Be Mindful Right Now!

Good afternoon folks! Hope you are well and enjoying this wonderful autumnal time of year. Today I thought I’d discuss and give you tips for mindfulness, as I’ve noticed it’s becoming quite an intriguing part of our lives on social media, as well as in the magazines. I hear people talking about trying to balance the stresses of work a lot lately! Mindfulness has been, and continues to be, quite a big part of my life. So it’s wonderful to see people picking up on it. It’s just so flippin great!

If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness, you can get weekly updates by signing up your email address to Mindful.org

Here’s some practical tips from Here To Help that are extreeemmelly useful when giving mindfulness a go.

  • Take a couple of minutes to notice your breathing. Sense the flow of the breath, the rise and fall of your belly
  • Notice what you are doing as you are doing it and tune into your senses. When you are eating, notice the colour, texture and taste of the food.
  • When you are walking, tune into how your weight shifts and the sensations in the bottom of your feet. Focus less on where you are headed.
  • Don’t feel that you need to fill up all your time with doing. Take some time to simply be.
  • When your mind wanders to thinking, gently bring it back to your breath.
  • Recognize that thoughts are simply thoughts; you don’t need to believe them or react to them.
  • Practise listening without making judgments.
  • Notice where you tend to zone out (e.g., driving, emailing or texting, web surfing, feeding the dog, doing dishes, brushing teeth, etc.). Practise bringing more awareness to that activity.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Notice how the mind likes to constantly judge. Don’t take it seriously. It’s not who you are.

As always- sending all good vibes to you, and keep real!

How Do I Stay Content With What I Have?

Good Morning my lovelies! How are you? Today I thought to do a post on being content. I think sometimes all we need is to feel good with the things we have and how we feel right now, rather than striving for this happiness we see, but cannot reach. This is a nod towards our consumerist culture, as we feel we need to obtain new shiny things, in order to having-it-allfeel that sense of content. Happiness comes from within my beauties! But we cannot help but feel like we could be that little bit happier if we achieved our goals, or bought that new bag from the autumn/winter collection…(As you can tell, I totally relate to this).

So how do we stay content with what we have? Here’s 3 things to think about.

  • Try not to compare yourself to what others have. What would happen if you had all the fortunes in the world? Would that make you feel happier? I very much doubt it. You have worked and earned your fortunes with an honest heart, and you can buy whatever you wish with it. You don’t have to ‘keep up with the Jones” as the saying goes.
  • Be in the moment. Think about what you have and what you’re grateful for. Where are you sitting or standing right now? You’re in this moment, reading this post! Life is happening now, so have a little think about what got you here.
  • Love your job/career path. No matter how much you earn, or how much you feel like you’re not on the right path in your career, if you love your job- then why would you change it? Being content in your job or career is the perfect way in staying content. Find something that interests you and it will make you feel so flippin’ good! Ask yourself some questions about your career or job choice. Maybe you’ll have to accept the fact that a job with less pay comes with greater fulfilment.

❤ much love folks, and as always- keep real! x

What is Mindfulness? Rad, I’m Telling Ya.

wpid-img_20150816_082646.jpgGood morning you. What a week, huh?! It’s been a very humbling and gratifying kinda August for me I have to say. I’ve been writing more than ever, my article about going through anxiety has been published for Rethink Mental Illness, and Keep Real is becoming a very large garments & goods project with so many rewards. It’s nice to be working hard for things I believe in.

A huge thank you for all who’ve messaged me about my article too, it’s quite a vulnerable and open hearted topic to talk about- especially when it is published so widely (you can find it here). But I wanted folk to know that it’s ok to struggle and that it is possible to come out of it the other side. The post I wrote for Rethink touched on the therapy I had, which was mindfulness and person centred. So I thought to elaborate on how mindfulness helped me through my anxiety and how I practice it still today.

There are so many forms of therapy and different ways of managing your mental health, and I found that mindfulness was the most helpful for me personally. If you’d like to know more about what mindfulness is, check out the Mental Health Foundation and Frantic World. There is also a wonderful website called Free Mindfulness, with plenty of resources and free downloads of mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness is actually a very ancient practice which in the modern day, is a real rad way of getting on down with the here and now. It’s a mind-body based approach to relaxation which focuses on the present, your thoughts/feelings/sensations happening in the now and being non-judgemental about it. Chest pains? Headache? Can’t switch off? It’s ok. You don’t have to be brill at it, it’s all about being that little bit kinder to yourself and noticing how you are feeling.

tumblr_n29b65dBhH1r1d9pio1_500Mindfulness helped me focus on what is going on in the present, my anxiety was all about worrying about the future. It’s such a wonderful practice! For example, here you are reading my blog (how lovely!), your eyes are gliding across the screen and your body is relaxed. Notice it. How does your body feel? Notice your surroundings too. What noises do you hear?

Connect with the now. It gives you a real focus on the present and linking it in with your body. The more time you take out to be mindful, the more relaxed you feel. I practice it without really thinking too much about it now. I’ll get up earlier than usual and do an exercise, if I’m feeling a bit anxious I’ll do it wherever I am, or even when I’m commuting to work. I’ll just be that little bit more mindful when I go about my day.

If there is anything else you would like to know more of/ask me- please feel free to drop a comment! I’ll be doing more posts on Mindfulness later on with some of my favourite basic exercises ❤

All the ❤

Mental Wellness Essentials #2

Hello you! I hope the week so far has been good to you! It’s the middle of the week (or there abouts!), so here’s some mental wellness essentials to get you through ❤

Sometimes the beginning of the week can mega drag. First day back to work or whatever you’re getting up to, has that feel about it- you just wish for a day in bed! Keep that head up you, it’s gonna be ok ❤

Let’s start with some little tips to maintain your flow for the week.

  • Eat well – Food, as tasty as it comes- can improve how you feel! I’m not telling you knock back some weird tea, only eat salad or buy organic; eating well does have it’s benefits. The more colour with your meals, the better. Takeaways and quick microwave meals are, let’s face it, the lazy way to fill that lovely tummy of yours. Try get out of the habit and go for something new. If you fancy cooking up a quick little storm, I suggest signing up to ‘Thug Kitchen’- great recipes via email…and vegan too! Find some recipes here.
  • Ask for help – It feels tricky to admit that you might need a hand, but there is no harm in it. wpid-img_20150805_201214.jpgIf you do not ask, you shall not receive. It’s as simple as that. Pluck up the courage to seek some guidance or ask a friend for help. Take a well deserved break and ring up a loved one to have a chat.
  • Be a lil’ bit selfish! – You’re here, you’re breathing- it’s your life and you can do whatever you wish with it! Eat that bar of chocolate…go on! Do something for yourself out of your day. It doesn’t just have to be work, eat, sleep and repeat. Catch that film you wanna see, ask a friend out for a drink- do what makes you happy. You can spread that happiness with others too ❤ take that break!
  • Meditate – Some may think it’s quite the hippy thing to do, and over-think the whole meditation/ mindfulness way of relaxation, but taking 10 minutes out of your day to focus on yourself, can really improve how you feel about your day. Sit comfortably, relax your body and place your hands where you feel is natural. Close your eyes, count your breath in ‘1’ and breath out ‘2’- right up to 10. Repeat this and just notice what’s going on for you in your body. Slight headache? Bit of tension in your shoulders? Whatever it is, just notice it. Be gentle with yourself. Sometimes your body tells you things when you are a bit stressed. Listen to body. 

❤ as always, keep real and be kind to yourself .

Be Radiant!!

You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within it, no matter how slight. – Elizabeth Gilbert

I have always believed if you radiate good vibes and treat yourself and others with kindness, good things will always find their way back to you. I guess you could call it karma, the principle of causality. It flows with the same principle as motivation in a way. How would you know you’d be good at something if you have never put yourself out there? Without action, there is no consequence- good or bad. Now what kind of life is that?! It’s safe and it’s in the comfort zone. If you’re happy with it, then that’s all cool. But if you have aspirations and dreams that you aint fulfilling, you need to get off that pretty little bum and do something about it!

Be good, stay well and forever keep real ❤

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared- Buddha

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #2

So it’s official, kimmykeepreal.com! ❤

I’ve been designing away and getting down and dotty (heh) with my artwork. Really focusing on key pieces to bring to the collection, from t-shirts and crop tops to notebooks and accessories. At this stage, its all about the grafting and wwpid-img_20150525_132636.jpgorking on finding the right materials and fit for all you guys and gals. Patience is a virtue at this point, so I wanna be 112% happy with the overall outcome of Keep Real’s first positive goods collection.

Last years collection when I first started Keep Real, was just a tester to figure out what products and designs I could ultimately create (you can have a peek at some existing products that are now on sale here!). In my mindset, I wanted to give back with some of the products, such as giving 10% of each art print sold to Mind, the mental health charity here in the UK. I am still working towards raising money and awareness for mental health. This is so important to the Keep Real brand! Promoting a healthy relationship with yourself and others is key to Keepin’ It Real ❤

As well as designing the new collection, I also got another design by the amazing Niall Shannon tattooed! Bit of a celebration of finishing my degreewpid-img_20150523_184438.jpg and working so hard. The moth is a wonderful symbol of the soul and its transforming course. It follows the light, and that is where my journey goes too. I just knew I had to get this! A wonderful end to three years and a new beginning.

I’ve had a crazy week of working, designing and seeing some beautiful people. I’m ready for another wonderful week and I hope you are too. Let’s do this!

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.- Arthur Ashe

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #1

So my little cherubs, I’ve officially finished my degree- and how lovely to have been given a First for my dissertation! All that is left, is to graduate in July! Hard work has definitely payed off and I’m ready to start my next journey.

With my business Keep Real, I have now signed all the papers so I am now based in the Buckley Innovation Centre in Huddersfield, contracted for a year. A place to do my work and focus on building up KR as a brand of positivity! You can also write to me too which is rad! I wpid-img_20150506_182507.jpghave my own little pigeon hole where I get post from folk or notes from my business advisor (you can find the address here on my Facebook page).

Designs are also in full swing and I plan on creating plenty of mood boards and quirky little look books to get an overall theme for the new collection. I’m so excited to start up!

So many ideas ready to get going on with and I really hope you guys enjoy the products as much as I have been designing and cultivating them. It wpid-img_20150506_104813.jpgwon’t just be garments for guys and girls, but other goods too. I’ll be posting everything on my Instagram, so keep a close eye over the coming months for sneak peeks, design processes and rad snaps!

I also want to say a mahooosive thank you for following my journey of positivity, light and Keep Real. Stay golden lovelies and keep those eyes peeled! ❤

Change Ain’t Bad

Oh the word ‘change’. A scary word that can be a veil to the unknown, the ever-evolving word for growth and development. Or change which may refer to having money in your pocket, whatever.

The past three years have been the best I’ve had- and there seems to be a little saying going round of ‘Wow, everything is going to change.’ Which it will, don’t get me wrong. But change isn’t a bad thing. It’s all about leaving your comfort zone and it really shouldn’t be resisted. It’s the way of the world, fight it and life will fight back. I’ve always held the thought that everything happens for a reason- resisting it because it doesn’t feel secure is a ridiculous way of coping.

Here’s an article I found on dealing with change that I think will brighten up your day!

‘How To Deal With Change’ 

Good Food = Good Mood

Now, over the last three years as a University Student- the top main dishes of choice are either spag bol, pasta, instant mash or toast. Eating well (never mind healthy!) is the last priority in the pockets of a student, or anyone who has better things to spend their money on.food_for_mood1

Alas, I am coming to the end of my University life and I made a few changes this year. I have been determined to have the mindset ‘I would rather spend more money on healthy and better foods than spend less on cheap/ microwave alternatives’. I used to pick out all the microwave £1 meals, slapping them all into my basket like it was going out of fashion.

But here I am, feeling a lot better than ever by slapping away the microwave meals.

I started drinking a lot of green tea to start off with (you can check out Green Tea benefits here), but I’ve been having PG Tips Green Tea with Lemon. Without the lemon, it can be a little harsh on the ol’ taste buds- so lemon is super refreshing! A great tip if you just have green tea without any other flavouring, put a little honey in it. Super yummy!

Also, I have a book called ‘The Food Doctor: Healing Foods for Mind and Body’ (which you can find here) helping me 51TQEYHTBPL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_to pick the right foods for my diet. It tells you all the benefits of different foods in various food groups, giving you the tools to choose what kind of nutrients you need! Also, it has a chapter on veganism, as well as food for energy boosters and a ‘good food, good mood’ section.

By using fresh foods and ingredients, I feel so much better in myself. When I have takeaways (as nice as they can be now and then!), I feel bloated and just not comfortable. Yeah it tastes great after a night out or when you can’t be bothered to cook, but the day after my body is telling me ‘hell noooo…we dont like this! give us the good stuff!’. Everyone knows I love a good pizza, and when it says it ‘serves 4’ …it just serves me.

Making little changes to your diet can really improve your mood. So go on, try something new! Spruce up that lifestyle and diet of yours and be confident!! ❤