It’s time for you to bloom and to flourish

Mental Health. A taboo that is finally being spoken of more. Words such as depression and anxiety either get used either far too cautiously due to the feeling of being unnecessarily embarrassed or as to not offend, or far too flippantly which can take away from the meaning and genuine insecurities surrounding the circumstances involved. As someone who understands and appreciates such descriptive words (through my own experiences as well learning from other people’s journeys) it’s important to ensure you’re following the right bloggers/influencers and using appropriate tools when it comes to all things mental health. Here on Flamingo Monroe I don’t try to be any kind of know it all or hardcore “influencer”, I justly try to be myself.

Via Instagram, I recently became friendly with Anna of Mama’s Scrapbook. Her frequent and highly amusing Instastories keep me rather entertained when I’m forcing myself to have 5 minutes of downtime to drink my morning coffee. I hope I don’t sound stalker-ish – I follow lots of bloggers and personalities and enjoy watching all their instastories! Anna is an accredited and experienced BACP Psychotherapist, a mother to two young boys, has a great eye for interior design, uploads Instagram posts providing confidence, guidance and reassurance to all and she also writes her blog – which has a strong focus on mental health and lifestyle.

She’s recently started a business venture with a close friend – bringing together her psychotherapy knowledge and her friend’s graphic design credentials, they’ve created Blöm Cards. Blöm [Bl – Om] is derived from the Scandinavian Word ‘Blomstre’, meaning to bloom, to flourish….

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The 3 month postpartum reality check

Baby Henry is now 12 weeks old, yet my labour seems like a lifetime ago and I can’t imagine life without my little lad in it.

He’s smiling and giggling, chatting away (albeit in baby language) and desperate to sit up and know what’s going on. He’s been sleeping 10-12 hours a night since 8/9 weeks old (I thought it was a phase at first!) and we are generally having a positive time of it so far.

We play together, go on walks together (the Baby Bjorn carrier is brilliant – and it helps you to work up a sweat carrying that baby’s weight on you!), go shopping together, have sofa snuggles together, go to groups such as Baby Sensory and Caterpillar Music, we go swimming, see our mummy and baby friends, see family together – Henry has become my little buddy and we have a lovely time…

Enjoying some fresh air together – anyone else LOVE their Baby Bjorn carrier!?

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10 ways to help yourself

Earlier this year I wrote about how you can help a friend in need (click here if you haven’t seen it) and now on the flip side, I’ve decided to do a post about how you can help yourself.

As most of us know, there are times when you pro-actively choose to take yourself out of life for a little while. There are also times when life hits us with an unexpected blow, chosen for you by the unsettling word that is ‘fate’.

There’s no “professional” or “qualified” perspective here. In my view we can all learn and gain encouragement with a bit of help, advice and experience from others. Sometimes you just have to go through the motions of a rocky road – experiencing the shock, grief, pain and/or sadness – in order to bring yourself out the other (and more positive) side of life. As a recent fortune cookie told me: “You gotta get through the deep valleys before you can reach the highest mountains”.

Here are my top 10 tips and tools I’ve recently tried and tested to aid with all things calm, mindfulness, motivation, positivity and post-recovery (slowly) and all to help with looking forward and returning to normality. I hope this post is of use to you all – whether it’s for yourself or to aid a loved one during a recent rough time…

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A One World View

I want to share with you my recent trip to (and up!) the new, and I must say stunning, One World Trade Center in New York.

A statement landmark – the (48,000 tons of) steel oozes strength and the 13,000 exterior glass panels glistens of hopes and dreams. One World Trade Center stands proud, sticking its middle finger up at that world who destroyed what previously belonged, and the many lives that were so tragically lost…

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10 ways to help a friend in *genuine* need

“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”            Winnie the Pooh

The honey-obsessed, naive and rather slow-witted bear also once said, “Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved,” as well as “some people care too much, I think it’s called love.” Despite the need to “think” ever so often, this charming Pooh Bear was always willing to help his friends.

You may have a friend or loved one who finds themselves in a “pickle” – i.e. loss and grief, a severe health issue, heartache, an abyss of anxiety and stress, a feeling of worry and sadness for a loved one, a marriage break-up, money issues, a job redundancy instigating a feeling of failure…the list of “pickles” amongst us all is endless (sadly).

Of course a cuppa, a chat and maybe a few tears is great therapy, but should you know someone who requires some extra special love and attention, here are some suggestions I have come across that are so wonderful, thoughtful and helpful in so many ways…

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Rain can take a backseat…let’s all dance in the sunshine!

The new year is nearly upon us, and so I have decided to reflect and learn from the last year. I read the blog post I published  this time last year (click here to read it), and my 2015 objective was to worry less and that I was going to “learn to dance in the rain”!

For me, 2015 still had its occasional battles, personally and professionally. Some I still choose not to share, but a bully in my life, who I thought would never be gone, suddenly became gone. Having been in my life for so long, it took a while to fully digest that I didn’t have to be in their presence ever again. It made me realise how much of my daily worry and life stresses were enhanced by this one awful individual.

FYI Being a bully, an egotistical fool, someone who victimises others and abuses the system, someone who doesn’t lead, inspire or educate and someone who deliberately antagonises , belittles and is mean to others, is not somebody worthy of our effort, friendship or respect.

I do often wonder what will happen if one day I bump in to this particular being…cue Charlotte from Sex & the City “I curse the day you were born!” HAHA!

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