Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Day #7 - 'social situations can be stressful' - Live life through my eyes: The open diary of a chronic illness champion

I know, i know...i'm a day late with this diary entry but i have a good excuse, i was being social. Considering how bad my anxiety was last month, i'm proud of the steps i'm making. Mind you, i couldn't have been out last night without my brother and my 2 best friends. But still, i'm happy i went.

So seeing as i spent some of today recovering from one... let's talk about having a chronic illness and going to social events. First off, for anyone with illness or pain, you have to make sure you definitely want to go. All that effort just isn't worth it if it doesn't appeal to you or doesn't seem worth it.

Then, on the actual day you have to pray you won't have a flare up or a random 'no-sleep' night beforehand. I really feel like the people around you help to make social situations less stressful for chronic illness sufferers. You need atleast one person who truly understands you and your situation with you. Even if its just a 'how are you?' during the evening, it's important to feel like someone is looking out for you.

Make sure you brace yourself for the next day. Forget work, it's not going to happen. Don't make any solid plans for the next day. As always, surround yourself with people who love you and understand what your going through. The day after is always hard, that's why you've got to make sure the initial event/party is worth all the effort!

Pace yourself over the next fews days. Pushing yourself and ignoring your body will only bring on a flare-up. Take it easy and make sure you have plenty of fun!!

This week of blogging has completely flown by for me. Usually, at the end of every week i find myself reflecting on the past week and all i have accomplished. Most of the time, theses reflections mean i ponder on how i should be more organised and be more productive. I know i need to start being more positive and easier on myself.

But i always look forward to a new week starting, it's a chance for new beginnings. I received tons of orders over the weekend, so i need to get my act together and get organised.

Have a great week,
Much Love, Beth xxx

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Day #6 - 'Work hours are non-existent' - Live life through my eyes: The open diary of a chronic illness champion

it's nights like this i am reminded that i run my own business. I know it's 12:30am on a saturday night. I should be asleep or enjoying the weekend, but i'm doing work on my laptop instead, and i don't mean blogging, I don't consider blogging as work.

The difficulty with having a chronic illness is timing. I should've done all my work this afternoon but i was out all morning and absolutely exhausted by the time 2pm rolled around. My eyelids were shutting on me so i took a 3 hour nap.

Most people can say, i'll work 5 days a week, 9am til 5pm,  and then i can enjoy my evenings and weekends. But with an illness it's extremely hard to have a routine. You can plan your week but then you have a bad day or a flare up and it puts the whole week out of sync. So you take what opportunity you can.. even if that be after midnight on a Saturday.

Otherwise today was fairly successful. I didn't do anything too crazy today as i know i'll be busy all day tomorrow. Literally i'll be up at 8am and i won't be able to chill until midnight. A lot of it is social events but i discovered recently that i'm something called an introvert. Basically it's a great way of explaining how much social events drain me and are a challenge for me. So tomorrow will be a challenge but i've got some great friends who really get me and understand me.

Right, I'm going to keep it short and sweet. I've got half and hour more of work to do then i'm gonna pray i get to sleep straight away... big day tomorrow :)

Much Love, Beth xxx

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Day #5 - 'changing up my diet' - Live life through my eyes: The open diary of a chronic illness champion

Days like today just fly by. We all get them and i think i truly know the day has flown by when it's 11pm at night and i'm only just starting to think about dinner.

I've been debating changing up my diet recently. I've cut down on bad fats and sugars recently which has brought down my overall calorie intake and i can feel the difference. I eat fairly 'clean' and healthy. I always try to cook everything from scratch but i never think too much about food 'groups' and whether i'm having an equal amount from each. Recently i'd come across an article on how a diet high in natural fats has helped some people with chronic illnesses.

I know, it sounds completely wrong. Adding fat to your diet can help? well apparently yes. And i know what your thinking... Ahhhhh...i'll put on 2 stone with a diet like that. Well that's where i was surprised, Many people found when lowering carbs, which can be translated into sugars and absorbed in to your bloodstream, and upping healthy natural fats, their body actually started letting go of their fat reserves and they lost weight. Which kind of makes sense when you think about it. Your body holds on to things it deprived of, like its afraid it won't get it again. But if you give it a regular fat intake, it starts a cycle where your body doesn't need to hold on to as much fat. Weight loss is definitely a benefit for me but the bigger appeal was that people noticed their side effects of chronic illness lessening.

Anyway, read up on it yourself. There's a lot more science behind it and it's a lot more eloquent than my ramblings.
The most important thing i'll need to consider is the impact it will have on my overall health. Most people can adapt well to new diets and quickly get into new routines but it takes a lot more thought and effort for me. When i try something new like this i have to think about whether i'm ready to take on the challenge yet or not.

Back to today...I got a little work done but it definitely feels like another day has whizzed past right before my eyes and I'm trying to catch up. Still, it was a much better day than yesterday.

Thank you for reading my ramblings, let me know your thoughts on chronic illness & diets/ high fat diets/changing eating habits... any of that stuff :)

Much Love, Beth xxx

follow me on instagram: www.instagram.com/bethanyrogersart

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Day #4 - 'the "Meh" days' - Live life through my eyes: The open diary of a chronic illness champion Day #4

"Where there's hope, there's life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again" - Anne Frank

Today is tough. Not that it's been much of a tough day but rather it's tough to write about. But, I am thankful i have my little blog post to write today.

This morning I was blessed with the horrible curse all women get monthly. Whoop! whoop! Mood-crazy, sugar-craving time of the month! (SARCASM)
I kind of knew how the rest of the day would most likely pan out. When you add in this monthly blessing on top of existing pain and tiredness, it wipes you. Its frustrating though, you're forced to little, not out of choice or as a consequence of doing too much the day before but purely out of circumstance. It sucks...

It sounds extreme but at the end of day's like today you can very easily find yourself questioning what you even do with your life. It only takes 24 hours of having to stay in bed for your brain to turn on you and start viewing everything negatively.

But, you also ponder a lot of things. I often find myself thinking about my friends and wanting to spend more time with them. I think about my family, all they do for me and how i want to spend more time with them too. Most importantly, i think about the past. Many people tell me not to hold on to the past and to focus on the future. But, looking at the past gives me hope. I think of all the experiences i've had in my 21 years, all the times in the past when i did things i thought were impossible and that gives me hope. It reminds me that, today may not be so good, but who knows what i may accomplish tomorrow.

Speaking of which, i have alot of packaging up to do tomorrow. I had an auction on my Instagram account at the start of the week, so i've got some artwork to send off. I often give myself little goals to accomplish for the next day. Tomorrow's is to package up orders. If i get to the post office as well, that'd be a major bonus!

Thank you for reading this,
Much Love, Beth xxx

Follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/bethanyrogersart

Day #3 - 'a busy work day & driving!!' - Live life through my eyes: The open diary of a chronic illness champion

Today was a good day. Sort of. Well, pretty much as good as it gets for me.

Follow me on Instagram - www.instagram.com/bethanyrogersart

It actually didn't start out great. I had to stay in bed an extra two hours than i wanted too. I know, it sounds heavenly but my stomach was cramping constantly and i couldn't stand without it hurting more. When you're on medication it's only "normal" that you'll get off days and side affects.

Once, that passed i got on with the day. My work had piled up throughout the last week so i had plenty to tackle! I replied to loads of messages, and got organising my desk ready to set up new commissions. I finished off a couple of illustrations and quotes, ready to package and send off. I also start some new projects. I cut out card, planned the artwork in my journal and mapped out the initial sketches on the sheets of card.

I gladly welcomed numerous tea breaks with my grandparents. They were over for the day helping with some major work going on in our garden. I wanted to be out there helping them but i had to be selfish in that 1. i had my work to do and 2. It would take me 3-5 days to get over that amount of physical work. Today was an example of why i am thankful to have an understanding family.
Not once did any of my family complain that i wasn't helping, it helps to take away the guilt when you have people that understand you surrounding you.

I then got some driving practice in when i took my grandparents home. Did i mention i passed my driving test? I did it exactly a week ago today. I learnt to drive in a Ford Fiesta and i own a Skoda Yetti... it's taking a little getting used to! The main thing is my spacing, not the road and parking, but i'm the type of person that i'd rather be safe than sorry so i'm being safe and double checking everything! I can't wait to know my car better and not have to think so much when driving her.

Once i got back home i felt super inspired to keep going with my artwork, there have been tons of projects i haven't been well enough to have a go at, so this evening i spent hours doodling and illustrating. I finished just after midnight and i feel super content. This is definitely a good day!
My back aches and i won't be able to do much more than work on the computer tomorrow but it's worth it. I'm currently looking at my desk covered in drawings, doodles, animals, patterns and orders,  feeling very content.

I hope you all had a great productive day!
Much Love, Beth xxx

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Day #2 - 'sleep is wayyy too important' - Live life through my eyes: The open diary of a chronic illness champion

Oh boy the tiredness has hit tonight...why did i think this was a good idea?

There was a time, meaning 4 months ago, when i'd stay up til 3am getting work done. Now i fade quickly after midnight and have to go to bed. I used to cherish my time in the wee small hours making art, but now i actually appreciate the mornings so much more. I do my best to get up around 8am and get going on work, then i can relax when the work is done for the day.

I actually accomplished a lot this morning. I woke up around 9am and got lots of correspondence done (fancy phrase for messaging people about work).

Around 4pm i realised it's still frappaccino happy hour at starbucks for the next few days so i threatened my brother that i was taking the car to go get one and he surprisingly decided he wanted to come with me! It was good to get out of the house. Today has been a typically rainy day for Ireland, which can get pretty depressing when cooped up inside.

I felt wrecked when i got back though... social situations are really draining for me. I always need a nap or a rest after going out, even just for 30 minutes at starbucks. So i spent some time recovering and then got back to work. I checked in with all my Instagram activity and got going on a few new quotes that are on order! It's a good feeling get some work done.

Sorry this is a shorter entry today but my bed is calling me!!!

You're not following me on Instagram?? What? Check it: https://instagram.com/bethanyrogersart/

BTW, my brother put up a new video on his vlogging channel today...check it out!

Much Love, Beth xxx

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Demelza's song - Medhal An Gwyns - LYRICS & Youtube cover - Poldark

Whilst watching the final episode of Poldark, i once again fell in love with a beautiful original folk song written for the series.
I put a cover of the song up on my Youtube channel yesterday, if you want to check it out you can watch it here:

I also wanted to provide the lyrics that i used in this video for anyone else wanting to have a go at singing it themselves,

Medhel An Gwyns:

Memories like voices that call on the wind
Medhel an gwyns, Medhel an gwyns
Whispered and tossed on the tide coming in
Medhel oh Medhel an gwyns

Voices like songs that are heard in the dawn
Medhel an gwyns, Medhel an gwyns
Singing the secrets of children unborn
Medhel oh Medhel an gwyns

Dreams like the memories once born on the wind
Medhel an gwyns, Medhel an gwyns
Lovers and children and copper and tin
Medhel oh Medhel an gwyns

Dreams like the castles that sleep in the sand
Medhel an gwyns, Medhel an gwyns
Slip through the fingers or held in the hand
Medhel oh Medhel an gwyns

Songs like the dreams that the bow maiden spins
Medhel an gwyns, Medhel an gwyns
Weaving the song of the cry of the tin Medhel oh Medhel an gwyns
Medhel oh Medhel an gwyns

I hope you enjoyed my cover of this beautiful song,
Much Love, Beth xxx

Day #1 - 'not my usual start to the week' - Live life through my eyes: The open diary of a chronic illness champion

There are advantages and disadvantages to having a chronic illness. That might sound very strange to you but from my vantage point, having a chronic illness means i get to share with the world what it's really like to have an illness and be in constant pain. Life isn't easy for any of us. But if i can share my story and help us all understand one another better, then i view that as a positive.

I've been wanting to share some of the mundane day-to-day things i go through for a while now. This is an open diary i'll be keeping through a week of my life. This week, you're my best friend and i'm telling you everything...well, mostly.

Monday mornings are usually good for me. I hate Mondays. But i always try to get up early and get going on work, and set up the week as i'd like it to carry on.

This Monday was a completely different story though. I woke up at 11am, earphones still in from falling asleep to my favourite film 'while you were sleeping' and i felt like i'd been run over. I spent all of Sunday in bed and was throwing up all of Sunday evening... this isn't a common occurrence for me so i felt pretty rotten.

I tried to get up, however it took me til 1pm to get downstairs and finally stomach a piece of toast. I spent the majority of the day checking up on business on Instagram, watching 2 films then doing some illustrating.

You see, i battle with ALOT of guilt when it comes to my work. I'm an artist. Love my job. So thankful to the people that continue to pay me for what i love. But when i'm sick it all comes to a standstill. The commissions list gets longer and then comes the guilt.
When your sick, who knows how long you'll be out of the game. So you think about all the work you should be doing when you can't.
It's a vicious circle that i'll discuss more of later in the week.

For now, this has been DAY 1. And i am feeling alot better tonight.

Much Love, Beth xxx

P.S. my mum brought home peonies yesterday. She bought them to cheer her & i up and they kept me company today... aren't they beautiful?!?!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Deciding on YOUR healthy weight

There's a BIG reason why the emphasis is on YOUR weight in the title of this post, because YOU are in control. Many of us are genuinely concerned about our weight...

-What's healthy?
-Am i underweight?
-Am i overweight?
-When should i stop loosing weight?

In a society that pushes and shoves us into it's standards, we quite often get mixed responses to the questions above.

There is no RIGHT answer. But there are a few things that help you decide what YOUR healthy weight is. My first piece of advice... don't look to the media for help. Most of what's portrayed is completely unrealistic and does nothing for your self-esteem.

Remember a healthy weight should mean that you are content. That is the most important thing to take into consideration. When loosing weight, stop and ask yourself: Am i content at this weight or do i feel like i still need to loose more?
We all fluctuate weight throughout our lives and there will be times when we feel more comfortable with our weight and times when we don't.

I'll let you in on a BIG secret though.. Feeling content and comfortable with yourself has alot to do with your mind. You could be at your ideal weight and still look in the mirror and not be happy.

Whatever weight we all are we can all be more positive and take it easier on ourselves.

In my experience, being too hard on myself has led to stress and weight gain.

Ultimately, you are in charge of your life. You get to decide where you are happy.

Have courage and be kind,
Much Love, Beth xxx

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Lavender's blue dilly dilly Cinderella song inspired by Lily James LYRICS

Earlier this week i did a cover of a beautiful lullaby that was featured in the latest adaptation of Cinderella. I changed up the order of the lyrics and wanted to make them available for anyone wanting to sing it the way i did.

If you haven't watched my cover be sure to watch it here and let me know what you think!

Lavenders Blue Lyrics:

Lavenders blue dilly dilly lavenders green
When you are king dilly dilly i will be queen

Who told you so dilly dilly who told you so
'Twas my own heart dilly dilly that told me so

Lavenders green dilly dilly lavenders blue
You must love me dilly dilly for i love you

Let the birds sing dilly dilly and the lambs play
We shall be safe dilly dilly out of harms way

Lavenders green dilly dilly lavenders blue
If you love me dilly dilly i will love you

I hope you enjoy having the lyrics and watching my cover of this beautiful little song.

Have a great day, Beth xxx