HOW DO YOU COPE WITH HIGH STRESS SITUATIONS?

As much as we all try to avoid high stress situations, inevitably life will occasionally throw some our way; whether to make or break us.  On Sunday, I had what I can only describe as a “prank day” due to the amount of unfortunate events that took place!

This got me thinking about how I handle high stress situations and also what coping strategies, I have picked up, as well as passed down to my daughter.

Firstly, I’ll just provide you with an insight of all the unfortunate events of the day….

  1. After a lovely Father’s Day breakfast on the beach, we returned home to no water.  After 3/4 of us washing off the sand, the water decided to stop flowing in all taps. At first, we figured it was a neighborhood thing but soon discovered this wasn’t the case!

A plumber was called out, who confirmed that the issue was a ‘government’ problem, as there was no flow of water from the main pump/motor. We attempted to call our local government agency who deals with this, known as the “Municipality’ but they referred us to a energy company known as FEWA. I suppose FEWA will be the UK equivalent of Thames Water. Now unfortunately, customer service via telephone isn’t very efficient here so my husband decided to take a drive to the FEWA office. Now due to COVID-19, the office was closed and refused to speak to anyone; it was explained this was an emergency as we have children and I’m pregnant, with no running water. They said we had to email a general customer service address and await a reponse. Let’s just say we received a response to our emergency call/email at 9pm! Luckily, my husband had managed to fix it before this!

2) Having children is wonderful but they can be so very DESTRUCTIVE! My laptop charger broke and therefore I was unable to charge my laptop. On top of the water situation, it was the last thing I needed, as meant I wouldn’t be able to do my online teaching! My husband again had to dash to the computer store to get one part of the charger, when he returned we hoped it would work BUT DIDN’T! We later realised it was a fuse issue, so again he had to go and hunt for a very rare type of fuse.

3) To try and remind ourselves that it was still Father’s Day and not the day from hell, I cooked a lovely meal. Unfortunately, in the middle of cooking oh and attempting to bake a Banana cake, our gas cylinder ran out.

My cake didn’t survive! Ahah!

4) Although not major, as it still works; I managed to completely mash the back of my year old iPhone.

I mean in hindsight, all of the above are superficial and can be fixed but when in the situation, it is somewhat overwhelming.

I am no psychologist but one thing I do to help with situations like this, is to hang on to any form of positivity I’ve had that day. We actually had a really lovely morning, with the Father’s Day breakfast on the beach and I just kept reminiscing of that morning.

Another thing, we have learnt to do in our household is LAUGH! My husband makes it his duty to ensure that when I’m stressed, I crack at least a little smile or laugh.

With this third pregnancy, I have decided to explore the natural method of ‘Hypnobirthing’ and I’m hoping that some of the methods such as breathing and meditation, I’ll be able to apply beyond labour.

A final way, I often deal with high stress is to accept that it’s not going well but remember it won’t last forever; music also really helps to calm me and especially gospel music.

What are your strategies for dealing with high stress situations?

My 2019 blog…

Firstly,

CONGRATULATIONS!! You made it! Final year of the decade…wowza!

I’ll try and keep this one to under 5 minutes reading time, as I know everyone is busy. I am currently laying in my hotel bed in Dublin writing this post; in all honesty, I wasn’t going to but I have had several prompts.

I made a conscious decision this year to get more active with my blogs and use it as a platform to generate a range of discussions, help others and hopefully inspire somehow. My lack of consistency has been evident but I’m so blessed and thankful, to know that there are many of you (I’ve been told) who actively read, enjoy and feel inspired by my blogs. Thank you!!

The thought of giving it all up has crossed my mind a few times but I know that negative thinking and a lack of self confidence is my enemy of progress!

Truthfully, I’ve had a lot of amazing things happen this year; promotion at work, birth of my son, my daughter’s birthday, attended some great events, met some amazing people…amongst many others. Yet despite this, I have spent a lot of this year comparing myself and my life to others; holding on to guilt, hoping to re-establish unfruitful relationships, craving attention from those who just don’t deserve it etc.

Sorry to my husband, children, family, friends and followers as I haven’t been wholesome with you this decade. I’ve allowed my negative mindset to overshadow so many amazing things this year; I’ve been ungrateful; unfruitful.

I’ve always believed that the start to change begins with your mindset. So this decade, I endeavour to focus more on what I do have!

LOVE MORE, LIVE MORE AND GROW!

I won’t write out a list of resolutions but will promise to always remember my journey; remember that I’m special, blessed, loved and in a position to help others!

I endeavour to continue, to strive, to inspire and once again thank you ALL (those who love and hate it) for following me this year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  See you in the next decade you beautiful soul!

Much love!

K Vinnice x

A juggling act!

Hey lovelies,

Hope you’ve all had a good week. To sum up my last few weeks…I have felt like I’m in a circus act! Going back to full time teaching with two children has been a whole new phenomenon for me.

Did I stick to my routines these last few weeks! Hell NO! Most the time, I feel absolutely exhausted and have no energy to cook, clean but just enough to play. Having spoken to my friend who also is a teacher and has a baby, it is a shared state of existence!

As you can see from the last blog post date I have been swamped! Sometimes I think about giving it up (blogging) but now and then I receive a lovely message from a reader commenting on one of my experiences. It makes it all worthwhile!

Can I just be honest for a moment and say that I am struggling to practice what I preach though. What I mean by that is, I’ve neglected my own self care!

It can be so hard when you’re exhausted and just ridiculously busy to “factor in” me time. The error that I’ve made with this approach is that ‘me time’ should be as natural as brushing my teeth or having dinner.

Why is it that we view looking after ourselves as a chore or additional task?

I would never neglect my children or husband so why should it be acceptable for me to neglect myself?!

It is not a necessity to always do elaborate things and sometimes self care can be as simple as making a cup of tea and leaving the dishes until later! It’s something that I really have to adjust my mindset to.

Truly what use am I as a mother, wife, friend or teacher…if I don’t care for me!

I would love to start some kind of self care community; like-minded people who want to make each other accountable for their own wellbeing.

Not sure if that’s something you’d be interested in but if you are then please reach out to me! I really would love to hear from you!! 🧡

Kym x

Why I really left London…

Hey again!

I feel like I’ve neglected my writing since we started our family YouTube channel. If you haven’t yet please do head over to The Travelling Roses and check out some of our recent vlogs. We are still in the beginning stages and would appreciate as much feedback as possible.

Many of you will be aware that I made the massive decision two years ago (almost to the day) to up and leave; I left behind my comfort, my familiarity, my job, my home, my car, my friends, my family and my now husband! It wasn’t an easy decision to make and there were many factors that influenced my decision.

I have always been one for adventure and travelling, I blame my parents as they grew us up on ample family holidays and trips! I, in fact use to spend my whole summer holidays in Jamaica…I guess you could say I caught the travelling bug from a young age. This yearning for adventure and in some sense escape, continued throughout the years; I went to college outside of my borough and university outside of my city. Therefore, I suppose the next logical step was to venture outside of my country and that is exactly what I did!

I could write on here about wanting to teach abroad to inspire young people internationally and yes although that is true that is only the partial reason why I left. London has always been my home, having been raised and lived in London for over 20 years (I was actually born in Kent). But London, also created a lot of wounds and scars…There were things that I had experienced, lived, witnessed in London that if I’m honest haunted me! One of my biggest living nightmares was MONEY…well actually DEBT!


When I first started university in 2009 and moved to Bristol, never did I imagine or truly process, that I would be leaving three years later with over £10k debt over my head! On top of that, I had not banked on having a child either and being a single mum. I really struggled to make ends meet in Bristol, as I had to move into private housing and was obviously still on a student wage. I did seek to find part time work and ended up doing a stint in Greggs bakery whilst 7 months pregnant! Perhaps that is why my daughter loves Greggs so much…HAHA! Trying to juggle rent, bills, nursery fees, transport whilst being a student was TOUGH! I was receiving some support from the state but due to me being a full time student it was limited. Things didn’t really get any easier for me there; I ended up falling behind on rent and was threatened by the estate agents to be evicted. I actually recall a time when I was pregnant and travelled back from London to Bristol, I had I think £5 to my name and was in desperate need of ’emergency cash.’ I ended up going to a location in the centre of Bristol where they distributed £50 emergency state cash for those vulnerable people in need. Fast forward…by the Grace of God and with the help from my family, I managed to complete university and myself and daughter did not get evicted from my house! Love then brought me back to London…

Moving back to London from Bristol was going to be my fresh start! I decided to move to Bromley, as I wanted the better schooling options for Arianna. I was very blessed in being able to acquire a really lovely two floor flat, in a very nice area for a reasonable price too! For those of you who have private rented in London, you will understand how ridiculously EXPENSIVE it is! I was advised upon moving back to London, that I would be able to get myself on the housing list, as I had managed to do so in Bristol. That information was FALSE! Bromley council refused to house me, as I was in suitable accommodation (2 bedroom) despite NOT being able to afford it! At the time of moving back to London, I was working as an office runner for a Film Production company and I recall I was on a minuscule wage bringing home under £800 a month. God graced me and I changed employment and began working as a Teaching Assistant. Although not great, my wage was better but I was still struggling to make ends meet. Long story short, this cycle of debt was continuous for about 2 years. In that space of time, I had again fallen behind on rent and therefore had to set up a repayment plan with my landlord.

Repaying debts whilst still paying bills, rent etc meant NO SOCIAL LIFE… in fact NO LIFE! I found myself really struggling to LIVE! I would go to work, pay my bills and never have enough out of my own pocket for days out with Arianna, regular nights out with the girlies, to save and definitely no disposable income for the travelling bug I had inherited. What I was able to do, was really at the expense of others! This was not how I wanted to live my life.

The final straw, was having to sleep on a very uncomfortable mattress (with the springs digging into my skin) on my daughter’s bedroom floor, whilst a complete stranger rented out my bedroom for a low cost amount. I really could write a book about my life…

I had to make a decision…did I want to continue living in debt, stress, anxiety and living to pay things off.  Or did I want to give my daughter and myself, a life truly worth living. The latter was my preferred option and one I leaped at when the opportunity was presented!

Was it easy?

Hell no.

Was it worth it?

Definitely yes!


I am now in a position where I have paid off 80% of my debt whilst still being able to enjoy the finer things in life! If like me, you are really struggling with debt there are a wealth of organisations and charities in London that can provide support! Please do speak out and seek help (something I struggled to do) as no-one should suffer in silence. My anxiety at one point was so bad that I hated watching the program “Don’t pay we’ll take it away” with the fear that I may end up being featured on there! BUT, you can get out of it!

Here are some of my top tips:

  1. Do an income and expenditure spreadsheet – this will help you identify your cash flow.
  2. Think about things you could cut back on.
  3. Set up realistic payment plans with companies and debt collectors.
  4. Shop around for groceries and clothes.
  5. Use the cash for clothes outlets or similar.
  6. Charitiy shops are great!
  7. Plan your meals for the week.
  8. Join Facebook groups like Mummy’s Gin Fund – for days out recommendations.
  9. Take advantage of parks and free spaces.
  10. Reach out to organisations and charities for expert advice. – See here.
  11. Speak to your family and friends.
  12. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SAY NO! – You don’t have to attend everything!

I hope that somehow this post will help someone who is going through what I experienced. If there are any tips that you could also share then please feel free to comment on this post or to message me on Instagram and I can share them publicly.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Kym x

 

I feel like S***!!!

Did you know that maternal anxiety is nearly as prevalent as maternal depression?

Here I am at the age of 20, two months after giving birth to my daughter. Behind the smile, I was lonely, sad, anxious, frustrated and feeling low. BUT I never realised until now that these were all signs of maternal depression and anxiety.

I was determined as a young single mum to cope at all costs and never show weakness, as society’s stigma was already evident for me! This was at a big cost, as I masked my feelings and suffered in silence. There were nights I would regret ever having my daughter, times I considered myself unfit and would cry at the thought of not being able to take care of her sufficiently. If only, I had the reminder that it’s ok not to be ok, my experience of motherhood would have been so very different!

This time round, I am in a totally different place in my life…thriving in raising my almost 9 year old daughter, married to my best friend and living up life in the UAE. Yet, why did I still feel anxious about being a mum the second time round? I realise that ALOT of my anxiety was developed from my innate desire to succeed in all things. I wanted to be a BOSS at being a mum of two and wife and initially felt more like a college student on an Internship!

This week is Maternal Mental Health Week and I can’t express how important it is to speak out! I have been able to manage and cope with my anxiety better this time round by acknowledging my anxiety, recognising that it is normal and speaking about my feelings (something I REALLY struggled with in my younger years). There are so many amazing campaigns and organisations out there so no-one should feel isolated in their feelings. Please feel free to message me on any of my social media accounts, if you just want a listening ear!

Please do check out The Blue Dot Project and the amazing work that they are doing in addressing maternal mental health!

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Kym x