5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Working with Children

I’ve worked with children for nearly three years now and every day I am thankful that I chose this career. I trained to be a early years practitioner through a modern apprenticeship. I have always wanted to work with children but was unsure of what path to take. This was the best decision I could’ve made as it gave me time to be hands-on in the nursery, learning, while essentially working a full time job. The amount I have learned and continue to learn every day is astonishing. It is such a rewarding job, knowing that I am part of helping shape these children into the people they are going to become. I wanted to share with you a few of the lessons that I have learned from working with children as I feel that although I am teaching them every day, I get so much more back from them.

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1. Life isn’t as complicated as we like to think it is. Children see things so simply and when one thing happens, they quickly move on to the next. They could be absolutely devastated that their mum has left them to go to work but within 5 minutes they are off exploring the play-dough without a care in the world. I tend to take life a bit too serious at times and get myself worked up over the little things. I’ve learned that it’s okay to get upset as long as I pick myself up and move forward.

2. Laughter is the best medicine. Children have this amazing ability to laugh at the most random of things. One day we were sitting having toast and one child bursts out laughing. I have no idea what about but that sets the rest of the kids off and that then sets me off. So there we are just sitting having a full-blown laugh attack over nothing. Whenever I think of this, it reminds me how important it is to see the funny side to life.

3. Forgiveness is important. I see so many struggles over toys daily and it usually ends up in one child having a complete meltdown because that’s their toy and “he stole it” but once the issue has been resolved, they go back to playing together as if nothing was amiss. If only it was this simple for us adults! So many of us hold grudges about things for far too long and let the resentment bubble up inside us. We need to be like children and let things go.

4. Tell the truth. I love how blunt children are. They just tell you like it is and aren’t afraid to do so. So often, we hide our feelings or thoughts in case we upset someone. Yes, be respectful but don’t be afraid to speak your mind.

5. Love holds no limits. Children are capable of giving so much love. They are so accepting of others and love unconditionally. When I first started working in the nursery, the kids accepted me right away, giving me pictures and hugs and made me feel so welcomed and loved. This is an important lesson to take in as we are so quick to judge others. We need to be more like wee Jimmy and accept people as they are.

I am lucky to be able to spend so much time learning from children. I’d love to know if you have any lessons of your own that you have learned from children. Leave a comment and let me know 🙂

Thanks for reading ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

 

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Living In The Moment

 

The Keep It Bright Book
The Keep It Bright Book

Last night I went to see Lady Antebellum in concert. It was an incredible night and looking around me at all the people in the arena singing their hearts out, I was overcome with awe, gratitude and sadness. Awe at the way music brings people together, gratitude to be there in that moment and sadness for what happened in Vegas last weekend. It was a country gig and so it hit me even harder that the people in that area last weekend would’ve been feeling the same way- full of joy and happiness before the horror hit. It’s so difficult to understand why things like this happen in the world and to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to.
We take so much for granted every day in our lives and I know that I fall prey to letting little things get to me which is okay, but it’s so important that we move quickly on from that and be thankful for what we have. I often forget to just live in the moment. I’m always worrying about something that happened yesterday or what’s to come in the week ahead. But this moment right here is all that we can control. We can control our emotions, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes all it takes is a deep breath to bring you back to the present moment.

So today, I urge you to live in the moment and be grateful. As harrowing as it sounds, we never know when it will be our last or what tomorrow will bring. This can be a scary thought, but it’s so true. Stop being afraid to be you and live your life to the fullest. Say that thing that’s been on your mind, go chase that dream, take those chances you’ve been afraid of, love til you feel like you’re going to burst, let the emotions consume you and then pick yourself back up again.

You have one life, how are you going to choose to spend it?

Love, light and prayers for those affected by recent tragic events💗

Rebecca xxx

The Importance of Self-Care to Mental Health: DIY Self-Care Box

Self-Care.

Self-Care means taking care of every single part of you; body, mind and spirit. I see so many people talking about how they take care of their body by fuelling it with healthy foods and exercise and, yes this is very important but what about the mind? Your mental state is so so important to how you function daily, yet it is often pushed to the back burner as we rush through our days, pushing and pushing to get to the next task.

I have shared my experience with mental health before and I wanted to update you that I am now no longer taking anti-depressants for my anxiety. This was a hard decision to make as I was terrified that my symptoms were going to come back full force if I stopped the medication but I also felt that I would be able to cope without them. I gradually reduced the dosage over a few weeks after coming back from holiday. In hindsight, this was probably not the best time for me to come off them as I had a bad case of the ‘holiday blues’. However, I am so glad that I did it and I think that if I left it any longer, I would’ve been more reluctant to stop them. It hasn’t been plain-sailing due to some horrible side effects and withdrawal symptoms for the first couple weeks but it’s now a couple of months on and I feel better.

Recently though, I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. I can’t really put my finger on what feels wrong, I just don’t feel exactly like me some days. Just…distant. Like I’m going through the motions of my day without really being present. It’s a strange feeling and most days it comes and goes.

To help myself feel better, a few weeks ago I created a Self-Care box filled with inspirational quotes, books, messages etc to pick myself up. This was not only for me, but for my fiance who was having a bit of a rough time. I wanted there to be something we could both go to when we needed a helping hand. Any time I’ve been feeling a bit distant or sad, I go to this box and pick out a card or quote or read a page from the book inside and it lifts my spirits. Not in a massive way, but just enough.

I want to share this with you today in case you are feeling down and need a pick me up or you have a friend or family member who is struggling with their mental health and you want to show them you care.

What You’ll Need:

  • A box/bag of any size
  • paper
  • pens
  • pictures/cards/postcards
  • inspirational quotes (handwritten/printed)
  • cellotape
  • scissors
  • books
  • paperclips (optional)
  • trinkets
  • anything that makes you/the person smile

Where To Find Resources:

To start I used this box that I was gifted by my grandparents. It’s so pretty and perfect for this with all the little quotes. You can use any box and use wrapping paper or decorate it to look how you want. I wrote a little note and stuck it on the top of the box. You can customise this however you like to make it more personal.

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I decorated the inside of the box with a couple of cute quotes.

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I filled the inside of the box with a variety of cards, quotes, messages and cute little trinkets.

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I hope you like this and if any of you make your own Self-Care box, please send me some pictures- I’d love to see your own personalised creations!

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

Walking for IBD

We did it!

The Crohn’s and Colitis UK #WalkIt went so well and it was such an incredible day. The sun was shining and the spirits were high. When we first got to Edinburgh, we noticed the bright purple tent through the trees and when we arrived to the area, it was like a sea of purple! It was so amazing to see how many people were there to support and raise awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. There were lots of different stalls providing food, information and support. There was also an inflatable bowel which was awesome and had information throughout all about Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

To start off the walk, there were amazing dancers and live music for entertainment. It was a fantastic atmosphere that got everyone excited. During the walk, it was so lovely to have people coming up and asking what we were walking for and what IBD was. It felt so good raising awareness and being able to spread the word around the city of what IBD is and why awareness is needed. We took the wrong route and ended up doing almost 6K instead of 5K (oops!)

At the end of the walk, I felt really emotional that I had done it. I’m so glad that I felt well enough and had enough energy to go through with it. It was a bit overwhelming (in a good way) that so much effort was put into the day to raise awareness of these diseases that are so often misunderstood or unknown. We met some lovely people and it was nice to hear others stories of why they were there and their experience with IBD. I was so grateful for Connor being there with me. He is my biggest supporter and I am so thankful to have this wonderful partner who cares so much (sorry for the cheese!)

 

After the walk, we went for a Nando’s date which was so delicious! And then explored the shops around Edinburgh. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the cat cafe, Maison de Moggy. It was the best way to chill after the excitement of the morning.

 

 

Overall, the day was so incredible and I am so glad that we took part in the 5K. I am so grateful to everyone who donated and sponsored us as we have raised £240 for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. Thank you so much! I am hoping to fundraise more for CCUK in the future and I will keep you all updated.

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

Raising Awareness of IBD and What You Can Do To Help

Raising Awareness of IBDHey everyone,

I just wanted to check in and say I am so grateful for all of the donations/ sponsors so far (if you missed my last post, I am taking part in a 5K walk to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK) and it makes me so emotional to think how much support I have behind me. The money raised for Crohn’s and Colitis UK could help fund research for treatment and even a cure someday. Funds can help provide information and advice for over 1,000 people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease which is just incredible.

Crohn’s and Colitis UK Website

This charity was the first place I turned to when I was diagnosed. There are so many useful resources on there such as their Crohn’s and Colitis Companion which is an interactive resource that gives users information or advice on things like their symptoms, treatment options and how to live with IBD. This is really easy to use and so helpful for people who have just newly been diagnosed or anyone who needs a little support. There are over 40 leaflets and booklets available to download covering everything from financial aid to the symptoms of both conditions. It is so important to raise funds and donate as they use the money for incredible things like determining causes of IBD and the newest treatments. Recently £700,000 has been awarded for the research into new treatments and improved care for patients.

#WALKIT

#WalkIt is happening all around the UK. There is a 5K or a 10K that you can do or volunteer at. I am so excited to take part in the walk and to meet others with IBD. I think it is so amazing that we will all come together to support this amazing charity and each other. It is important to keep raising awareness of these conditions, being invisible illnesses, they can be so damaging to someones body, but at the same time give the appearance of being ‘well’.

It is amazing that more people are becoming aware and more understanding of chronic/invisible illnesses but there is still a long way to go.

The most important thing that anyone can do is to have compassion for others. We all have something going on in our lives, you never know what people are going through. Their lives may look perfect on social media but a smile and a filter can hide a lot. Every single person has their own struggles and it is important to keep that in mind every single day.

An Update on My Ulcerative Colitis

I am doing great at the moment; I haven’t had a flare in around 2 years. However that doesn’t mean that I feel healthy and fab every single day. There are still good days and bad days but my bad days are better now than the ones I used to have. The symptoms I’ve been having recently are some stomach cramps/pains (these tend not to come to anything and usually decrease) and fatigue. Fatigue is what I struggle with the most and it can be there even on the good days. I usually help this by resting as much as I can and trying to reduce my stress, although I fight a losing battle most of the time.

It can be hard some days to not let it get me down but I just have to pick myself up and keep moving forward. This is my life now and my UC isn’t going to stop me from living it to the fullest.

How You Can Help

You can help raise awareness of IBD by joining in the #WalkIt, donating or even just sharing this blog post. If you or your loved one has IBD, becoming more comfortable with the symptoms makes it easier to talk to others about them and thus raise awareness. The more we talk, the more recognised and accepted these conditons will become. I waited longer than I should have to get medical help as I was too embarrassed to tell my family. It is okay to talk about your bowel habits, every one has them! It’s normal and we need to get over the taboo of talking about poo.

Thanks for reading ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xxx

Fundraising for CrohnsColitis UK- 5K #WalkIt

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Myself and my fiance, Connor are going to be taking part in the Crohn’s and Colitis UK Walk It (5K) in Edinburgh in July. As most of you know, I myself have Inflammatory Bowel Disease and so I am taking part to raise awareness for this illness and raise funds to help support the charity. Funds raised will go to Crohns and Colitis UK and this can help with providing support for those with IBD and also help the investigation into looking for a cure. This is a charity very close to my heart and I can’t wait to help raise awareness! If you could, please donate to my Just Giving page (I would be so grateful!)

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rebecca-crawford4

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Here is the information on #WalkIt if you are interested: https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/get-involved/walk-it

The money raised goes to Crohns and Colitis Uk and “This could help pay for 2,000 people to get the information they need about Inflammatory Bowel Disease.”

Thank you for reading and if you do donate or even share this post, I love you and am so very grateful for the support ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xxx

 

Accepting Where I’m At

via Daily Prompt: Acceptance

It feels good to be writing on here again after a short hiatus, which feels like forever! I have been going through a phase of feeling uninspired and unmotivated but then I had an itch to post something today. However, I kept having thoughts of I don’t know what to write? and it’s been so long, what if it’s not good enough? I started scrolling through the reader feed and came across a daily prompt: Acceptance. Wow. As soon as I read that, I knew that was exactly what I needed to do. Accept where I’m at and honour those thoughts and feelings.

Acceptance has always been a difficult thing for me to practice. I struggle with change and things not going the way I plan. So, the moment I read the word, it hit me like a ton of bricks- I have been doing the exact opposite of accepting.17467930_10211874244753597_1974983819_n

There’s been a lot going on within the last couple of months that has been causing stress and anxiety. I have started a new course at college and I’m struggling with the workload. I am so exhausted all the time– my fatigue has come back with a vengeance. I’ve had too many days where my stomach is extremely painful and I feel sick. And I am in constant fear of my ulcerative colitis flaring up. I’ve been trying to push these feelings away and just keep on going. But I think by doing that, I’ve subconsciously been worrying even more about it. I still have thoughts of I hate this, why me?,  I just want to feel normal. I shouldn’t be thinking so negatively. I am beginning to realise though, that having these thoughts is okay. I just don’t believe that it is possible to think positive thoughts all the time. Yes, I blog about positivity and choosing love over fear etc but this is real life and it is not that simple all the time. There are days where I struggle to move out of bed or to get up and cook dinner. And there are times when that’s not because I physically can’t- sometimes I’m just so mentally drained that all I want to do is curl up in a ball.

When it comes to acceptance, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I don’t want to look at it like, Oh, I’m not accepting this situation so I’m making things harder for myself. I want it to be a learning experience in which I can say Yes okay, I understand that it will be hard work to accept this but I am willing to do so and I will get there eventually.

So this is me promising myself that I am going to look after me, my body and mindset by accepting all emotions, thoughts and situations that come up. That being said though, it is okay for me not to accept it every single day. It is okay to have off days where I want to curl up in bed and just order food in. Or even to just be angry or upset about being in pain or feeling down.

I hope that you are able to come to terms with and accept the current situation that you are in and if you are not in that place yet, that is perfectly okay too.

Love and Light ❤

I was inspired to write this after seeing what the #dailyprompt was for today and also reading  this post on acceptance.

30 Things To Be Happy About!

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  1. Lazy mornings
  2. Snuggles in bed
  3. Cats (and all cute animals)
  4. Unicorns
  5. Nature
  6. Bubble baths
  7. Fairy lights
  8. Hot chocolate with cream…yum!
  9. Having a tidy house/room
  10. Spending time with family and friends
  11. Netflix
  12. A cup of tea in your favourite mug
  13. Freshly baked cakes
  14. Delicious food
  15. Scented candles
  16. People who smell good
  17. Watching the sunset/sunrise
  18. Songs that remind you of a special person or memory
  19. Forehead kisses
  20. Beautiful tattoos
  21. Travelling to new places and watching the world go by
  22. Long showers
  23. Knowing every lyric of a song
  24. Holding hands
  25. Reading a captivating book
  26. When your pet comes to cuddle you
  27. Clean water
  28. Being warm and cosy when it’s cold outside
  29. Making new memories every day
  30. Being alive!

There are a million and one things to be happy about and I could honestly write on this topic forever. I loved writing this and it made me feel so grateful to be alive and be able to experience all of these wonderful things!

I hope that this made you smile and I’d love to know; what would you add to the list that makes you happy?

Love and light, 

Rebecca ❤

My Aspirations for 2017

Happy New Year beautiful people!

Much the same as last year, I won’t be setting resolutions because I feel there is too much pressure that comes with the word. I am going to be setting aspirations; something that I hope to achieve. That way, if I don’t manage to get something on the list done or it doesn’t happen how I want it to, I am less likely to feel disheartened. However, there is nothing wrong with setting resolutions if that is something that inspires you. You do you!

My aspirations for this year are things that I hope will help to improve my confidence and self love. This is going to be the year of me. And I don’t mean that in a selfish way, I just want to focus more on being happy and growing as a person.

my-7-aspirations-for-2017

No.1 Focus more on my own happiness.

I plan on doing what makes me feel good and if there is something that doesn’t, I want to be able to say so.

No. 2 Take the time to listen to what my body needs.

This is something that is so important due to my IBD. There are times when I forget to take my medication or forget to drink enough water or even overwork myself. I am going to work on being more aware of what it is my body is telling me; whether that’s “go for a nap” or “eat that chocolate bar”.

No. 3 To take each day as it comes.

I often have so much anxiety over what’s to come in the next few days/ weeks or stressing about things that have happened in the past and it totally removes me from the present moment. I want to be able to be fully here and I think by doing this, my happiness will improve greatly.

No.4 Learn to love every single version of myself.

I want to love every part of me on the good and bad days; when I’m happy, sad, anxious, in pain etc.

No.5 Spend more time with friends. I don’t see my friends enough and I think a big part of that is down to becoming comfortable in my routine. This year, I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and put more effort into my friendships and taking part in lots of fun stuff!

No.6 Get back into my spiritual practice.

I’ve fallen away from my meditation, yoga and other rituals that I had been loving. I want to get back into this again as I felt great at the time. If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations of self-improvement/spiritual books, please leave me a comment 🙂

No.7 Choose positive over negative.

We can control our thoughts and although it can be difficult, it is possible. Our mind is a very powerful thing and can control our life if we let it. I am going to be taking back control of my mind by focusing on positive thoughts more.

Thank you for reading, let me know in the comments one thing you are hoping for in 2017. I wish you all the most wonderful joy-filled year!

Love and light,

Rebecca xo

Highlights of My Year-2016

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the rest of the holidays before the New Year. As there are only a few days left of 2016, I thought I would share a bit about my year with you. Although it’s not all been sunshine and rainbows- there have been many struggles too- I wanted to focus on the experiences that I have loved this year and those that I’m grateful for.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS:

JANUARY-MARCH

2016 started off pretty well for me as I turned 21 in February and had such an amazing time celebrating. My mum and step-dad got me a lovely gift of a night away in a hotel with my fiance and it was so beautiful. I then had lots of fun with family and friends and even had a small party. It was fantastic! Also, in February I completed my modern apprenticeship and became a qualified nursery practitioner. I am absolutely loving my job and was so grateful to be offered a position in the nursery were I did my training. In March, I was lucky enough to attend two gigs; Adele and Country2Country. Both of these were incredible. Adele was so amazing live and I had such a brilliant time. At Country2Country, I got to meet one of the singers, Andrew Combs- I was so happy because I got to tell him I loved his cardigan haha – who was great live. One of my favourite singers, Kacey Musgraves was performing and she was absolutely wonderful! It was a brilliant gig and I’m happy that I will be going back next year.

APRIL-MAY

In April, I went to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis live for the second time and it was brilliant! I was having way too much fun bouncing around to the songs that I didn’t get any good pictures! My holiday in May to Portugal was probably one of the biggest highlights of 2016. The weather was brilliant and it was so lovely to have a week to just relax in the sunshine with my best friend. We made so many memories and I can’t wait for our holiday in 2017 that we will have!

JUNE-SEPTEMBER

In June, I had my graduation for completing my modern apprenticeship and it was a brilliant day. After the ceremony, my mum, Connor and I went out for a lovely meal to celebrate. I went for my first girls weekend away to Edinburgh in August and it was so much fun. (You can read my post all about it here.)

OCTOBER-DECEMBER

My mum graduated in October and now has a Post Graduate Diploma Level in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I am so so proud of her and all the work she has put in to get to where she is today. Her graduation was so beautiful and very emotional! To finish off the year, I had a wonderful Christmas with my family and I am so grateful for everyone in my life right now.

Also a little side note on my health in 2016; overall it’s been a pretty good year in terms of my IBD, I haven’t had a flare up since the beginning of the year and that cleared up quickly with steroids. I have had to cut out some dairy products to try to help my stomach pains but so far I haven’t noticed a great change. I am just so thankful that I have made it to December without a serious issue or hospital admission. Let’s hope that continues long into 2017!

BLOG HIGHLIGHTS:

I can’t believe I reached the one year milestone in September with my blog! Thank you to all of you for reading, liking, following and commenting; it means so much.

My blog post; 8 Pieces of Advice for anyone suffering with Inflammatory Bowel Disease was featured on thedisclosed.com and the response was amazing.  I am so glad I managed to help raise awareness of IBD and help some people suffering.

I also wrote An Honest Letter to my Illness where I really sat and thought about what it was like to live with IBD and how it had changed, not only my life, but me as a person. I feel that since writing this, I have come to terms with it more and accepted it as part of me.

I set up my very own Etsy Shop this year, which is something I had wanted to do for a long while. I sell inspirational, handwritten quotes, gifts and cards. If you are interested, you can check it out here. It would mean a lot if you left some feedback on what you think of the products.

To finish this post off, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was there to share these wonderful experiences with me and to my followers for always being there to read what I post. I hope everyone has an amazing New Year and I wish you all the best for 2017 ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo