Facing Anxiety Head-on!

Anyone who’s met me knows I can be really awkward in social situations. I’m not exactly what you’d call a people person, and crowds make me anxious at the best of times. As a result, when I started getting interested in a particular game, I looked for help with learning on YouTube, through people I already knew, and via online forums rather than just attending a local group. The idea was that I’d learn to play before attending a group because I was nervous of meeting that many new people at once, and knew that whether I clicked with them or not could potentially ruin the game that I’d been enjoying so far.

However, I was struggling to learn on my own. The Internet wasn’t giving me the answers I needed, so I was left with a choice: bite the bullet and go see a group (I’d been in touch with the local group and knew people were happy to help me out), or struggle along on my own. After a bit of deliberation and a chat with my wonderfully supportive other half I decided to give the group a go. He was going to come with me the first time in case I didn’t get on with them, but due to his schedule couldn’t make it for a while so I kept putting it off.

Finally I got fed up of my own inability to go on my own. It was time to face my fear and go for it. So I got togged up and took a nice walk to the pub where they play. Admittedly I was so nervous I went through a full pint before most of the group got there, but eventually everyone arrived and we got settled down and introduced. Funnily enough, I had a great time. Got on with everyone, had a laugh, learned a lot more than I’d managed to do on my own, and all round had a really fun evening, with one of the guys being kind enough to drop me at home when we were done because it was dark and wet and late.

It will sound silly to some people, being scared to embrace a new social situation, but for people who struggle with them it can be really difficult. One thing that’s helped me is that I recently read an excerpt from the book “F**k It”, which is about recognising when things scare you, or upset you, or are things you want to do but your attitude and thought patterns are holding you back, and saying “F**k it, I’ll do it anyway, how bad can this actually go? Yes I might end up being awkward, or not enjoying myself, or being laughed at, but I won’t know if I don’t try and I’m just making things worse by giving in to my own brain”.

In an earlier post I mentioned about how you shouldn’t be scared of relying on the people around you, but forgot to mention that those people includes yourself. Yes sometimes you need to talk to someone else, but don’t fall into the pattern of running to someone else every time anything goes wrong. First look at it and say “Can I tackle this myself?”; even sit and make a list of pros and cons if it helps you, before giving up. If you can’t tackle it yourself then by all means go to someone for help, but sometimes you’ll do yourself a lot more good by tackling your fear on your own.


So I had a moment last night…

The moment we all know and hate, that one when every dark and self-deprecating feeling you’ve ever buried comes rising up like a tidal wave and paralyses you with pain. All of a sudden, everything that is going right for you vanishes and it feels like all life wants to do is hurt you. Even facts that you know are completely unquestionable become twisted in your brain’s determination to reduce you to a blubbering wreck.

These are the times when you need people. It may be a friendly word or a cup of tea, or just a hug while you let it all out. This is why, even when you are lost in the pain, you must not push everyone away; they are the ones who can look into your feelings and go “hang on, this isn’t true and you know it” and help you come back into yourself. It’s the most valuable thing anyone can do for you in that moment, and the most valuable thing you can do for anyone else who is stuck in that moment.

It’s a bad habit of myself, personally, to try and hide the dark feelings from the people around me, and I bet most other people do it too. As people in a modern society we’re encouraged to not rely on anyone for anything, when in fact trusting and relying on people is the way to get the best out of ourselves.

Don’t be afraid to tell people that you’re Not OK, because chances are they will want to help you through it, and they will probably need you to help them through something similar at some point. If you don’t have anyone physically there then reach out via phone and social media. Even complete strangers can be exactly what you need!

If you ever do need to reach out, feel free to message me on any of the following social media platforms (the Facebook page isn’t completely developed yet but it’s there if you want to contact me!) :

Twitter: @yoginiwishes

Instagram: @yoginiwishes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yoginiwishes/

Late Night Noms!

I admit, I had a late one last night. I ended up arguing with my washing machine and staying up to wait for it to finish. Naturally, I popped YouTube on to keep me company and ended up watching the awesome Rosanna Pansino (Nerdy Nummies channel), which gave me a rare and major sweet tooth. I’ve had a hankering for pancakes for days but I’d never made them before, so I did a bit of searching for (and adapting of) recipes and came up with the one below. I have a dinky frying pan so this batter makes me 3 super fluffy American pancakes roughly 15cm across – this mix is perfect with a citrus topping such as lemon juice, but a savoury equivalent would be easy!


110g self-raising flour

25g granulated sugar (or icing sugar if you prefer yours sweeter)

2tsp ground Himalayan rock salt

1 egg

200ml milk (I used soya but any should be fine)

Oil/Butter for frying


Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, sifting in the flour (and icing sugar if used) to discourage lumps.

Make a well in the middle and crack the egg into it – don’t drop the shell in!

Add your milk a bit at a time and mix everything thoroughly, adding the rest of the milk as you go.

Fry over a low heat for 3-4 minutes on each side and serve with something yummy 🙂

2 of these satisfied my late-night munchies quite nicely with a wedge of lemon and a cup of Twinings Green Tea with Peach and Cherry Blossom. Admittedly I didn’t get much blogging stuff done but hey – my belly was happy!

If you give these a go let me know how they turned out 🙂

Namaste x

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Ginger Nuts! 

Well last night I tried making chocogingers 😀 I absolutely love baking, it’s a great anxiety and stress buster for me and not to toot my own horn but I’m not (normally!)  half bad at it either 🙂 Admittedly I burned the first batch, which was a combination of misreading my oven dial and squishing them a bit too flat to start with, but the second half-batch turned out OK! 

I used the recipe at the bottom of the post for this one, but I’ll list it here anyway because it’s super easy. 

Start by popping the oven on at about 170C (I did the second batch on 150C in my gas oven). Sieve 110g self-raising flour, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 heaped tsp of ground ginger, and 10g of cocoa powder into your mixing bowl. Cube up 50g of butter and add to the bowl. Crumble it all together until you get a breadcrumb-like texture then add 40g of granulated sugar and 50g of chocolate chips. Give it a good stir, then using a wooden spoon or silicone baking spatula to mix in 50g of golden syrup. It might take a bit of doing, but it’ll turn into a nice doughy texture! 

At this point I put mine in the fridge until my jacket potatoes had finished baking and the oven was free, but if you have the space you can go straight to portioning up! Make about 15-16 balls of dough, pop them on a greased or lined baking tray (they grow a lot so I’d recommend no more than 8 per tray) with even spacing and flatten just enough that they don’t roll around. Chuck them in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Done! 

These biscuits are quick, easy, and super yummy. They’re also quite crunchy and therefore perfect with a cup of tea. I’ll definitely be doing these again with slightly tweaked ginger and chocolate quantities for personal preference. 

There are pictures of the process on my Instagram @yoginiwishes if you’re interested; if you make a batch yourself definitely put pictures up there and tag me, I’d love to see your work 🙂 

Namaste x


Sometimes You Need To Know When To Call It Quits… 

… And just take the time to look after yourself. The other day, I learned that lesson very well. 

I’ve been on some new medication for the past month or so that has really screwed with my hormone levels: it’s exhausting trying to maintain a normal attitude at work when inside I want to simultaneously laugh, cry, and curl up in a ball to sleep. I’ve done pretty well so far but it’s both mentally and emotionally taxing, but I refused to let it have its way because it would impact my ability to work. That was mistake number one. 

Mistake number two was letting myself get dragged into worries right before bed. Money, family, work etc so normal worries, but when paired with my anxiety they set off a chain of nightmares all the way through the night. I stayed asleep but it was definitely not a quality sleep. 

Mistake number three was trying to go to work the next day. Bear in mind that I overslept by 2 hours, which has never happened before. I should have paid attention to my body and mind and called in sick for my own sake as well as that of everyone who would have had to deal with me. 

I knew I was in a fragile place, but thought I could power through like I have been doing and went in to work anyway despite being an hour late (thankfully it’s just a 10 minute drive down the road nowadays). Walked in and said hello to the receptionist as always, intending to work my day as normal. I have a reputation at work for always being there at the same time, so understandably she asked if I was OK. 

That was it. That was all it took for me to burst into tears and realise that I’d run myself into the ground trying to fight my own body and mind. A few minutes later, after talking to my boss (and I think I scared him by bursting into tears again), I was on my way home. 

A day of rest and I’m almost back to normal. I barely left my bed for that day from sheer exhaustion. My moods and emotions are still back and forth like a pendulum but now when I feel myself dropping into a negative I pop to the loo, have a cry if I need to, and just take a few minutes to deal with the swing and get back to normal. 

Sometimes you have to know when to call it quits, it just took me a mini breakdown to realise it. 

It’s better to take a couple minutes here and there to check in with yourself than run yourself into the ground trying to pretend everything is OK. 

Look after yourself, you’re more important than your job/project or what people think of you. 

Walk in beauty, 

Namaste x

Detox Smoothie

I tried a green detox smoothie the other day. Not gonna lie, it definitely didn’t tickle my taste buds. It wasn’t unbearable, but no matter what I put in it I just couldn’t get rid of the bitter taste from the greens; I even tried using my Strawberry Delight Body Sculpt Diet Whey powder! 

If you want to try it then be my guest, but this one won’t be joining my regular mixed berry or newly discovered grasshopper I’m afraid. 

Recipe: http://cellajane.com/2014/01/slimming-detox-smoothie-victoria-secre.html

Grasshopper Smoothie and Blender

This one has changed my morning routine. It’s delicious! The mint chocolate combination is so nice you wouldn’t even know it’s full of Spinach. I did tweak the quantities a little, using more eyeball measuring than specific quantities, but it’s still awesome and makes the perfect amount for my 600ml bottle. 

I used 2 handfuls of baby Spinach, 2 slightly heaped dessert spoons of Cadbury hot chocolate powder, approx 10 garden mint leaves, 1 tsp of chia seeds, 1 tsp of Maca powder, approx 10g of protein powder, then filled the bottle with almond milk until all the ingredients were covered, gave it a good shake and left it in the fridge overnight. Come the next morning, I chucked a few ice cubes in the top, blitzed and left.

Dessert for breakfast, yay! 

Also, for anyone thinking of getting a personal size smoothie maker, I really can’t recommend better than the Breville Blend-Active my mum bought me for my birthday. It handles everything I throw at it without issue and came with 2 bottles, so I can chuck one in the dishwasher at work and still have tomorrow’s prepped in the fridge, then just swap them over the next day. I will be getting some of the smaller 300ml bottles for making an afternoon mix eventually, but for now the 600ml is perfect. 

If you have any smoothie recommendations please feel free to let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts 😊 

Walk in beauty, 

Namaste x

Original grasshopper recipe here: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a33/grasshopper-pie-smoothie-recipe-del0115/


At some point almost everyone will suffer some form of anxiety. In the high-stress society we live in it’s almost inevitable that eventually you will get overwhelmed, whether by a culmination of little things or one huge life screw-up. What determines how we cope is what we choose to do to handle it. Some people choose to take the medicated route, and if it works for them then great, but some people don’t want to rely on medicine to fix the problem and would rather do it themselves. 

For those people, I have a few hints:

  • Speak to someone. It could be a close friend, old acquaintance, anxiety helpline or a random stranger from the Web. Talking through your issues will help you rationalise them, realise how you got to where you are and probably how to get back to where you want to be
  • If you don’t want to speak to a person, speak to a pet or a plant (I prefer aloe Vera because I kill most other plants). Just the act of talking it out will help you make sense of what’s going on
  • Make use of your garden. Certain herbs have excellent anti-anxiety effects; try drying some lavender and putting it into a small sachet to keep with you – the smell can really help bring you back to earth in an unpleasant moment. Another favorite of mine is a perky cup of tea, such as matcha with lemon balm and garden mint. Cinnamon and ginger are also excellently scented and flavoured – they’re brilliant for bringing your thoughts back under control and grounding yourself
  • Avoid high levels of caffeine and sugar. They give you a semi-unnatural high and you’ll end up feeling worse once you crash, not to mention the other adverse effects they have on your health. Both are fine in moderation, but you might want to skip the Coke every now and then
  • Keep a plant in your bedroom and your window open. Plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, purifying the air in the room, and keeping the window open lets the fresh air circulate; this extra oxygen can give you a boost of energy and positivity all day long
  • Get some sleep! The more run down and tired you are, the worse you’ll feel. Cut out all caffeine after 4pm, and put the phone, TV, tablet, games etc away at least an hour before bed. Try to keep your room nice and cool, and as a place for quiet time only. If your TV is in your room find a cloth to throw over it or turn it around at night; it’ll help your brain recognise that this is now a sleeping space. Maybe get a lavender pillow spray, the smell is amazing. Also, if you have an eye mask, pop it in the fridge for a bit before bed so it’s nice and cold – it’ll soothe the irritation in your eyes caused by tech, tiredness etc
  • Do some yin yoga. This style focuses on being kind to the body, giving yourself a bit of love, restoring,  and calming you rather than a more intense normal session; there are plenty of tutorials on youtube, don’t worry! 
  • Try meditation. It isn’t for everyone, but if you can find what works it  can really help you calm down and face your anxiety without getting stressed out. I like to put shamanic drumming chants or binaural music on while I meditate because silence is the most distracting thing ever for me
  • Create your safe place. For those familiar with the TV show Sherlock, the safe place is like a mind palace for happy memories, hopeful thoughts, and inner peace. Your safe place could be anywhere, from a desert island to a luxury hotel to an underground cave filled with beautiful plants. It’s somewhere you can hide your mind from the damaging thoughts and tackle them as and when you can. I like to visit my safe place before bed so I can tackle any stresses from the day before trying to sleep
  • Do something you enjoy. Whether alone or work a friend, get out of the house and do something. It can be as small as sitting in the sun and reading a book, or as big as going rock climbing with a group of friends. Just find something to do that makes you happy

    These are just a few hints for natural anxiety management. For those taking the medicated route, you might find that incorporating some of these techniques into your daily routine along with your tablets gives you an extra boost. I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions, or feedback if you’ve tried any of these! 

    We will fight anxiety, and we will fight it together. 

    Walk in beauty, 

    Namaste x

    Be Brave – The Lesson I’ve Learned

    It’s been 2 months since I begun documenting my wellbeing journey, and probably past time I did a little personal review!

    When I begun this journey I weighed 10st 7lbs, had had 3 emotional breakdowns in 4 months, and my Tourettes was ridiculously active due to my stress and anxiety levels. I decided enough was enough. My priority became getting myself out of that stressful situation so that I could concentrate on healing my body and spirit – I pushed like crazy and got my own little rented house on a quiet estate not far from work, I allowed myself to depend on others (such as my boyfriend Nick and best friend from work Emma, not to mention the wonderful support from my family and friends around my parents’ end) and gave up trying to hide my struggles. I stood up and faced my difficulties head on, and it’s probably the best decision I ever made.

    2 months on, I’m doing so much better. My finances are stable despite the extra monthly outgoings, my house is coming together really well (other than the poor garden, but that needs extra love!), although I’m not as vigilant as I should be with home practise I ensure to attend a yoga class at the local gym every week, I’m emotionally a lot more stable, my Tourettes symptoms have almost disappeared because my stress levels have fallen so much, I don’t stress out anywhere near as easily as I used to, I’m sleeping a lot better, and in myself I can feel that I’m on the path to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. I feel healthier and more grounded, and have a much more positive outlook on situations. I’m nearly always smiling – apparently a smile suits me!

    It was scary, giving up what I knew to move out on my own. It was hard, getting the motivation together to fight the good fight. It was worth it, because not only can I tell that I’m in a much better place but so can everyone around me.

    If you’re struggling with personal situations or mental health, take a minute to take stock. How do you feel? Can you feel the pressures of what’s going on dragging you down as a person? Can you recognise your body giving up because you’ve lost the will to fight?

    If your answer to these questions is yes, then you have two options. 1) give up. Stop trying. Let yourself fail. Or 2) stand up. Try harder. Have the courage and the strength to push forwards and become the person you know you deserve to be. The journey will be hard, and at times some obstacles will seem insurmountable. But allow yourself to flow like the water. It takes effort but you can find a way around every roadblock you come across. Sometimes, we have to open ourselves to what we thought was impossible; sometimes we just have to learn to share the load.

    If you need a little bit of help getting your journey started, reach out to others who’ve made their own. It may be me, it may be a friend or member of the family, or it may be a complete stranger. The hardest part is recognising that you need the help, admitting it to both yourself and others, and then actually going and finding the help. Be brave, and be honest with yourself; you may find potential within yourself that you never knew existed.

    Namaste 🙂 x


    Featured image with credit to Clic Par Hasard, Tumblr

    Want To Know A Secret?

    I lost weight!

    The bigger secret?

    I didn’t even try.

    I weighed myself February 12th and came in at 10st 7lbs. At that time I was living in a stressful environment, doing no exercise and just cooking things that both myself and my housemate would eat. Since then, I’ve moved into my own place (which has set me back quite a bit financially but was definitely the right move), started doing yoga, and now only cook for myself or occasionally visitors. My weight has dropped to 9st 7lbs. It may not sound like much, 1 stone in 3 months, but I didn’t even try. All that changed were small lifestyle things e.g. less stress at home, tech curfew from 9.30pm, doing yoga (even though I’m not very diligent, I’m ashamed to admit!), and doing just my own cooking. I couldn’t figure out why I’d lost quite so much with so few changes, until I properly examined my eating habits. Obviously the yoga has helped but the biggest changes are in my diet. Since I moved out, I’ve been snacking less during the day and my evening meals are far more generous in terms of vegetables and yummy goodness, plus on a whole my portions are smaller. A prime example of a week’s evening meals:

    Monday – Chicken pasta (1-2 chicken breasts, bog standard home-brand pasta, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 jar of pasta sauce, 3 cloves of garlic)

    Tuesday – Fish and chips (1 breaded cod fillet, 1 small portion of chips, ½ small tin of salt free Green Giant sweetcorn, 1 egg fried in coconut spray-lite)

    Wednesday – Sausage dinner (3 sausages oven-cooked, a small portion of some potato product, a handful of sugarsnap peas, a handful of baby corn and a pint of gravy made from granules)

    Thursday – Chicken burritos/fajita bowls (1 chicken breast, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 sachet of fajita seasoning, approx. 200g of white rice boiled, and in the case of burritos 2 plain flour wraps)

    Friday – Pepperoni pizza (because everyone needs a cheat day! I like to get the fresh ones from the local Morrisons)

    Saturday – Some form of stew (a decent portion of meat – be it beef or chicken, 2 carrots, 2 small bags of new potatoes, 1 onion, half a pack of mushrooms or a full pack of button mushrooms, 1 litre of stock to which I add gravy granules later in the process, a small baguette sliced and buttered. I also add any other vegetables that I’ve got lying around)

    Sunday – Mixed meat lasagne (a few lasagne sheets, 1 jar of lasagne tomato sauce, ½ jar of lasagne béchamel sauce, 1-2 red peppers, 1 yellow pepper, a generous helping of cheese – because I’m a sucker for it! – and whatever meat I’ve got in. A personal favourite is chicken, bacon lardons and Mexican chipolatas)

    Even though I don’t eat particularly “healthily”, and I definitely don’t get my “5-a-day”, I never go hungry and I certainly can’t be doing bad because I’ve lost weight. Almost every meal I make has leftovers (depending on the meals, up to 5 portions!) so I just freeze them and then I have healthy, quick, and easy lunches for weeks by the time I’ve done that for a week.

    My conclusion is that it’s not necessarily required to diet to lose weight, but rather small lifestyle changes highly benefit people like me who don’t like change and definitely can’t diet. I don’t have caffeine other than the occasional chai tea and I rarely consume more than a unit of alcohol in a day, so simply by tweaking what I eat to include more vegetables I’ve managed to improve my health to the point where I notice my jeans slipping down slightly and that I have more energy without sugar or caffeine.

    I must admit, I’m getting a smoothie blender soon to hopefully make up breakfast smoothies and cut my snacking down even more – there’ll be a review up once I’ve had it for a week or so.

    Don’t give up on losing weight just because you struggle to diet! Instead, try adjusting your daily routine in a way that is still more than manageable and see if you get any benefits from that approach. Goodness knows I did!

    If this post has helped you please share it around and if you have any questions or feedback pop it in the comments: I’ll do my best to reply 😊

    Namaste x