Monday, 10 October 2016

Meditation (My views and Advice) ~ Mental Health

I firstly want to say ~ I'm not an expert in Meditation. These are my views and advice on what I have found works for me.
I started trying meditation a few years ago. I would just sit or lay down and clear my mind or at least try and clear my mind and focus on my breathing. I personally didn't really see much benefit from it. Unless I practiced before I went to sleep and most of the time I would end up having a good nights sleep. Which is good. But with all the other benefits I kept reading about. I just kept thinking this obviously isn't right for me.

5 months ago my anxiety started to get bad again. I kept getting guided again towards Meditation. Like I said above I've never really seen much benefit from it. So I didn't bother with it. Until, someone I followed mentioned an App called Headspace ~ Its a Guided Meditation app for your phone/iPad . I had never heard of guided Meditation and the app was for FREE so I thought why not give it a go. What have I got to lose.

(I should quickly add this is not a sponsored post ~ everything I have mentioned and going to mention is what I have found :) ) 

Here is a little video from the guy who is behind Headspace

Why 10 minutes each day can change your day - Andy Puddicombe

Well...This app gives you 10 free days of  10 minutes guided meditation.
(Then you have to pay for the rest, and that's a lot of ££££. But the 10 days you get free are worth checking out.)

My first experience of being guided was: the first few minutes of me thinking OMGeee how am I going to sit still and focus for 10 minutes. Yep my anxiety got a bit bad at this point. I struggled with 10 minutes. But I was so shocked at how quickly the 10 minutes flew by.

I carried on and everyday I gave myself 10 minutes with this app. 

During a part of the 10 minutes, you are supposed to let your mind wonder. Just let it do what it wants to do. Don't force anything.

By day 5 for me. For the first time in, I really don't know how long. During this part. 

My brain was QUIET !

So quiet, I actually got really emotional. I couldn't believe I actually took control of my mind.

It felt AWESOME.

The rest of  my 10 days was so relaxing I couldn't believe how great it was.

I'm not saying my Anxiety is cured. I still have it. But Meditating is really helping me to feel calm and its giving me more control over it.

After finally seeing the benefits, I started to search for other guided meditations. And Kino, If you have been following me you would know I mention Kino a lot. Kino organizes the yoga challenges with Kerri. On YouTube channel Kino shares her Guided Meditation practice.

I have started to use her videos for my guide. The videos where Kino is on the beach are so relaxing. I really recommend you check them out.

So I have obviously realised I must have been doing meditation wrong before. I just needed a bit of help to start off. I have been trying to meditate without a guide but my mind wonders off too much. I think I need to stick with the guide for now. Until I get more control over it.

Its only been a few months of guided meditating. Some days I do find it difficult to fit it in. Lately I have been making more of a conscious effort to fit in 10 minutes everyday. But, to be honest with you, I do look forward to it.  The best way I find to meditate is either in the morning before I get out of bed or before I go to bed. But really anytime is great.

What I said above. I'm not an expert in Meditation and these guides might not be right for you. But I really do recommend you give it a try. In the first few months of practicing I'm seeing the benefits. It took me 5 days to actually witness the benefits. It might take you less or even more. We are all different. There is no harm in trying. What have you got to lose? 10 minutes? What will you use the 10 minutes for:  Stress and losing control OR Calm and taking back control :).

It is worth a go.

Do you practice meditation?

Till next

Donna x

Like this post? You might like to read: Yoga & Anxiety

Monday, 3 October 2016

How does your Garden Grow ~ 2016

In 2014 I did my first "How does your garden grow" post. So I thought it was a good time to do another one. I don't know why I didn't do a post last year. I didn't grow anything at my home, and if I remember correctly the tomatoes and salad leaves (from my first post) didn't grow :( I only ended up with some Cress. Good old Cress, that stuff grows anywhere.

But, my parents still grew a lot of food. Last year we had some of their Onions, Green Beans and Lettuce. And again they had so much leftover. Which I hate seeing, but the dogs LOVED it :).

Now that I'm more focused on living (aiming for) a Zero waste Lifestyle and my diet is plant based, this year I put in my order ;) They wont be having any leftovers this year especially now that I'm making a lot of my food from scratch. I will get to use a lot of it.

This year we had:

We made a lot of Tomato Sauces with these tomatoes

If your not lucky enough to have your own out door space or know anyone who does, you can grow your own indoors. All you need is a window that has direct sunlight. And something to grow them in.

My little set up at home.

Cress in a tea cup, and I planted tomato seeds and a few salad leaves again in an old Egg carton. ( my little reuse :) )
I planted these at the end of March.

The Cress grew

The tomato seeds sadly didn't grow :(
But. I did plant a few tomatoes and they grew.

Yep you read that correctly I planted a few tomatoes. We had two that went a bit squishy and one started to go mouldy so I sliced them and put them in a pot with some compost and they grew!. Boy did they grow :)

They grew so much, we ended up giving them to my parents to grow in the garden. They over took our window sill.

The Tomatoes now look like this in my parents garden (September 2016)

This  is just half of them. From two tomatoes!! Because its getting quite late in the year and they haven't turned red (yet). We might have to make chutney with these :).

We also tried growing onions from scraps and we had a go at growing a pineapple. Yep a pineapple.. But nothing happened with them. I will keep trying with the onions.

You can grow so much from scraps here is a website I found 25 Foods You Can Re-Grow Yourself from Kitchen Scraps

We might try a few other things like celery and lettuce, I will keep you posted :)

I love gardening, I believe the quote '(S)He who plants a Garden Plants Happiness' to be true. It is so rewarding and satisfying, looking after and watching your garden grow.

Especially if the out come is Natural, Organic, Fresh, Zero Waste, Free food.

Oh and one more thing:

LOL :) I wish this was true :)

How does your Garden Grow? or Your Window Sill :)

Till next time

Donna x

Like this post? You might like to read: How does your Garden Grow Part 1