Thursday, 23 June 2016

5 Things To Do On A Down Day


Hi everyone, part of having my Fibromyalgia condition means that I suffer a lot with anxiety, depression, stress, generally feeling down and days when I feel like I'm going crazy, it's not fun and it's hard to deal with and some days even though I can get up feeling ok and quite ready for the day, it'll suddenly hit me for no real reason and I can feel miserable for the rest of the day!  Plus I'm in pain and discomfort most days and have my ibs condition too (you can read about that here) which often helps make me feel down and pretty crappy.

I'm not someone who likes taking more tablets and meds than I have to and I really feel pumping myself full of chemicals is only going to cover up how I feel emotionally rather than trying to deal with it and I much prefer trying to make myself feel better, so I've had to find ways to cheer myself up and make myself feel more positive, it's not easy but it does help and I thought I would share a few of them with you in the hope that it might help some of you too.


My number one go-to thing has to be sleep!  It's really not the best use of my time, but it's the one thing that gets me away from feeling down and feeling ill too.  I've been using a lovely app on my phone lately called Calm, I set it to the 'mountain lake' scene and put the volume up, then lay on my bed with my eyes closed and just try and imaging I'm led on a soft blanket in a secluded clearing in the woods, next to a lovely stream.  With the birds singing and the warm sun beaming down (and usually with my celeb crush led next to me), well whatever works right! ;-)  But lately that's been really helping, even if it's only for 10-15 minutes, I still feel more refreshed and a bit calmer afterwards.  I always set my alarm before I closed my eyes or I know I will doze for too long and I really have to try and clear my mind or I will just lay there thinking of everything I don't want to be thinking about!


The second thing is YouTube, there's definitely a few people on there that always cheer me up.  It's a good 'quick fix' to watch a 5 or 10 minute video, just to get your mind to stop thinking unwanted thoughts and think about something else.  I like chatty ones, vlogs, funny collabs (especially Zoe and Mark ones, they're hilarious) and I've also been watching Sawyer Hartman's videos every day for the last couple of months.  I've watched him for years but he's been vlogging everyday lately, he has a drone which he flies pretty much everywhere and the views are incredibly beautiful.  Just click on his name for a link, that video is probably my favourite one so far, just watching these makes me feel calmer (and slightly jealous and desperately wanting my own drone!!)


Obviously music is a major one, but definitely avoid anything with sad memories attached or generally sad tones, I find any piano music quite depressing.  I usually go one of two ways when listening to music to make me feel better either full on hard shouty rock music, like Linkin Park, POD or Razor Red Noise to help get my anger out or I listen to really upbeat dance music or old 90's music which I love, it always makes me feel more positive and a gives me a real energy-boost kind of feeling.


Definitely try and find time to watch a good movie or your favourite show.  Pick a film that you know always cheers you up and makes you feel good, even if you're not in the general mood to watch it.  Of course my favourite show to watch is The Walking Dead, anytime day or night :-)  And since I love so many films (you can check out my 50 favourite movies here, for some ideas), I know I can usually find one that will cheer me up.  I've been loving Boondock Saints so much lately, it's my go-to film that always makes me laugh plus of course it has my fav man in it :-)  If you get anxiety over things like being single, obviously avoid anything about love stories or breakups!


I know this sounds obvious and but trying to avoid stress as much as possible is a must.  If there's confrontation with anyone, just keep your cool and back off, don't aggravate the situation, if you're feeling depressed anyhow you're far more likely to say something you'll later regret!  Apart from that I mostly just try to avoid thinking, about anything particular.  Avoid all negative thoughts as much as I possibly can and I don't let myself think about past upsets, bad memories or anything that I know will generally upset me whether I'm depressed or not, because lets face it, that's only going to make things worse!  Having a 'power' word has always been quite helpful for me.  As soon as I start to get a negative thought or a bad memory pop in my mind, I literally stop myself from continuing that thought and say my 'power' word to myself, sometimes out loud or just in my mind.  It can be a funny word that triggers a good memory or that makes you think about something nice straight away as soon as you hear it, or a short positive quote - anything that quickly changes your thoughts for the better and stops you thinking negatively.

Once you get into that rut of feeling down, it's like a dark cloud comes over you and you can't see the light through it, so you have to try anything you can to keep yourself calm, stay away from any triggers and try and get your thoughts out of your current head-space.  I find distracting my mind and thinking about something else, anything else even for a short time, can really break the cycle and help lift the cloud!

Having little things to look forward to whether it's planning to watch a good film, saving up to buy something nice, or something a bit bigger like planning a day out with friends or a weekend away can really help too.

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Of course friends and family can be a major help, but these are just a few things that I try and do when I'm on my own and there are times when I have to just rely on myself to make me feel better!

I hope you like this post and found it helpful.  Are they any other ways that you use to help make yourself feel better?  If so please share them with us all in the comments :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Living With IBS


Hi everyone, today I thought I'd talk about something a little different, this might not be of interest to some of you, but don't worry I'll be back with a regular beauty/lifestyle post again next week.
10
20% of people in the UK suffer with IBS, which is quite alarming!  But I won't bore you with loads of statistics or in depth 'TMI' details (that's what Google's for) and everyone's symptoms are different.  This is just my experience with this condition, how it affects me and how I've been dealing with it so far!  So if you'd like to find out more, please read on. . .


About a year ago I was officially diagnosed with having IBS (irritable Bowel Syndrome).  I'd been having problems with my stomach for a long time already and everything I ate made me feel sick, my dietician was (and still is) at a loss and nothing I tried seemed to help.  I'd go through bouts of being not too bad for a day or two (if I was lucky), then a week of having a huge flare-up and feeling like crap!  Waking up in the night with chronic stomach pain, constantly being in discomfort and half the time pointlessly spending time 'in the bathroom' and getting nowhere!  Every day is a constant struggle and a worry, I never know if what I decide to try and have for lunch etc is going to make me feel ill or not!  I've had to wave goodbye to many of the foods I used to enjoy and know that I may have to say goodbye to even more.  Worst of all, I've had to get used to constantly feeling sick, bloated, uncomfortable and 75% of the time, have terrible stomach pains too.  All this as well as having to deal with my usual Fibro condition and trying to live some kind of a life!! :-/

My doctor put me on a course of (a certain) tablet for a month to see if that would settle my troubles, but it only made them worse!  I knew I couldn't go on like this, I know stress has a big effect on my health but I had to find out if there was something else going on as well that was causing the problems to start with.

I've always had a very on/off relationship with cows milk since I was a baby and for many years (mostly throughout school), I was off of it completely.  But after that, I was back on it with no problems for years, until recently!  I had wondered for a while if that was being a problem again, so about 8 weeks ago I stopped having the cows milk and I've been having goats milk instead.  So far it does seemed to have helped, somewhat!  I tried cows milk again for a day after the first week and wow that was a mistake, so I think it's safe to say that was definitely causing a problem.  Although sadly not the only problem. . .
I've also been trying a glutton-free diet for the past 6 weeks to, it's been tricky (and expensive) trying to find alternative foods, but after a couple of weeks I seemed to find a good selection of products and have been having a fairly good diet.  I was actually quite happily surprised at how many nice things are available, the Tesco Free-From chocolate chip muffins are to die for!  But so far leaving off wheat and glutton doesn't seem to have made any difference and apart from feeling quite so sick all the time, I've had just as much trouble as always.


The past week (from when I'm typing this in mid June) has honestly been the worst, I've been practically in tears with the discomfort; it hurts to sit still, move around, stand up and no matter what painkillers I take, nothings helping.  I think the worst thing about it all, is the unpredictability, never knowing how I'm going to feel from one hour to the next let-alone each day.  It's a worry planning anything because I don't know how I'm going to feel or how much pain I'm going to be in and knowing painkillers don't help ease the pain really doesn't give much comfort!


I'm currently seeing a specialist at the hospital who's sending me for various tests, I'm getting more and more used to getting poked and prodded and having my blood drained on a regular basis!  But one test that I had done a couple of months ago has thrown up some possible issues and may end up being an answer to my ever-worsening ibs problems.  I have another scan this weekend and then another in a few weeks time, but even though I may not get to hear the results for a while, I will keep you updated.

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If you have any questions about my health issues or if you are suffering with ibs too and you would like to know more and think I can help or just want someone to commiserate with, please feel free to comment below or you can private message me on twitter or google+ or email at crystalsparklydreams@hotmail.co.uk.  I know this type of post is not everyone's cup of tea, but even if it just helps one person feel that they're not suffering alone, it was worth doing! :-)Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

3 Things I'm Looking Forward to This Summer


Hi everyone, I never really end up doing much over the summer and I always regret it, not only that but I've been really wanting to try and get out more too and do some 'fun' things, especially with my friends.  So this year I've made some plans and I'm really looking forward to them!

June - A Birthday Party
One of my best friends (centre) has a birthday coming up next week and is having a party that weekend, so that means fun, friends, a sleep-over and a good laugh :-D  I love staying at her house and getting ready for the party together, we always have such a laugh, and day two is usually a movie-fest with lots of nibbles!  I can't wait for her to open her gifts too, I know there's definitely one in with them that she will go nuts over :-)


July - Summer Holiday
I have a lovely friend that I've known for over 22 years that lives in Hailsham, East Sussex and he's recently invited me to stay for a few days and I absolutely can't wait.  I haven't seen him in 19 years!!  But we've always kept in touch and remained close friends.  I also have another dear friend who lives in Seaford, only 20 minutes away from where I'll be staying who I also haven't been able to see in a really long time.  I've missed them both so much over the years and I can't wait to spend some time with them and have a good proper catch up :-)


August - Glamping!
My 2 bff's and I have been talking for a while about going somewhere and doing something fun together and a couple of weeks ago they suggested
Glamping.  We've now found a really nice place reasonably local and at quite a good price and I'm so looking forward to it.  I think it'll be a lot of fun and something a bit different, expect an entire blog post about it in a couple of months :-)


Where or what are you planning to do this summer?  Let me know in the comments!
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Thursday, 2 June 2016

A Little Jewellery Haul


Hi everyone, it's been a really long time since I bought pretty much anything new; makeup, clothes or jewellery etc, so last week I had a little bit of a splurge and had a very enjoyable time getting some lovely new bits for the summer.  I've split this haul into two parts, jewellery and clothing, as I've ordered a couple of items that haven't arrived yet and I seriously need to have a good ironing sesh before I photograph any clothes, or they'll look a total mess!  So, for this post I'm excited to show you the beautiful jewellery items that I've been buying over the last couple of weeks :-)


First off BHS had a little sale on, I love BHS jewellery so naturally I bee-lined to that section.  I couldn't resist these pretty earrings, I do have a few similar pairs, but I just love the heart shaped ones on the bottom row, they're so sweet!



Next up was this adorable ring I got from Boots!  I've never really taken much notice of the jewellery in their, just went straight to the makeup department, but I was in there a couple of weeks ago with my friends and discovered a new joy to visiting Boots stores!  I immediately loved this ring, I love the style and the stone is beautiful, it's just the right size too.  I still had a £5 voucher left from a birthday gift that one of my friends had gave me, so it was time to finally spend it!



I was then having a look around Peacocks last week, (they have such lovely summer-wear in there at the moment I could spend a small fortune!) But I did spend £4 on this beautiful gold butterfly necklace.  I love that shape of it and the cut out details, as well as the crystal body, it's SO pretty and I'm looking forward to wearing it with low-neck Ts over the summer.


Next up are the two gorgeous pieces I got from Tesco.  I love the infinity symbol so I was excited to see this necklace on one of the stands.  You can't really tell from the pictures but the crystals are really sparkly too which is lovely.



And finally best till last, a unicorn necklace :-D  I fell in love with this one straight away and new it would be coming home with me!  It's so pretty and so cute and well, it's a unicorn!! :-)

I hope you liked this little post and the bits I bought, let me know in the comments which one you like best :-)

And Until Next Time Stay Happy
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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Brushegg Review


Hi everyone, a short while ago I spotted this little brush cleaning tool on ebay and for only 99p I thought It'd be worth giving it a try.



I really needed to give my brushes a good clean yesterday and thought it was about time I finally try out my new tool.


The 'Brushegg' has a patch of little raised spots at the tip and raised lines over the rest of the egg.  It also has a hole at one end to fit your fingers in to hold it when in use.


I first tried washing my larger brushes, but even though I used a good amount of shampoo and tried to get it all over the head of the brushes, I felt it didn't really get down deep enough and didn't get them anywhere near as clean as when I rub the brushes on my fingers, and so I ended up doing just that anyway!


I then tried it again for my smaller brushes and it was definitely better, especially using the raised spot area, that was great!


But the best use I found for the Brushegg, was for rinsing the brushes, it was really easy.  I just swiped the bristles over the textured surface several times while holding the egg under the warm running water and it rinsed them really well.  So I will most definitely use it again for that.


I hope you liked my quick little review of this product, it was not sponsored or anything liked that, I just bought it myself and thought I'd let you know if I liked it :-)  Have you used one of these before, did you like it and find it worked or was it a waste of money?  Let me know in the comments.

Until Next Time Stay Happy
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