Mental Health lessons learned in lockdown.

Lockdown has presented us with many challenges, but it has also brought opportunities to assess what’s really important to our lives and our wellbeing. As we broke free from our routines and moved at a slower pace, there have been mental health lessons to learned from lockdown living.

Here, are some tips to explore as things gradually return to normal.

1. Sitting with your feelings can be healthy and productive

It’s not always easy, but when we take the time to slow down and tune in, we are able to fully explore the root of our emotions, which can allow us to get to the core of our wellbeing needs.

2. Prioritising self-care is a vital part of good mental health

Self-care comes in many forms. But whatever works for you, ensuring that you make time for self-care means that you’re prioritising good mental health.

3. Exercise is what you make of it, and it comes in many different forms

It can be easy to get in a trap of thinking that exercise and fitness has a specific look. But, as gyms shut down across the country, we’ve found new ways to exercise and discovered what feels right for us.

4. There’s solace to be found in getting back to nature

As access to the outdoor world was taken away, many of us have a new-found appreciation for time spent in nature, whether that be in our daily walks or in our gardens. Getting out can be incredibly soothing, and spending time outdoors is at the top of many post-lockdown bucket lists.

5. Healthy boundaries mean that we’re able to priorities the things that make us happy

It can be a challenge, but when we take the time to set boundaries between our work and home lives, as well the things we’re able to do for others, we could make a start on the process of prioritising the things that make us happy and which are fulfilling for us.

Let me know what you think. What have you learned from lockdown about you and your mental health? Have the pandemic restrictions made you make lasting changes?

Namaste. S x

Is CBD for you?

Have you tried CBD but found it wasn’t really working for you…?

Here’s 5 reasons why that may of happened…

1. Your CBD product isn’t from a reputable source

💚 It could be this simple, where did you buy your CBD oil? 💚

It seems like CBD is popping up everywhere — from online companies to over-the-counter shops. You might have even tried a free sample to see if it works without investing anything more than the cost of shipping!

Unfortunately, some of these products don’t contain high-quality CBD. Although things are changing the market isn’t currently regulated and some scammers take full advantage of that fact by selling low-quality products that aren’t as potent as they claim to be.

Some have even been found to contain no CBD at all!

So the next time you’re looking to invest in a new CBD product, use these three tips to make sure the product lives up to its promises:

🌱 Are third-party lab tests available? Lab testing can reveal exactly how much CBD is in the product, and the test results should be available for you to see for yourself.

🌱 Read consumer reviews. Websites like Leafly and CBD Oil Users provide reviews on brand effectiveness, delivery time, and customer service.

🌱 Pick from a list of well-established brands. Read lists of favorite CBD products and you’ll see some of the same companies pop up over and over again. Popular brands such as Charlotte’s Web, Lazarus Naturals, and CBDistillery have firmly established themselves as quality sources. By picking a brand from a list like this one, you won’t have to worry about the guesswork of figuring out if the brand you’re buying is trustworthy.

Many CBD users (including me, if you’ve been with me on my journey you’ll know this!) have reported trying several different brands before settling on one that works for them, so keep searching if your first try doesn’t produce the results you’re looking for.

2. You need to build it up in your system

🌱 Finding the right dosage of CBD can be tricky. The appropriate amount varies for each individual, as every person has a unique biology that results in a different reaction. 🌱

So how do you figure out what’s right for you?

Experts recommend starting with a low dose — 20 to 40 milligrams (mg) daily, according to Healthline’s Medical Network (HMN) — and slowly increasing dosage over time until you find your “sweet spot.”

Some folks find that taking a daily dose can help sustain a level of CBD in your body, which might stimulate your endocannabinoid system to make it react more to cannabinoids like CBD.

You may find it helpful to use a journal to log your results. Keep track of how much you’ve taken, how you feel before dosing and at several time intervals afterward, and any changes in symptoms that you notice.

Over time, this info can help paint a picture of how CBD affects you.

3. You need to give it more time

🌱 The first time I tried CBD, I wondered if I’d wasted my money on some overhyped trend. I put some drops of an oil tincture under my tongue, expected near-instant relief from my chronic pain, and got… nothing. 🌱

My experience isn’t at all unusual, because immediate results aren’t all that common. In fact, many people take CBD for several weeks or even several months before they see a difference.

Exploring the effects of CBD isn’t as simple as taking a couple of paracetamol and calling it a day. It actually requires a certain level of commitment to put time and thought into your process of uncovering the long-term effects.

If you’re still not seeing results after a while (think a few months), then it may be time to move on and try a different brand. Your CBD journal can help you keep track of how long it’s been and whether or not you’ve experienced any changes.

Patience is key, and while it can be frustrating to keep trying with no results, you may end up feeling super grateful that you didn’t give up.

4. You need a different delivery system

🌱 It seems like I’m hearing about a new CBD product just about every week. You can find everything from CBD coffee to bath salts and lube. 🌱

Common forms of CBD

💚 tinctures

💚 topical creams

💚 vape oils

💚 capsules or suppositories

💚 edible treats like gummies and chocolate

So if you’ve been trying one delivery system with no luck, it’s possible that a different form would work better for you.

One factor to consider is bioavailability, which essentially refers to how much of the CBD actually gets into your bloodstream.

For example, if you eat CBD gummies, they have to go through your digestive tract before you can absorb them, and the amount that ends up in your system may be relatively low.

On the other hand, if you take a tincture sublingually — which means under the tongue — you’re absorbing it directly into your bloodstream. So you could get quicker, more noticeable results than you would from waiting for your digestive system to process it.

In addition, your most effective method may vary depending on what type of relief you’re looking for.

For example, a topical balm won’t help you with your panic attacks. But it can offer potential relief for, say, sore muscles, if you zero in on that particular area.

5. It’s just not for you

🌱 CBD may be popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s a miracle drug that will work for everyone. After all of your efforts, it’s possible that you’ll find that CBD simply doesn’t work for you. 🌱

Your level of absorption and reaction to CBD depends on a variety of factors including your metabolism, biochemistry and genetics.

Your endocannabinoid system is the system in your body that interacts with the active compounds in cannabis, and each person’s operates a little differently.

And if you have persistent friends, don’t be afraid to tell them to stop bugging you about giving CBD a try. After all, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment!

Getting CBD to work takes time, patience, and research.

CBD isn’t as well-researched or regulated as many other treatment options like prescription medications, and people within the industry are still trying to narrow down the best practices for taking it.

But one thing’s for sure: It’s not as simple as taking some standard dosage and seeing immediate results. It takes time, patience, and ongoing research to find the right brand, dosage, and delivery method for you.

Which means the process can also get pricey — as you might have to buy products from several different companies over the course of several months before you find what works.

So before you give up on CBD altogether, use the above reasons as a check list to figure out why CBD isn’t working for you.

S x

DISCLAIMER: CBD is neither a medicine nor a cure for any illness and by no means do we make any medical claims. CBD can help to maintain and support your health and healthy lifestyle.

P.S. I run a friendly Facebook Group where we discuss these matters & more, here’s a link. I’d love you to join us. S x

Covid-19 Life ………

So we’re nearly 13 weeks down. I know “we’re not stuck at home, we’re safe at home” but how big the knock on affects be?

This week I had my 2nd zoom call appointment with my Pain Clinic Physio. The storm was raging outside & my pain scores were almost unbearable. And this ol’ bird cried her way through the whole 30 minute call. Don’t think Physio Paul quite knew how to deal with me! Oops! I’m currently waiting for my regular pain killing steroid injections but the clinic has suspended treatments for now.

With our Pain Clinic only doing telephone or zoom calls whilst Covid-19 levels locally are too high, I wonder how many other Clinics are frozen currently too! Once this is all over, the ‘Post-Mortem’ I fear, may reveal some horror stories!

City Hospital, Birmingham
Eerily empty main corridor!

My thoughts are the huge waiting lists for elective surgeries, imagine being in pain with crumbling hips needing replacements or with a child needing corrective foot surgery which could have life long effects. But my biggest concern is the suspension of Cancer services, diagnoses, support & treatments.

I’m in no way aiming to be a negative Nelly, I know many lives have been saved & we’ll be forever indebted. Our magnificent NHS is the best in the world and it has coped incredibly well with the pandemic.

But have we been lead correctly? Time will tell heh?

Let’s hope we’re nearing normalcy. Love & light.

Namaste. S x

Finding your Passion! (& your sweet spot)

As you’ve probably guessed CBD is not just my way of living a relatively ‘normal’ existence but it’s also my passion. I read just about everything, the good, the bad & the just plain daft!

But where to start if you’re thinking of using CBD oils for the 1st time? What’s the dosage? (Hint – It’s not like your traditional medicine because it’s a supplement).

There is no universally recommended dosage for CBD oils. So, it will be trial and error. You will have to learn about the effects on your own body. This relies much on your body weight, metabolism, and the concentration of CBD that you have purchased. Your unique body chemistry, your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) will control how you respond to CBD. Some people respond quickly and very positively, and others take a little while.

In general, when it comes to the dosage, you should start low and go slowly. This means to have a minimum amount of the CBD that you’ve chosen per day, and if you don’t notice a difference in your condition, increase the dosage. CBD is safe even at a higher dosage. After all, many people take CBD in a high dose to alleviate issues in chronic pain. 

If you start low and go slow, you are more likely to notice any changes, no matter how small within your body, because you will be looking for them. Everyone’s dosage and tolerance will be completely unique, doing it this way will allow you to get acquainted with yours. Once you notice changes within your body related to the issues you are addressing this is the time to experiment. After 2/3 days, does a slight increase help assist more? Adjust until you feel the effects are right for you. This is known as your ‘Sweet Spot’.

The World Health Organization says there is no evidence of abuse potential harm associated with the use of CBD. And for any CBD user, or for anyone considering it’s use, will be welcome news.

I hope that helps, you can’t really go wrong (apart from buying the wrong CBD oil, of which unfortunately there are many out there! – another blog post 💡)

CBD is neither a medicine nor a cure for any illness and by no means do we make any medical claims. CBD can help to maintain and support your health and healthy lifestyle.

CBD for Sleep

A subject so close to my heart so I investigated more……..

Sleep loss can seem hard to shake, with so many people growing accustomed to it as an uncomfortable feature of life. There are many causes of sleep loss, one of the primary causes is taking work home or more recently working from home, which may hinder your ability to unwind. While you may not be in a position to totally change your lifestyle, research shows that you can alter your response to different situations, which may restore the sleep-cycle.

One solution that has been met with an explosion of interest in recent years is to take cannabidiol (CBD) oil. CBD oil is produced from the Cannabis sativa, the Hemp plant. It is important to understand that this CBD oil does not contain the psychoactive compounds that are found in marijuana, but it contains a lot of the health benefits. One of the primary benefits of taking CBD oil appears to be the alleviation of anxiety, and it is this benefit that is thought to underpin its sleep-inducing effects.

According to Dr Deborah Lee, of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, CBD targets 5-HT receptors. “These are serotonin receptors which, for example, exert control on the sleep-wake cycle, and other parameters such as control of body temperature, and food intake,” explains Dr Lee.

CBD reduces plasma cortisol – one of the stress hormones – and also has a sedative action, she said.

In one 2019 study in the journal ‘Permanente’, 72 psychiatric patients with anxiety and sleep problems, took 25mg CBD oil. After a one month period, 79 percent of patients had reduced anxiety, and 67 percent had improved sleep scores. What makes CBD oil a potential game-changer is its ability to alleviate anxiety and sleep loss without the side effects common in prescribed drugs that disrupt the sleep-cycle, said Dr Lee. “For example, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) lead to lower levels of restorative sleep, increased periods of wakefulness and reduced REM sleep,” she explained. REM is a stage of sleep whereby the brain’s activity is similar to that of being awake. Benzodiazepines also disturb sleep, noted Dr LEE. “They increase non-REM stage two sleep and reduce the percentage of slow-wave sleep (deep sleep,” she said. However, this does not seem to be the case for CBD.

In another recent study, published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, the authors studied polysomnography readings (a test used to diagnose sleep disorders) and concluded there was no change in the sleep cycle in two groups of healthy volunteers, who took either CBD 300 mg or a placebo.

DISCLAIMER: CBD is neither a medicine nor a cure for any illness and by no means do we make any medical claims. CBD can help to maintain and support your health and healthy lifestyle.

If CBD is of interest to you, I do have a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group You’re all most welcome to join our ‘madness’.

Love & Light

Namaste S x

Wobble! Angry at the World!

Thought I’d just check in. Trying to hold it together I have to admit. As lockdown eases here in the UK, my anxiety is rising, anyone else feeling this?

We need this lockdown over for sure, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the thought of having to do it all again if the measures are lifted too soon that is messing with my head.

Please everyone, do as Prof Van Tam says “Don’t rip the pants” out of these latest changes & we’ll get through this.

My wobbly will pass if we can just do what we’re supposed to. Doing a “Cummings” is not funny, clever or should ever be an excuse – Be better, do better and be honest.

Love & Light

Namaste S x

Oh How I Love A Good Fibro Flare – NOT!

I’ve not been around for a few days as I’ve been dealing with a ‘lovely’ flare!

I did a ‘thing’, you know ‘something’! Yes I spent an hour with my mom for her birthday and enjoyed myself but this syndrome, as any fellow fibro warrior will know, does not differentiate between enjoyable time and a boxing match!

How I’ve tried to manage my symptoms since diagnosis (not my picture so excuse spelling mistakes!)

So it’s been back to resting and a Netflix marathon for me! Not all bad heh! Aches & pains yes, brain fog yes, semi-reliance on others for sure, but got to love a good Netflix series! This time I’m wading through Schitts Creek. Funny, heartwarming, cringeworthy & well worth a watch IMO!

I’ve also, of course, stepped up my CBD intake to aid my recovery from this flare. Using a tincture daily is a regular thing for me, together with a vape for any anxiety attacks through the day and now with a topical CBD cream for my aching muscles and joints I feel my recovery has been easier than in previous flares.

So a huge shout out goes to my CBD cream The Infinity Salve by Infinity CBD.

Obviously I do need state the following –

DISCLAIMER: CBD is neither a medicine nor a cure for any illness and by no means do we make any medical claims. CBD can help to maintain and support your health and healthy lifestyle.

Ok, it’s time for me to log on for my Online seated yoga/exercise session with the local council fitness trainers (that’s a WHOLE other blog, believe me!)

Love and light

Namaste. S x

Understanding CBD: The calming and sleep promoting benefits of cannabidiol

Understanding CBD and Sleep.

This is a topic I am asked about all the time, and have been for years: how does cannabis help sleep and health? I’ve heard that the number-two reason why people smoke or use cannabis is for sleep.

The cannabis plant is filled with hundreds of different compounds, several of which have been studied for a few years for their therapeutic benefits. The cannabis compounds that have captured the most scientific interest are known as cannabinoids. Cannabidiol—or CBD—is a cannabinoid that’s available in supplement form, and has a number of possible uses, including help with stress and anxiety, pain, and sleep problems.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound that’s found in the cannabis plant. There are multiple species of cannabis that naturally contain CBD.


Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries, as a sleep aid, a pain and nausea reducer, to relieve anxiety and other mood problems. In the mid-1960s, scientists identified the first cannabinoid. Since then, scientists have gone on to identify more than 114 individual cannabinoids and continue to investigate them for their potential symptom-relieving and disease-fighting abilities.

They each have distinctly different effects within the body, and different potential uses for health and disease. Two of the cannabinoids that are most widely recognized for their medicinal value are THC and CBD. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a chemical compound that delivers the “high” that occurs from ingesting marijuana.

Cannabis Leaf showing just 2 of the known cannabinoids of the plant,

CBD, on the other hand, has no “high” associated with it. Instead, this compound has potential calming, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic effects. In fact, CBD may be sometimes used in combination with THC to counteract THC’s mind-altering effects.

CBD has captured a great deal of scientific attention for its health benefits. Along with THC, CBD is the most well researched of the cannabinoids.

CBD is produced in pill form, as well as in sprays, tinctures, and inhalers.

How does CBD work?

Scientists have made a lot of progress in understanding how CBD appears to produce it’s calming, pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory effects in the body—and there’s still more to learn. We know that CBD interacts with many different receptors, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain. These interactions create changes in the activity of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other cells throughout the brain and body. Through these interactions, CBD appears to be able to affect many of the body’s functions, from sleep-wake cycles and emotional regulation to inflammation, pain perception, and seizures.

Our bodies actually produce their own cannabinoids, as part of what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. This system is involved in regulating many physiological processes, including mood, pain perception, appetite, and cognitive functions. CBD interacts in part with the body’s endocannabinoid system and it’s receptors.

Benefits of CBD

Scientists are devoting a great deal of attention to CBD these days, and we’re continually learning more about the broad spectrum of benefits it may offer to health.

With scientific evidence pointing to CBD being able to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality, CBD may increase overall sleep amounts, and improve insomnia. CBD has also been shown to reduce insomnia in people who suffer from chronic pain in scientific research.

In smaller doses, CBD appears to stimulate alertness and reduce daytime sleepiness, which is important for daytime performance and for the strength and consistency of the sleep-wake cycle.

Researchers believe CBD may help reduce REM behavior disorder in people. REM behavior disorder is a condition that causes people to act out physically during dreaming and REM sleep. Typically, during REM, the body is largely paralyzed, a state known as REM atonia. This immobilization keeps sleepers from reacting physically to their dreams. In REM behavior disorder, this paralysis doesn’t occur, leaving people free to move—which can lead to disruptive sleep and to injuring themselves or their sleeping partners. Cannabis may also work to reduce pain and improve sleep quality in people.

And So….

Rich in CBD, cannabis has been used for centuries to fight illness, improve sleep, and lower anxiety. Today, our understanding of the potential benefits of CBD is growing by leaps and bounds—more and more, CBD is seen as a powerful ‘aid’ to health. Thanks to decades of scientific investigation, it’s now possible to obtain CBD in a food supplement form.

Personally, I wouldn’t function without my CBD Tincture. Morning & night I pop drops under my tongue for restful sleep (nights) & a calmer brain (days). I swear by it & have done for over 5 years, along with CBD Vape Juice during the day. Additional meds zombied me out, whereas CBD didn’t. I take enough big pharma meds, I want natural!

Cannabis – Nature’s answer to big pharma?
From me it’s a big YES!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or the MHRA.

*This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

*Information on this site is not meant to replace medical advice given by your Doctor

Love & Light


S x

More on How CBD Helped My Anxiety, Could It Help Yours?

CBD For Topical Use & Self Care

I recently wrote about how CBT helping my anxiety, how I identified with the unwelcome symptoms of a pounding heart, sweaty palms, racing thoughts. For those of us living with an anxiety disorder, these unwelcome symptoms can make everyday life feel really crappy 💩.

With the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures saying 1 in 13 people around the world live with an anxiety disorder, it is now the most common mental health disorder worldwide.

CBD for Self Care

Besides from ingesting CBD there are other ways to incorporate it into your healthy lifestyle. Here are just a few ideas

Balms/Creams/Salves – If your anxiety triggers aches, then perhaps a cream to apply could help. These will often come infused with essential oils and in varying strengths of CBD for you to try, in a base oil of perhaps coconut oil.

Massage/Sports Oils – If exercise is your way of handling anxiety then these products may be if interest. Pre or Post workout application some of them even come as a spray. Many Elite or Former Elite Athletes have their own CBD range too. CBD levels will vary according to Brand.

Bath Bombs/Bath Dusts/Bath Salts – Relaxation in the bath taken to CBD level! Often highly decorative, containing sea salts, lavender, or in some a Crystal, these contain a measured amount of CBD per item.

Cosmetics (Lip Balms, Face Masks, Soaps, Shampoos & Conditioner) – Self Care is vital and these products are being introduced to the market almost daily. Hair & Skincare with added CBD is on trend, with many ‘A’ Listers among it’s fans.

If you’re interested in knowing more, pop me a comment below.

Love & Light


S x

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or the MHRA.

*This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

*Information on this site is not meant to replace medical advice given by your Doctor

Indulge Me!

#stress #isolation #covid19 #coronavirus #unwind #poetry #literature #deborahalma #emergencypoet

Today I thought I’d share a technique I’ve been using, during these really nightmare-ish times of being in isolation from many of our loved ones, to keep my stress levels under control.

And it’s totally natural, no drugs (unusual for me!!!), Life as Nature Intended!

The Emergency Poet – Deborah Alma
with her Ambulance

Yes, Poetry! I know, I know, it’s not everyone’s cuppa but as a student of English Language and Literature I attended Birmingham’s Literature Festival a couple of years ago & was hooked!

Don’t knock it till you’ve tried, it as the saying goes! It’s not all stuffy and wordy! Birthday card verses – poetry! Song lyrics – poetic language (rhyme)! Even Rap music – poetic language (rhyme)!

Deborah Alma is the Emergency Poet, she travels in her 1970’s ambulance to schools, libraries and festivals to offer consultations and poetic remedies to comfort those in need of a pick-me-up for the soul.

I’ve chosen to share a poem today from her 2015 anthology ‘An Anti-Stress Poetry Anthology’ called ‘Leisure’ by W.H. Davies.

Why? Well, in England we can currently go out for a walk during this lockdown and these words just jumped at me.

What is life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

This poem really opened my eyes to how much of life I’ve either been missing or taking for granted. Since reading this, my ‘prescription’ poem, as I’ve taken so much more notice of trees, leaves, the clouds (& we’re blessed with many!) & so much more nature around me. It’s been so calming, I feel much more relaxed after sitting in my garden just listening to birdsong.

Deborah Alma now also has a Poetry Pharmacy
A beautiful base for poetry & a natter!

Hope I’ve suggested a Natural Alternative to relieving stress in these times. It’s not a magic wand but it’s certainly different and, I suggest a healthy alternative.

Love & light

Namaste S x