Today for The Wellness Tag I have Laura. Laura blogs at Five Little Doves where she shares the highs and lows of parenting, baby loss, her battles with mental health and raising rainbows. Laura lives in Lancashire with her husband Gaz and their children Lewis (13), Eva (5), Megan (4), Harrison (3). Laura’s second son Joseph was stillborn in 2006 changing their lives forever.
The Wellness Tag:
Question 1) What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness means to be in a good state of health both mentally and physically. For me it’s about being kind to myself, making time for myself and working towards my goals to be the best version of myself possible.
Question 2) If someone was struggling with life what advice would you give to them?
I would tell them what my Nan always says to me – Nothing lasts forever, not even your troubles.
Question 3? What’s something that always makes you feel better?
A hot bath and a good nights sleep. Sometimes I just get so tired and so worn down with life that switching off, even if just for half an hour in the bath, and getting an early night is all I need.
Question 4? Who or what inspires you and why?
My children. As a Mum of five, I need to make sure that I am in the best place possible, mentally and physically, to be the best Mummy possible. Even when I feel like giving up, they always remind me to keep going.
The best advice I’ve ever had is from a therapist I saw during a really dark time in my life, who simply told me, “You are enough.” Those three words really stuck with me and I remind myself of them often.
Question 6? Any tips for a happy life?
To worry less about the things you cannot change. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of life and for me personally, that spirals into anxiety and panic. Learning to let go of the things I cannot change, and worry less about the things that may or may not happen, has really helped me.
Question 7? How do you stop yourself from comparing yourself to others?
Comparison is something I really struggled with when I was younger and it made me incredibly ill. I still have thoughts of comparison and yet the difference now is that I don’t dwell on them the same or allow them to consume me.
Question 8? How do you keep your home happy?
I choose my battles wisely. Although I try to stick to a routine and I have expectations of all my children, I also know that it’s not the end of the world if the children are a little late to bed on the weekend or if my eldest doesn’t make his bed in the morning. Family is everything to me, I waited a long time for my children, and our happiness simply comes from spending time together.
Learning to forgive myself. I spent a decade of my life blaming myself that I couldn’t save Joseph, wondering what I could have done differently or if I could have changed the outcome, and it completely destroyed my happiness. Letting go of that guilt was a huge step forward for me and although it doesn’t take away my sadness that he is not here, I did realise that I deserved to be happy.
Question 10? If you could share one thing that’s made your life better what would it be?
I think to some extent it was meeting my second husband and having four healthy children, but mostly my happiness came from learning to be happy with myself. For such a long time I battled with self-hatred, living with depression, anxiety, panic and fifteen years battling anorexia, and finally learning to be happy about who I was and what I had to offer the world made a huge difference to my life.
This post is part of my Wellness Wednesday weekly feature, for more Wellness Wednesday posts click here. Every Wednesday there is a new wellness post at 7pm. Update: this feature no longer runs but there are still loads of blog posts here.
It Did Do Harm – An open Letter to Grandparents & Those With Adult Children
(Blog post on generational trauma)