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.

Fatigue and IBD

People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease often suffer from fatigue. 2 out of 5 patients will struggle daily with fatigue even if they are in remission from the disease. Remission from IBD simply means that there are no/ have been no symptoms for a lengthy period of time.

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What causes fatigue?

Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors including

  • anaemia
  • steroids
  • side effects of medications
  • dehydration
  • weight loss
  • anxiety/depression
  • interrupted sleep
  • pain

It is no wonder then that patients with IBD suffer from fatigue as a lot of these factors are linked to the disease.

What does fatigue feel like?

Fatigue can make you feel exhausted and cannot be helped by sleeping or resting. Fatigue is not just tiredness. It is so difficult to push through the fogginess and exhaustion and it can be mentally and physically taxing. This often leaves the person feeling weak, drained and worn out.

Symptoms of Fatigue

  • brain fog
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • feeling “heavy”
  • exhaustion
  • sore or aching muscles
  • irritability
  • muscle weakness
  • impaired decision-making
  • blurry vision
  • low motivation
  • poor concentration
  • poor appetite

How Fatigue Has Affected Me 

Fatigue is something that I have to deal with on a daily basis. I can sleep for hours and hours and still wake up feeling as if I haven’t rested. It’s horrible. I have spoken to my doctor about it but as there is currently not a lot of information on remedies for fatigue, I was told to eat more red meat to see if it would help. I can’t say that it made much difference. I have had to reduce my working hours down to part-time as working full time was too taxing for me. I currently work 5 hours and I can come home and have to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. The level of fatigue varies day-to-day and there are some days that are better than others. I find though that when I am not having an active flare-up, it does tend to be slightly lessened. During a flare-up the fatigue is horrendous and can be so bad that I have to lie down after taking a shower. It is such a difficult feeling to explain, it feels like a fogginess or a big cloud is hanging over you and pulling you down. It’s worse than just feeling tired, it is physically and mentally draining.

What I Do To Help Reduce My Fatigue

  • Drink plenty of water
  • De-stress! Take a long bath, do yoga, meditate etc
  • Exercise, a little goes a long way.
  • Eat lots of fruit and veg
  • Take vitamins
  • Sleep as often and as much as I can. Naps are everything!

These things do not get rid of the fatigue but they do make it a little more manageable.

I hope that there will be more research into fatigue and the link with IBD as currently around 80% of IBD patients suffer from it. We need a treatment or something to help reduce the symptoms so we can go about our every day lives with a bit of normalcy.

If you suffer from fatigue and IBD, you can log your symptoms here in order to help the research go further.

Here is Crohns and Colitis UK’s pdf about fatigue and IBD which I used for my research for this post.

Thank you for reading.

Love and light,

Rebecca ❤

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 ❤

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

 

 

10 Things You Need to Know About Ulcerative Colitis

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1. Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The other main form of IBD is Crohn’s Disease. IBD is an autoimmune disease which means that the immune system attacks the healthy body cells.

2. Around 146, 000 people in the UK are living with Ulcerative Colitis.

3. UC causes inflammation and ulceration of the colon and inner lining of the rectum.

4. Symptoms can vary from person to person and can include; blood in stools, diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, anaemia and severe weight loss in some cases.

5. There is no known cure.

6. Treatments for UC include immuno-suppressant medication or anti-inflammatory medication which aim to reduce the inflammation. There are many different kinds of medication for IBD such as steroids, injections etc and sometimes they do not always work, resulting in surgery. Surgery for UC includes the inflamed part of the colon being removed and an ostomy being created. This is when an opening in the abdomen is created to allow the intestines to go through and a bag is attached in order for the person to pass waste into. The surgery is usually only required for those with severe cases of UC.

7.  The cause of Ulcerative Colitis is unknown but researches believe it could be caused by a person’s genes, environment and the immune system reacting in an abnormal way to bacteria in the gut.

8. IBD is not the same as IBS. IBD is a disease and has no cure. It is a life-long illness whereas IBS is a syndrome and can be treated/controlled with medication or changes to the diet.

9. It is not just a pooping disease. There are many symptoms of IBD and not only that, there are many problems caused by having IBD such as joint problems, side effects from medication, mental health issues and much more.

10. People with UC/IBD often don’t look sick. This is because it is an invisible illness. This means that the person could look absolutely fine but be really struggling on the inside with severe symptoms and you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at them. This is why it is so important that awareness is raised.

To help support research for a cure for IBD, please text CCAW22 £_ to 70070 and share this post.

This is a subject very close to my heart as you will know if you know me or follow my blog. I was diagnosed with UC 3 years ago and it completely changed my life. I want to be able to raise awareness as it something that I had never heard of until I was diagnosed and I hope that anyone struggling with symptoms has a loved one with IBD or has been newly diagnosed can find this piece helpful.

https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/files.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/Publications/ulcerative-colitis.pdf

Thank you for reading ❤

Rebecca xo

10 Inspirational Quotes To Help You Through Tough Times

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I have a little notebook that I fill with quotes that I have read or found online that make me feel happy. I wanted to share some of my favourite ones with you today that help me through tough times in the hope that they help you too.

1. “Suffering is temporary, and it will get better.”

2.  “Each day is a new beginning.”

3. “Change what you can and make peace with what you can’t.”

4. “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

5. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

6. “Everything happens for a reason.”

7. “At this moment, I am exactly where I need to be.”

8. “When you feel blocked, emotionally distressed or overwhelmed, turn to your breath.”

9. “I can think my way out of fear.”

10. “Focus on the good things in life, no matter how small and they will multiply.”

I hope you found some inspiration and joy from these quotes. I would love to know your favourite quotes so please leave a comment below!

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

21 Things I’ve Learned In 21 Years

 

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1.  It is so important to love yourself fully and completely.

2. You have to put yourself first sometimes and allow yourself to be selfish.

3. It is okay to say “No” to things you don’t want to do.

4. Every single feeling you have is okay.

5. When you think more positively, you will begin to feel better.

6. Eating healthily really does make you feel better.

7. Family is everything. Spend as much time as you can with them. You will be thankful for it later on.

8. Gratitude for the little things is so important.

9. Nature is extremely powerful; a 5 minute walk can change your mindset.

10. Things always get better with time.

11. Every day is a new chapter of your journey.

12. It is okay to not be okay. No one is perfect and no-one has a flawless life. You are doing great.

13. You cannot help others if you don’t help yourself first.

14. Stress really can have detrimental effects on your health.

15. You are not alone in your struggles. Reach out to others for help and advice or even just someone to vent to. Trust me, it helps.

16. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.” Nothing is as scary as you may think and you can do anything you put our mind to.

17. It is not healthy to compare yourself to others. Everyone is unique. You are beautiful the way you are.

18. Trust your gut and believe in what your intuition is telling you.

19. You are not defined by your illness.

20. Everything happens for a reason and there is a lesson in every experience.

21. You are enough.

 

A Letter to My Younger Self.

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Dear me,

You are beautiful no matter what you or anyone else may think. You are enough. You do not have to change any aspect of yourself in order to make someone like you more. Being you is the most important thing in the world. Try not to compare yourself to other people out there, yes they may be beautiful or successful but they are not you. Life would be boring and dull if we were all the same.

Every feeling that you have is valid. Honour it. Accept it. You are allowed to feel any feeling or emotion that comes up. Listen to these feelings and breathe through them. It will all be okay.

You need to become your own best friend. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one. Stop beating yourself up and saying mean things to yourself. You wouldn’t do it to your best friends, so don’t do it to yourself. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy and exercise (yes I know, you hear it all the time but trust me, it will be worth it!)

Life is tough and it is most likely going to get tougher but YOU are tough too. You can get through anything. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to your family and friends for help and advice, they love you and will understand.

Don’t let people walk all over you; stand up for yourself. And stay strong! Mistakes are meant to be made, they hold lessons for the future. Forget and Forgive.

Step out of your comfort zone. Do things that scare you. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!” Go have fun. Open yourself up to trying new things. Experience life fully.

You’ve got this!

I believe in you, always ❤

Love from Rebecca, your future self xo

 

I wrote this in my radical self love bible as it is one of the tasks and honestly it felt so empowering. I wish I had known all of this stuff and been given this advice when I was younger. Even now, some of this advice I need! Normally, I give other people advice but do not take it for myself so writing this to me at a younger age felt sort of like giving advice to another person and in that way it was easier to write. I recommend that you try this, it’s a really fun and enlightening experience.

Love and Light xo

 

Acceptance

Hey lovely readers, sorry I haven’t been as active on here recently…I have been struggling with things to write about as I wasn’t feeling so positive within myself and felt that blogging about positive things just wouldn’t be authentic. So today, I want to talk about my experience with accepting change.

ACCEPTANCE:  willingness to tolerate a difficult situation.

Within the past couple of months or so my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome(different from my IBD: inflammatory bowel disease)) has been flaring up. I’ve been having pains in my stomach almost every day and have been feeling generally unwell. I continued with taking my medications and trying to reduce any stress. I knew I had my annual hospital checkup on the 7th of July so I held off going to my doctor until then. When I went for my appointment, the consultant seemed happy that my Ulcerative Colitis (IBD) was under control and that it was my IBS playing up. He told me to try cutting out dairy to see if that would help my symptoms. Coming away from that appointment, I was quite happy with how things had gone and feeling positive that I had something to try.

However, a few days into going dairy free and my thoughts and feelings about it weren’t so positive. I started thinking of all my favourite foods that I could no longer have; pizza,chocolate, cakes, ice-cream etc. I realised that this was not the way to go about it so I researched into alternatives and have been finding it not so bad since. I’ve even been able to go out for meals and find something to eat that I like with no dairy.

I have still been feeling a little down and not really sure why. I think it is a mixture of change and hormones. Change has always been something that I’ve struggled with, even if it is a positive change. I’ve always found it a little hard to accept the transition to a new experience in life but I am willing to stop resisting. I really want to share this ‘Acceptance Prayer’  with you as it is what I have been reading every day to shift my mood.

I have realised how important acceptance is. Acceptance allows you to be free of the power of your life circumstances as you are making the choice to accept whatever is going on. Acceptance is also you trusting that life will work out and that the universe has your back. It will stop you from feeling fearful of change. So whenever something comes up for you, take a deep breath and repeat “I accept” until you feel the stress and angst melt away. Trust and have faith that everything happens for a reason and all will be well. It will not happen overnight but if you are willing to accept, you are on the right track to long lasting happiness.

Thank you for reading and I hope this has been helpful to you ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo