18 June 2013

Good For The Soul

A few weeks ago, I lost my sparkle.  A succession of a few minor issues, one after the other, rubbed away at it until finally it disappeared altogether.

Past experience teaches me to try not to panic when my sparkle does a runner.  I know it always returns at some point but, until it does, a lot of positive thinking and appreciation of life's pleasures is definitely in order.

Here are some of my survival tips for when your sparkle disappears ...

Take a long walk.

Seriously.  It's that easy.

D encouraged bulldozed me into going to Swithland Wood, which lies in Leicestershire's Charnwood Forest, for a hike.  It's only about half an hour away from us.

I'm so glad he did.  There was something so incredibly soothing about it.

The colours, the smells, the sounds ...

Eat happy food.

Since my children were born, I've been very interested in the health benefits of foods.  I have a long-standing crush on a chap called Michael Van Straten, a naturopath and nutritional consultant who has written some fantastic books, of which I have a few.  What he doesn't know about the nutritional values of food isn't worth knowing, in my opinion.

Anyway, quite subjective this one; my happy foods may be very different to yours.  There is, however, proof that certain foods can help boost your mood:-

*  Anything high in Omega 3 fatty acids (oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocado).

*  Cheese.  Yes, really.  It contains healthy amino acids which promote calmness and, despite what you've heard about cheese giving you nightmares, it really does aid good quality sleep by encouraging the body to produce melatonin.

* Basil. Crush or bruise it to release it's natural feel-good oils.

* Pro-biotic yoghurt. A healthy digestive system promotes a healthy mind.

*  Turkey and bananas.  Both contain high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid which promotes seratonin (the 'happy hormone').

*  A 'treat'.  Don't beat yourself up - life's too short.  If a bowl of ice cream, a glass of icy Pinot Grigio or a slab of chocolate cake comforts you, do it.

Indulge yourself.

Whatever floats your boat.  We all need a perk from time to time.  Whether it's half an hour with a new glossy magazine, a bunch of flowers or perhaps some new bubble bath and a long soak.  My treat to self?  Well, I'm nothing if not predictable - new yarn and rhythmic crochet.  Blissful!

Sit in the sun.

I know, I know - opportunities in the UK are few and far between but if the elusive sun graces us with it's presence, please down tools immediately if you can.  Fifteen minutes is enough to reap the benefits.  The body creates vitamin D from sunlight which, not only promotes good physical health, but also lowers blood pressure and encourages the production of seratonin.

Where possible, I've been sitting crocheting in the sun for an hour or so a day.  I can't tell you how much better I feel for it.

If you're not the sitting type, take a slow stroll around your garden.

(I wish you could smell my Iceberg roses - they're AMAZING.)

Spend time with family and friends.

The temptation is to shy away from social occasions when your sparkle deserts you.  Do make the effort to join in; it is worth it, I promise.  There's nothing like having a good laugh or listening to somebody else's problems to distract you from your own.

Telling those closest to you helps too.  Everybody loses their sparkle from time to time and most people are very sympathetic.  Feeling loved is most definitely good for the soul.


Anyway, my sparkle is returning.  I can feel it - like the sun trying to burn away the clouds.

I'd love to know what your happy tips are.



  1. I'm glad you are feeling better. Loving all of your pictures. Happy feel good pictures. Hearting that Debbie Bliss yarn. I can feel a trip to LYS coming on :-)

  2. You are right on the money with these sparkle tips and I'm happy you're is returning!! I must also add you have exceptionally pretty gumboots!! Xx Janelle@awhitefarm

  3. Great list!
    For me it also works reading blogposts like yours...enjoying other peoples ramblings...

  4. I'm so happy your sparkle is returning. I've missed you. I liked all your "get your sparkle back" tips. They're just perfect. Keep doing what your doing and I'm sure in no time you're sparkle will be bright and sparkling all over the place! That yarn is sooo pretty, and what lovely crochet! ... Your boots are just adorable! Sending lots of sparkly hugs your way. xo

  5. I'm glad you are getting your sparkle back, I think you can't beat getting back to nature and some sea air, positive ions and all. I'm a big advocate of healthy eating and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, what ever makes you happy. Having suffered from ME most if life, I've spent a lot of time try to maintain my sparkle. I think you've got it spot on, love your new yarn by the way.
    Clare x

  6. Love your list, it cheered me up just by reading it. Glad you are feeling sparklier but maybe continue with your 'get sparkly' strategy so it doesn't do a runner again. Pesky sparkle.

    Chocolate makes me happy. Colours make me happy. Neutrals and natural colours/textures make me feel very calm and floaty. Walking makes me happy too - I am a nature lover and can cope with any weather she throws at us. It's the nothingy grey days that I find difficult.

    Take care of yourself, my lovely friend. XX

  7. What a lovely post Sweetheart, I wholeheartedly agree! It's good to feed the soul with nature, good food, friends and family and a little bit of what helps you relax! I'm crocheting in the sun.....bliss! :) x

  8. Hi - glad you are beginning to feel better. When I am down I try and get to the sea and the predicatable tides and the cool water always make me feel better. Also I find that when I am stressed crochet is almost like a meditative activity. I start crocheting with fury and after a while my pace slows and I enjoy the rythmnic motion of the hook and yarn and start to relax. Lily. xxx

  9. I hope you are starting to feel better Heath....take it easy, we all have those times in our lives where everything just feels rubbish, but it will get better, I promise :)
    Take care lovely,
    Caroline xx

  10. This truly is one of the wisest and best posts I've read in absolutely ages. My sparkle has been elusive too of late. I know all these things to be true and yet I don't do them - I put my nose to the grindstone instead. Thankyou so much for this. Off to tweet about it.

  11. Hello Heather. I have enjoyed your lovely walk in Swithland Woods. Your walking Pink Boots are too cool. The photo of the tree root and the bluebells are wonderful. I truly believe you are right, it is very good for the soul to crochet in the sun and let the sun restore and relax you. I try to do it everyday. Lovely post. Hugs Judy

  12. Hello Heather, it's lovely to have you back. I was missing your posts and was wondering whether you were fine.
    Your post is beautiful and you are absolutely wise in what you have written. I agree with it all. Nature, a bit of tlc from family and good friends, the simple things in live, healthy food to keep your vitamins and minerals up and the bad moods and lethargy away, time to yourself and to indulge.... I would add that a lovely cuppa always makes me feel better and crafting, a good film or book and a chilled night in (or fun night out with the girls) tend to do the trick.
    Hope you get your mojo back and hope the weather stays nice in your corner of England as it's been so gloomy here in London recently....
    Pati x

  13. Forgot to say that the yarn colours you have chosen are gorgeous... xx

  14. Hi Heather,You're so right!!Nature does that and just reading your post with the lovely pics made me smile and feel better!!!Love your wellies,the gnarled old tree and the yummy food and beautiful flowers!!!Have a happy weekend!!!

  15. Oh I can relate to this post so much at the moment. I lost mine last month too. It's back, but now I'm drowning under the weight of things to do. Blah! Anyway, I love your list, definitely great advice and a list I may need to refer to in future! Loving your gorgeous, gorgeous crochet and colours - dreamy :D

    S x

  16. Loving that chair and those rain boots!!

  17. Oh Heather! How funny! We did the same post! Love your happy tips.....I've been doing lots of all of them and I totally agree with you.....They work! Loads of love xxxxx

  18. What a fabby post, and I shall follow your advice closely as my sparkle seems to have eloped with my oomph!

  19. Delighted that you are back. You don't know me but I follow you and have missed hearing from you.
    You are a delight. You add wonderful relaxed friendly interest to our lives.

  20. Hello Heather I've just started following your blog and my tips for keeping happy are to spend time with my animals, I have 3 mad dogs and a horse and they always make me feel good especially going for a ride it's guaranteed to put a smile on my face. Oh and messing about in the garden I always feel good getting my hands in the soil x

  21. Hello Heather, I have just found your blog and have really enjoyed reading your posts. You have written the most wonderfully, honest posts, I felt myself nodding in agreeent and thinking what a lovely lady. Thank you, Ann

  22. Hi Heather! I've been having a nice time reading through some of your posts and love your work! Thank you for showing me how to easily change colours by laying your wool tail on top of your work. I'm just a beginner and have been having fun learning the basics. I love this infinity scarf! Can you tell me what colours you used here? I don't know if I can get this wool in Australia, but love the soft, pretty gelati colours. Thanks again for the lovely reading and inspiration! Kylie xo


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