. 

2. Improve my writing ability.

I am not the best with grammar but being a blogger for a number of years has definitely helped me improve my writing abilities. I am nowhere near perfect but I have learned a lot over the years. 

I find writing has helped me channel my thoughts and write them down on my blog. As a regular blogger who writes twice a week the consistency and keeping in a routine has helped. Like anything the more you practice the better you get. 

3. Learn a skill

Blogging is learning a new skill from coming up with ideas on how to design your blog to work out how to share blog posts, how to write blog posts, and how to join in with blog links. All these things I never knew about before joining the blogging world. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn but looking back it is amazing how much I have developed over the years during my blogging journey. 

4.  Overcome trauma. 

Originally when I first started blogging the aim was for me to use blogging as a tool to distract me because I was going through some personal trauma. I needed something to take my mind off some heartache and blogging was just what I needed.

It really gave me something to focus on, learn and write. It was definitely a cathartic process for me when I first started blogging. Even now when I am going through difficult times I turn to my blog as a way of escapism to distract me from what is going on in life for a bit, really does help a lot.  

5.  Inspire others.

When writing personal stuff using my first-hand account of what it is like to have autism has helped people to understand or relate. It has made awareness to help understand which is positive all around because often voices aren't always heard because barriers get in the way such as not being from a middle-class background or male or whatever barrier.

 With the internet, this erases such blockages as blogging is accessible to anyone regardless of background etc. It is free to do so anyone can set up a blog and write authentically and without being influenced.  

6. Increases your confidence.

With time doing blogging helps increase your confidence because you get into a routine with writing and this forms your personal voice. With writing, you can share your thoughts with what you believe in and the thoughts you want to share

Blogging can give you a voice when as mentioned in the previous point at times barriers get in the way blogging is a place where you can write out your stresses and feel a lot lighter. As a blog is a documentation of your thoughts you can look back over past posts and can see the changes that you have made and the growth that you have done. 

Have you tried blogging? Are you a blogger? What do you think about blogging? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X 

Sunday, 17 April 2022

My Sunday Photo 17/04/2022

My Sunday Photo 17/04/2022


         RachelSwirl


Friday, 15 April 2022

100 easy child-parent date ideas

 Hey readers, 

Sometimes life can be hectic so making time for your children can be excellent for them. Making 1-2-1 time can make them feel special, create happy memories and help form a strong bond. Below I have a list of a whopping 100 parent-child date ideas to get you inspired, there is a variety of different things as everyone is different so pick one suits you :)

100 easy child-parent date ideas

1.
G
o out to lunch.

2. Try fishing together.

3. Go to the zoo.

4. Go to the park and play. 

5. Head to a movie. 

6. Check out a museum. 

7. Go for a hike.
 
8. Take a dance class. 

9. Go to a play. 

10. Feed the ducks at the park.

11. Grocery shopping. 

12. Bowling. 

13. Fold paper airplanes and test them. 

14. A trip to the bookstore. 

15. Board games. 

16. Go bird watching.

17. Mak fairy houses.

18. Plant your own plants. 

19. Look for shapes in clouds. 

20. Make a bird feeder. 

21. Grow fresh herbs in containers. 

22. Break out your films collection.

23. Build a fort.

24. Build a lego castle. 

25. Camp in. 

26. Have breakfast in bed. 

27. Play a card game. 

28. Play charades. 

29. Pack a picnic. 

30. Take a road trip to a nearby city. 

31. Visit a historic house or farm. 

32. Visit a local farmers' market. 

33. Collect rocks and paint them. 

34. Use chalk on pavements. 

35. Fly a kite.

36. Camp in your garden. 

37. Lisen to an audiobook together. 

38. Stargaze. 

39. Bake cookies. 

40. Cook a new dish together. 

41. Go out for breakfast together. 

42. Go on a bike ride together. 

43. Paint pottery. 

44. Go to the arcade.
 
45. Go to the mini-golf. 

46. Ride scoters together. 

47. Go to the library together.
 
48. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. 

49. Rock wall climbing. 

50. Go to a sweet shop. 

51. Go watch a film at the cinema. 

52.  Go for a walk. 

53. Play catch. 

54. Do a craft project together. 

55. Volunteer at a local charity together. 

56. Cuddle on the couch. 

57. Take a drive.
 
58. Go for a run.

59. Geocaching. 

60. Go go-karting. 

61. Ice skating. 

62. Watch the sunset.

63. Rollerskating.
 
64. Go to the beach. 

65. Go get ice cream. 

66. Go out for pizza.

67. Attend a special event in your area.
 
68. Walk around and explore the area that you live in. 

68. Cuddle. 

69. Play with playdoh. 

70. Scrapbook together. 

71. Look at old photos.
 
72. Make homemade pizzas. 

73. Make slime. 

74. Do a science experiment together. 

75. Do some yoga. 

76. Watch some sport. 

77. Walk in the garden together. 

78. Eat in the back garden. 

79. Talk. 

80. Play dress up. 

81. Go to an aquarium. 

82. Go swimming.

83. Go to an amusement park. 

84. Jump in puddles.

85. Go camping together. 

86. Take pictures. 

87. Go to a farm.

88. Visit a garden. 

89. Find a carnival or festival. 

90. Go to a pet store

91. Go to a coffee shop. 

92. Go on a train ride. 

93. Go to a nature centre.

94. Paint pottery. 

95. Go shopping. 

96. Go to a high tea.
 
97. Go to a pick your own farm. 

98. Hunt for Pokeman

99. Play a game on a games console. 

100. Do a puzzle together. 

What do you think of my child-parent date ideas? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X

loopyloulaura

Monday, 11 April 2022

Why social media is important.

Hey readers,

Social media can get bad press but there are some really good quality reasons for why social media can be good so let's celebrate the positive today. 

Why social media is important.

1. Communication.

Social media is an avenue where regardless of background, education or wealth can speak up on topics or opinions freely. It allows discussion where sometimes it might not constantly occur in other situations in life. 

Social media has changed the way we communicate from the time it tasks to respond, to communicate with anyone in the world. There is a sense of connection in finding similar people with the same thoughts and beliefs.

 People with similar interests are coming together and forming groups and sometimes depending on the topic raising awareness. This also can help build relationships and can definitely feel less lonely when you can find people who think similar to yourself.

It is not just talking to others but also for example artists have been able to showcase their work and gain popularity through Instagram and create more opportunities for themselves. Other formats like Youtube give singers a chance to branch out to more people with being access to listen on the platform freely.

2.  Awareness. 

Social media is a perfect tool to help raise awareness through sharing stories, narratives, and photos, providing facts and data in a consumable way, making it more appealing for the audience to engage and help understand. 

The work to help create awareness helps build a community. A good example of this would be on Twitter with the #metoo movement, at first, it wasn't really taken seriously but with more stories of women speaking out about their experience of abuse, people began to take notice and actually listen. Just the simple act of using a hashtag allowed communication to open upon such a serious topic. It gave women a voice and power across the globe.

 It highlighted the number of women who had been assaulted and harassed. It allowed family, friends, and co-workers to read the stories from first-hand accounts. It even had success case in prosecuting a famous American film producer who got convicted as a sex offender. 

Even though people were at the time scared to speak because he had the money and power to threaten. But with power and voice game changed and finally, Weinstein got punished for his awful crimes when at the time he thought he was untouchable. #Metoomovement sends out a clear message that people need to talk openly and that it is ok that their voices will be heard.

3. Prompt business.

Social media is the way forward to prompt your business. Most people do not search for information about a company online whether through Google, Facebook, or many other platforms as a way to assess the quality of service or to find something that they are looking for to help them. 

Social media reach your target audience, stay engaged with them, and respond to their inquiries immediately. Another benefit of social media is to help your business to evaluate your completion by monitoring their social media pages.

 Social media helps build customer loyalty.   Not to mention social media opens doors for selling products in different locations other than when you are based and making more sales with your business as opposed to getting work through traditional formats.

What do you think about social media? Have you found any positive benefits of using social media? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X

Sunday, 10 April 2022

My Sunday Photo 10/04/2022


We started the start of the Easter holiday with a bang....Mcdonalds of course, cause I am cool mum ;) 

Cheers for reading X 

         RachelSwirl


Thursday, 7 April 2022

6 ways to recharge your emotional batteries.

 Hey readers, 

Life brings all sorts of stresses such as having a demanding job or moving home. Stress doesn't always have to be negative, it can make an appearance with positive life events such as getting married or having a child. 

When everything is happening at once it is important to take a step back and look after your own well-being and do some self-care activities to help deal with your emotions.  Here are six ways to recharge your emotional batteries. 

6 ways to recharge your emotional batteries.

1. Take a nap. 

To recharge your emotional battery, sometimes you just need to get a little shut-eye. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Napping has psychological benefits: "a nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation."

Unfortunately, it's not wise to take a nap during work hours when you are supposed to be getting work done. But, as soon as your workday is done, find a c    osy spot at home and take 15 or 20 minutes to get some rest. 

2. Go for a walk. 

When you're very exhausted, it can be tempting to just sit in front of the TV after a long day. But that usually just makes you feel more tired. 

Instead of sitting down to recharge, try getting up and moving around. Walking or biking. It doesn't have to belong, even if it is just for 20 minutes can really help make you feel energised. 

3. Hot bath. 

A lot of tension is being held in the body due to stress which is why having a hot bath can really help soothe aching muscles and not only that a lot of people have to take a bath to be really relaxing. Using Epson salts can help remove toxins,  improve muscle function, and reduce inflammation linked to stress. 

4. Simple scrub.

When you wake up in the morning, use a body scrub on your feet and hands. Use an exfoliating scrub for your face as well. Scrubs can scrub away dead skin cells and improve circulation throughout your body. As a result, your body will end up feeling more energised than before. 

5. Gratitude list. 

According to neuroscientists, gratitude is one powerful act of kindness to yourself, Gratitude has been linked to decreased levels of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and physical illness. 

Gratitude as a practice has long-ranging effects, but a brief gratitude practice is still good for your mind. One quick way to rejuvenate and re-energise your mind is to make a list of three, seven, or ten things that are positive in your day and /or your life. 

This could range from having a car to drive to a job, best friends, or even a latte. Being grateful for the things that you hab increase your happiness levels and energise your mind to continue to do well. 

6. Declutter and organise. 

This is what I love to as as a way to recharge myself. It may sound off at first, but when you think about it, decluttering and organising your workplace or home allows you to free your mind. 

You can get off whatever is blocking your way physically and mentally. Every time I clean my home, I instantly feel food. I feel lighter and that I'm ready for what comes up in my life. 

Therefore, try to declutter and organise your life from each area. It can be your living area, your workplace, your relationship, or your desktop to name a few. After you have done that, you will feel lighter and fresher. 

Is there anything that you do that helps recharge your emotional batteries that I have missed off the list? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Cheers for reading X 

loopyloulaura

Monday, 4 April 2022

The power of sleep.

Hey readers,

I love to sleep and I can not lie. I think sometimes especially as parents sleep can go on the back burner or not be taken seriously. As a person who suffers from mental health problems I fully am aware of the importance of sleep. There are so many good reasons why getting forty winks is really important and can have an impact mentally and physically on your well-being.

sleep reduces stress, it allows you to have a break, a rest, and time for your body to naturally heal after a long day.

When sleeping the immune system is activated and helps to give the body the healing process, that is why it is so beneficial to sleep when you have a cold or flu.

The power of sleep


Sleep is the best meditation ~ Dalai Lama

Sleep can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated allowing you to feel creative and the energy to face the day ahead.

Sleep helps us feel better and less irritable. We are more patient and less likely to 'loss it' because we have more energy to think things through. We are much calmer because we have more free space to think as we have the energy to do so, making us more patient and allowing us to take time to think logically.

Sleep helps us regulate positive and negative emotions and sleep helps us less likely to respond to emotional stimuli giving us time to enjoy the day.

Having a good night's sleep improves memory and performance which ultimately gives us more free time if we do things quicker. Therefore getting more out of the day.

Sleep has many benefits to your physical help with reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, your immune system function, and help keep your heart healthy because it gives the body time to process correctly.

Cheers for reading X