PTSD Awareness Day

In honour of National PTSD Awareness Day on June 27th (in Aus), I thought I’d write a post around it.

PTSD… Post-traumatic stress disorder. Just so we’re clear.

Beyond Blue describe PTSD as something that develops in people who have been through a traumatic event (typically one that threatens their life or safety, or that of someone around them). As a result of this trauma, the person experiences feelings of horror, helplessness and intense fear – similar to the feelings they felt during the event.

There are four main difficulties for someone suffering PTSD:

  1. Flashbacks to the event
  2. Experiencing heightened awareness
  3. Avoiding triggers / reminders of the event
  4. Feeling numb

PTSD often comes along with other mental health problems at the same time, such as depression or anxiety. Anyone who experiences a traumatic event can possibly develop PTSD.

How can you help?

There is lots you can do if a friend or family member is suffering from PTSD.

  • My first and biggest tip is this: patience.

PTSD is hard enough, and when someone is suffering from the symptoms, the best thing you can do is be calm and patient. Let them know that you’re there with them and aren’t going anywhere.

  • Talk to them and ask them how you can help.

It can be daunting to be this upfront, but asking what they need and what you can do for them can help show the person that you care about them and opens up channels of communication. Common symptoms of PTSD are akin to anxiety and depresssion – suffers can often feel isolated/numb.

  • Seek professional help.

Therapists/psychologists etc. aren’t just there to support the person suffering. If you’re close to someone who is going through any sort of mental health issue, talking to a professional about how you can best support them can be really useful for you as well.

For more info: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/ptsd

The turmeric latte to end all others

Quite frankly, the trend of latte’s is getting out of hand. You can get beetroot, charcoal, turmeric, matcha, unicorn…there are even ones with glitter in them – why you’d want that is beyond me.

I will freely admit that I have tried every type of latte I can get my hands on, and whilst many do have very valid ‘health’ benefits I have to say I think the OG that started it all – the Turmeric Latte – is still the best.

Turmeric has this lovely golden hue thanks to an antioxidant called Curcumin.

“Oh – antioxidants…I know I’m meant to care about them, but I don’t know why” I hear you say.

Curcumin is extremely anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial – read: it’s great for your gut health and your muscles/joints. This also means it’s brilliant for fighting those nasty cold and flu symptoms. YAY!

But the glory doesn’t stop there – turmeric is also rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron, all of which can help to support a healthy metabolism. AKA: it will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your body running at optimum speed.

Turmeric is classified as an ‘adaptogen’ (oh, big fancy word – that must be important).

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Basically it means that it can help the body adapt (I see what you did there!) to stressors – environmental toxins, inflammatory foods, and lack of sleep. YAY, YAY and YAY!

So smashing a turmeric latte before bed is only going to do some seriously good things for several areas of your body 🙂

There’s a million and one recipes floating around the internet, but to be perfectly honest who has the time or energy to whip up one from scratch every single freaking evening? Not me.
Instead, I create a big batch and keep it in a pretty jar that I can just scoop a teaspoon out of when I want it.

MY RECIPE:

  • 1 part cinamon
  • 1 part ginger
  • 2 parts turmeric

(Generally what this looks like for me is 1/2 cup turmeric, and 1/4 cup of the other two).

To serve:

  • Combine 1 teaspoon with a cup of almond milk (but you can use whatever milk you prefer).
  • If I’m feeling it I’ll add a 1/2 tsp of coconut sugar – low GI to prevent my blood sugar spiking before bed – because it can be rather bitter

P.S How cute is my teacup and saucer?…purchased in Oxford, England…which I feel was appropriate.

 

What is Wellbeing?

 

“Wellbeing” – The 2018 buzzword. Scrolling social media, watching TV, listening to the radio…it seems you can’t go a full day without hearing some mention of ‘wellbeing’, but what even is it? No one seems to really explain it, they just rabbit on about how important it is.

I think part of the problem is that it has a fluid definition and is influenced by our own personal perspectives and beliefs. What wellbeing means for me, is different to what it might mean for you.

Wellbeing has several domains underpinning it:

  • Self-awareness: this involves being aware of different aspects of your personality including beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, behaviours and feelings. As our self-awareness increases we can learn to change our thoughts and how we interpret things.
  • Healthy holistic habits: Establishing habits that balance our physical, mental and emotional needs.
  • Emotional awareness: Becoming aware of our emotions, and the emotions of others around us. This helps us to work out why we are feeling certain ways and therefore ultimately work through out feelings.
  • Mindsets: Mindsets are beliefs about our qualities (personality, talent and intelligence). These are all qualities that can be developed through active and deliberate effort.
  • Positive direction: Lauriston teaches an understanding and management of self to achieve individual goals. Motivation / self regulation.
  • Positive relationships: When we possess healthy relationships with those around us we are happier and fulfilled and have a greater sense of feeling supported and connected.
  • Looking outward: Understanding that whilst we may be at the centre of our own realities, so is everyone else. Considering others, contributing to our communities and accepting and embracing other people regardless of their nationality, religions, beliefs or cultures is all part of wellbeing.

Wellbeing involves mental clarity, where you can be in a motivated and proactive state of existence. It means being connected in your mind with your body – accepting yourself, which in turn causes a reduction in our negative judgement of others around us. This is a really beautiful thing – to be able to be openminded without judging others for their beliefs, religions, cultures or values.

It also involves your body in a physical sense – exercise, use your body to its fullest potential and listen to it’s needs about your health and fitness.

I recently had what I like to call a “shower revelation” … how do you know when your prime years are? Why not make every year your prime year? Don’t focus on what has been, or whats coming next, get as much as you possibly can from the here and now.

Wellbeing, in its truest essence is the act of being selfish, in order to be selfless. Often our excuses and percieved barriers to looking after our selves are the exact reasons that we need to do so.

So how do we be ‘well’? Here are my hacks:

Make 10 minutes of your day about pleasing yourself

  • Sit
  • Have a coffee
  • Meditate (read my Meditation Hacks here)
  • Walk outside
  • Read solely for leisure

Give to others

  • Donate
  • Volunteer
  • Do something nice for a friend (unprompted or needed)

Be physically active

  • Move your body in a way you enjoy (yes – kitchen dancing counts!)

Embrace the Gratitude 3

  • Every evening, over your wine, or in an ad break, take some time to jot down 3 things that you’re grateful for that day. There are a ton of apps that can help you do this – my fav is “Grateful”