Thursday 10th October is World Mental Health and Happiness Day. I thought there was no better time to talk about my own mental health and what makes me happy.

I would definiely say that becoming a mother has changed me and not just in the sense that I have two children to raise and look after but it made me take a long hard look at the person I was before I had children. Trying to be that person after they arrived just didnt totally work. I was super oranised, very independant, nothing could wait, my attitude was very much “lets do it now, get it done, hurry up”, I was here there and everywhere but I had the time to be like that. After the kids came along I found out quickly I couldnt be that person anymore and I struggled with it. Massively! Jillian felt like she had gone and now I was mum, mother, mumma, mama and that was it.

I felt guilty leaving Chris with Olivia and going to do my own thing at the start but I soon realised that actually I needed my own time, my own things to do, my own friendships and only after Zanna came along did I start to feel like Jillian could make a comeback but only in a better more up to date version aka not as highly strung.

So in homage to Happiness day here are a few things I really find joy in aside from of course my beloved family

  1. Writing

I started this blog maybe 3 even 4 years ago and I didnt take it all to seriously but then I started to get followers through here and also my social media channels who where interested in engaging along. I didnt feel pressured by this at all, I enjoyed writing about it so my posts became more frequent. Its only over the years that this has evolved further for me and ive been very fortunate to be involved in some great opportunities. I written blogs for other businesses, have had my own blog featured on websites and the ultimate dream come true a piece published in a local book last month….just adding Author to my CV as I type 🙂

2. Reading

There is nothing better on a cold winters night than curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. I find reading extremely relaxing and after a day at work or answering a million ‘why?’ questions from children its great to escape into a novel. I have to admit I just cant warm to a kindle I like to hold a good old fashioned book but this can be an expensive hobby at times. I found joining my local library a great resource and have saved a small fortune as I can get all the new books on their release dates for just a mere 50p, its absolutely brilliant. My only probably can be that I take out too many at once and then have to power read through them incase they have to be back in 3 weeks eek! I have been considering starting my own book club for a while now so maybe that’s something for 2020…watch this space.

3. The North Coast

Aside my from my actual home this is my ultimate happy place. We are so fortunate to be able to spend so much time here because my parents own a house in Bushmills and it is like our home away from home. We have clothes there, the kids have toys there and the minute we turn into the cul de sac the girls scream and shout from the back seat because they are so happy to see the house and so am I. We find just getting down to the beach even on a rainy day is just good for the soul. The fresh air gives me a new sense of life, blows away the cobwebs, refocuses my attention and clears the mind and i always arrive back home feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead.


4. Travelling

I am fortunate to say that I have many stamps in my passport from over the years. From big family holidays with my parents when I was younger to holidays with my own family of four. From travelling around the United States after I graduated for a few months to numerous city breaks with my husband while the kids enjoy a staycation with grandparents at home. I am blessed to have seen and enjoyed different cultures, made many friends globally that to this day I still stay in touch with and still have goals of places to visit in the years in come. In more recent years I definitely have a better appreciation for the scenery and my surroundings and I am still learning from this motherhood journey to try and switch off while I’m there which can be easier said than done. As the kids get older I think this will become a lot easier and my appreciation for the break and relaxation will be meaningful to me, I might even get to read a book on the beach some day…wishfully thinking perhaps!

5. Simply ~ Time to myself

I have really enjoyed over the last 18 months taking more and more time to myself for activities outside of the home. I have attended numerous blogging and influencer events, joined my local writers group and attended a creative writing course. When I need time to relax and try to unwind I love to have a facial or a massage. I just recently finished a six week course of Yoga which I found both incredibly relaxing and equally harder than I thought. The proof was in the pudding so to speak as I had the best nights sleep after attending the classes. I am also a believer in surrounding yourself with positive people who enjoy a giggle and avoid the drama and I’ve been lucky to have long time friends to do this with and a lot of new friends I’ve made along the way. Laughter can be so good for the soul that’s for sure!

Have a think about the things that make you happy. Write them down and think about how often you do them. If it isn’t very often then maybe its time to take a look at your priorities and try and fit them in. This can be easier said than done especially if you have children to organise but just remember they will want to see the best version of you and that can only happen if you remember to enjoy yourself first.

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