TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER

I might have mentioned once or twice that winter is not my favorite season ūüėČ

In fairness, it’s not just a dislike for the weather, the darkness, the grey skies or the cold. I do dislike all of them individually and of course, everything together is just like being sneezed by the devil. ¬† A devil with a nasty cold. And loads of snots…

But as well as the external nastiness, winter has a terrible habit to get me down. Every year, after the Halloween weekend, when the hour goes back, I feel very unmotivated, crankier, no energy and generally low in moral and energy.

I usually take vitamin D supplements during winter, but the supplements alone are not enough to have a smooth and balanced internal winter period. This year, however, I have been doing other things and I am delighted to report that this is the most emotionally balanced winter in a long time, and that is no small achievement.

Nope. I have not migrated to sunnier countries, despite thinking about it every rainy day. I have not got a SAD light either, although last year I seriously thought about investing in one of those lamps.

None of that. Investment has been minimum and yet the results have been amazing.

Do you want to know what I have done? These are my…

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER

Vitamin D supplements

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER

This is Step 1 – the most important one. Most people in Ireland suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. It’s not just due to the lack of daylight in winter, but the fact that even during those few hours of daylight, the sun vitamin does not get absorbed by our skin because of the clouds.
Now, what I am about to say might be controversial, but here we go. I truly believe that we should stop using creams with SPF in winter!!! You don’t need it. Most cosmetic creams have a minimum of SPF15 in them. This is all very well and good during the summer or if you live in California all year around, but here in Ireland… in winter, you don’t need it! Try to get as much as natural vitamin D as you can by making it easy for your skin to absorb it.
Anyway, I leave that with you.

Fresh Air

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER: Walking

When I went back to work part-time during the summer, I started walking in and out as parking in town would cost me a small fortune and it would not be very cost-effective. I soon started feeling the benefits of the walk. Not only was I getting fresh air and much-needed exercise, but it was also time by myself that I would not otherwise have during the rest of the day between work and family. It was time by myself to listen to music, organise my thoughts, listen to a podcast or simply enjoy and appreciate my surroundings and the people I meet every day on my walk. It has been very good for my head.

 See-through umbrella

TIPS TO SURVIVE WINTER: SeeThrough umbrella

Yes, I really just said that, but let me explain. It’s not as random as it sounds. As it rains a lot over here (understatement of the year!!) and I was walking to work, I needed a suitable umbrella that would survive the journey and see-through umbrellas were the obvious choice because you can lower them as much as you can in order to cover all of your head and yet you can see all other pedestrians thus avoiding unnecessary eye removal to strangers. Furthermore (oh yes, their wonders do not cease here) you can also see the sky which, as grey as it may be, is still a far better option than the dark interior of an umbrella. It makes a massive difference!

Trying to find a life balance

Tips to survive winter

I have spent a lot of my winter try to find the right¬† work-life-family-fun-friends balance. As our circumstances as a family change, the balance needs to be constantly adjust. Although¬†I have not yet¬†found the perfect equilibrium, and I can’t say that I will ever have it, I am constantly striving to find it and trying to keep some sort of balance going. This has been one of my priority tasks this winter.
I believe that the simple fact of trying to achieve said balance, has led me to make better decisions over all in terms of making efforts to see friends, organise events with family, have a date night or go to bed early. An ongoing process but a process nevertheless.

So, as you can see, these tips are not hard, they require very little investment, and they are easy to follow. They are all small things. But this very short list of silly little things are responsible for me having one of the best winters in a long time.

I have been in great form, in a very positive state of mind that has brought a lot of peace to my heart and our home.

They often say it is the small things…
They must be right…
I will keep going….

Chaotic Itzi

NEVER SAY NEVER

Never is Never …it’s one of those things that parents say to their kids.

We have all gone through the Absolute Phase. For some people this phase lasts only a couple of years, around the ages of 6 or 7 and then they come out of it only to return to it in their teenage years, when it can last for much longer.

Never say Never @ Organising Chaos Blog

For me, the Absolute Phase lasted a little over a decade.¬†I don’t think I came out of it… I stayed in it right into my teenage years. I don’t know if this means that my adolescence started earlier and it blended with my childhood, or whether I was (yes, was, in the past) a very melodramatic human for a long time.

The thing is that, although we grow out of those teenage dramatic years, we continue making¬†absolute¬†statements. ¬†I would never live there… ¬†I would never do that….

I have made those statements and I have ended up doing exactly the things that I said I wouldn’t do.

I’d never buy my child a gun… My kids can currently arm the whole neighborhood with guns, arrows, light-sabers, crossbows and axes.

I would never live in a housing estate.… We live in a lovely housing estate full of amazing neighbours where my kids get to play soccer, jump walls and climb trees… all the things kids should be able to do and most kids nowadays don’t get to do.

Never say Never - Organising Chaos Blog

I am making a huge effort not to make those statements anymore. Not because I don’t want to go back on them. I have no problem with that. Changing opinion is a sign of growing up, maturing, developing…

I just want to lead by example. I want to be able to teach my kids that there is no point in making those statements because we are always growing and our opinions change.

I want my kids to have an open mind.

Chaotic Itzi

OCB

 

 

 

MENTAL HEALTH : ON COMPLAINING

You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven’t been writing on the blog that often lately.¬†I mentioned¬†that the main radio-silence gap during the Easter period¬†was due to the fact that there were some problems with the kitchen. The problems started small but they kept coming, chipping away at my mental health.

I am usually an understanding person who understands that more than likely, in any given project, there is going to be a hiccup or two along the way. I am usually ready for that. I can cope with that. It is when the people you have deposited your trust and your hard-earned money to do not take responsibility for their mistakes, when they don’t seem to care about solving it and it is left to you to resolve everything, that my blood starts boiling. Lack of professionalism and total disregard for customers is something I can not abide.

Updating the kitchen @ OrganisingchaosBlogSo, what is there to do when this happens? Complain.

Don’t get me wrong. I am ok with complaining. Maybe I should rephrase that as complaining carries so many negative attributes. I am ok with letting the other party know, in a friendly and polite manner, that things haven’t worked out as expected. Constructive feedback. Usually, you get a lovely reaction, an apology and a solution. But sometimes it doesn’t really work out like that.

Sometimes, they just ignore you, they don’t call you back, they apologize but do nothing about it… so the mistakes keep happening and they keep chipping at you, affecting your daily live. That is not acceptable. Usually at this point, one has 2 options: Walk away or Stay with it.

Washing dishes on the bath during work @ OrganisingChaosBlog

Walking away is usually the smart choice.¬†Put it behind you as a bad experience; try to salvage your emotional and mental health; move on; nothing is worth your mental health. Unfortunately, we don’t always have this option. In this very example, I had to keep dealing with the company as I needed my kitchen finished, I had no choice. I had to stay with it.

So what does staying with it do to you? You need to keep chasing, complaining, double checking everything. Stress levels go through the roof and there is a knot in your stomach: a mixture of anger, upset and frustration. That is not a feeling that anyone wants to constantly have for weeks. It is awful. It eats away at you. It is not healthy. It affects your mental health, your emotional balance and your physical health.

We had a terrible experience with our kitchen. I ended up resenting them. Resenting them for turning me into an angry person for a while. For making me cry. For putting my family under unnecessary stress. For not caring. But I am letting go. I am trying. Resent is not something you want to harbor within you either. It is not a good feeling. I am trying to stay positive and move on. Put it all behind. For me. For my family. For my mental health.

Chaotic Itzi

ON DIRT AND INJUSTICE

Last couple of weeks have been tough. As you must know by now, we in the process of changing our kitchen and floors in most of downstairs. Work is going well. Loads done and few bits and pieces to finish but we are almost there.

One thing that is really getting to me is the dust and the dirt. Dirt everywhere! The moment you come into the house your hands feel drier and dusty and you feel the grit under your feet. I have done nothing but cleaning floors and surfaces but I guess that it is going to take a good while before all the dirt is gone and we go back to our “normal levels of dirtiness”, I mean, our usual spotless house…. (yeah right… in my dreams!!!).¬†I think I have been coping well with the work in general and the problems that we have encountered during the process, but the dirt is really getting to me. It really is.

Yesterday morning, I was thinking about all the things that I had to clean and I was feeling so negative about it. I had to stop. A thought came into my head. How lucky am I to be able to change my kitchen and complain about dirt in my house! I have to spend my days cleaning the house because I decided to change the kitchen. Life is tough! Poor me and all that! Ugggh! That sentence made me sick!!!

On dirt and injustice @ OrganisingChaosBlogLast week, Mr B and I watched a documentary the Refugee Crisis in Europe. What those people are going through is just awful! Travelling in appalling conditions, having to walk for miles with their family¬†in the cold, having lost all their house and all of their possessions, to be put in a refugee camp for no one knows how long. There was a mother in a refugee camp in France with 5 children. Her husband had died in Syria.They were living in tents and all their bedding was wet. Her youngest was very sick and the doctors were concerned that it was measles¬†and giving the conditions the family was living under the child was at risk of dying but she couldn’t take the child to the hospital because she had another 4 children that she couldn’t leave on their own and she didn’t trust the French authorities. Can you imagine having to make that decision? I can only imagine how happy that family would have been to have a dirty house to stay in!

I spent the hour crying. How lucky are we? Most of the opportunities that¬†I have got in my life have been there because of an accident of birth, because I was born in a developed country, after a civil war, of a loving family. But what if I had been born in Malawi? I could have died of starvation a long time ago. ¬†Or in Rwanda? I could have been raped and hacked as a child. It’s pure luck and it is something very important to remember.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I feel guilty for changing my kitchen. It’s not about guilt.¬†It’s about having perspective. About remembering that despite all the dust, the dirt and the grit, I am ridiculously lucky to have what we have.¬†I find it essential. It grounds me.On dirt and injustice @ OrganisingChaosBlogThere are plenty of things anyone can do to help fight inequality and injustice in the world. You could sponsor a child or a family, donate to charities, ¬†pester your local politicians to make sure that your country is doing as much as they can, host events… All this takes makes a big difference and takes a little time.

You know what doesn’t help? Complaining about dirt!

Chaotic ItziOrganisingchaosBlog

 

POSITIVE THINKING – Enjoying the little things

Do years always go this fast? Is it just me?

February came and went in a blink but I guess that it is good thing, right? Yes I have been busy, yes, I have been packing my kitchen & dinning room for the last week (which although exciting, it’s not the most fun) but I have also had quality time with friends and family. Over all it has been a pretty good month, very positive, full of little moments to enjoy.
Positive Thinking February @ Organising Chaos BlogPositive Thinking February @ Organising Chaos BlogThe beginning of the month we had loads of cuddles, slow mornings and kid’s birthday parties, quickly followed up by Valentine’s celebrations organised by the monkeys.
Positive Thinking February @ Organising Chaos BlogPositive Thinking February @ Organising Chaos BlogPositive Thinking February @ Organising Chaos Blog
I also enjoyed a gorgeous weekend long-date with my Chaotic Monkey, with plenty of friends, treats and quality time.Positive Thinking February @ Organising Chaos BlogPositive Thinking February @ Organising Chaos BlogPositive Thinking February @ Organising Chaos BlogThe end of the month has been a bit more challenging. Packing the kitchen, house full of boxes, mess everywhere and still trying allowing the kids to be kids and to build tents to play under… ¬†but it is good to stop, take a breath, take a photo and enjoy the little things in the everyday chaos.

Chaotic ItziOrganisingchaosBlog

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POSITIVE THINKING: Enjoying the Little Things #ChaoticallyPositive

The last month has been a bit crazy busy

In¬†the middle of¬†December, I moved every bed in the house and about 85% of the rest of furniture. It was intense. I am nearly finished tidying up all the rooms but it has taken the best of a month and a lot of back pain. The chaos, the constant mess, the darkness and the bad weather was not¬†a great combination for my head but I knew that I wouldn’t get done before the Christmas holidays and that I wouldn’t be able to do anything from Spain, so I made a decision to do little bits every day without getting bug down on finishing the rooms. That was a great step towards keeping my sanity.

This decision also helped me focus on the little things.Focusing on the little things - OrganisingChaosBlog.com1. I managed to make some presents for the teachers in the boy’s school 2. We had a lovely morning going to visit Santa and hanging out with Rudolph 3. The boys got dressed up to go to see Star Wars: the Force Awakens, the first time 4. Big Monkey made a Christmas card that sums up our Christmas 2015 – equal¬†amounts of excitement for Star Wars and Santa – perfect!

Focusing on the little things - OrganisingChaosBlog.comChristmas - Spain 2015Hanging out with family in Spain was soooooo lovely!!! 1. Travelling to Spain had many hiccups and took much longer than we planned but the boys were so good and patient. Real heroes. 2&3 . Christmas Day was fabulous. It was sunny, it was warm, there was 40 of us. Loads of chats, loads of hugs, loads of food. So good for the soul. 4. Chaotic Monkey and I went to a soccer match with my sister. He loved it.

Focusing on the little things - OrganisingChaosBlog.comAnd this is my new BFF,¬†¬†one of my presents this Christmas. It makes everything better….

Have a  fab day
Chaotic Itzi

HAPPY LUNCH NOTES

The boys are tired. We all are really.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThe weather has really turned from cold to just pure evil in the last couple of weeks. We’ve been having storms, strong winds, rain, rain, more rain and when you thought you couldn’t see any more water… yes, you guessed right, more rain! The skies are grey and the forecast is not looking good. Between the weather, the extra-curricular activities and the darkness, we are all exhausted and very much looking forward to the break at Christmas. And did I mention we are going to Spain for Christmas? I am so excited!!!

In order to make things a bit fun for the kids until we get the holidays, I made some notes to go in their lunch boxes and cheer them up at lunch time with random notes from their mum.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThey were very easy to make and they can be as goofy or as deep as you want, whatever you think will put a smile in your kid’s face. I used colored paper, punchers,¬†reward-chart stickers and markers. Some cutting, some sticking, some drawing. That is all.
happy lunch notes - how tohappy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThe boys are loving them. They are coming home with big smiles and are then looking forward to seeing what they’ll get the following day. I have been instructed by Big Monkey not to give him cards that say I love you, although he does love me. I guess I’d better get used to get to that, it is the age. As long as I keep getting big cuddles and kisses at home, I’ll play cool mum outside.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogSometimes I even put a little note in my lunch at home to cheer me up.¬†It really is the little things…

Chaotic Itzi

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