The 2 things that stopped me from falling into depression

I recently watched a video that talked about the burnout syndrome and how it related to mums and dads who unknowingly were suffering this too. I’m not saying I’m suffering from that syndrome, also when I say “falling into depression” I don’t mean a clinically diagnosed depression per se. If you have symptoms that make you think you are depressed I would totally recommend seeking medical advice since it is an illness as any other.

My aim with this blog post is to share with you two things that I put into practice in my life that stopped me from feeling down and discouraged most of the time.

May was a challenging month for us. We did an amazing road trip from Manchester to Paris at the end of April so that we could see the open house of the LDS Paris Temple. We still need to tell you all about that experience, our pros and cons, our best tips…so hang in there, the post will come soon…

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In the meantime, I needed to share this with all of you. When illnesses attack your home it seems everything else gets worse. This time not only the children were poorly, but also Sam and I had to be in the hospital for a few days, in different times each. In order to keep myself out of the stress, I was more stuck on my mobile phone than usual. I like reading the news and being on top of things. I also can get easily hooked to Facebook and everything else blogging related, so it was quite easy to loose track of time. As the days went by, I started to feel worse, not only physically tired but emotionally exhausted.

I couldn’t figure it out what I was doing wrong since for me, I was trying to look after my family to the best of my abilities. Sometimes I would cry, sometimes I had nightmares, I couldn’t rest well. I had a long chat with my husband. I also prayed a lot. After a while, I understood what I was doing wrong. What I was doing that was adding more pressure into my already hectic life.

All the news I would read were discouraging. Wars, paedophiles, rapes, kidnapping, slavery, and all the tragic things of this world. I didn’t pick them on purpose, they just came on my News app and I would read them. Concerns with politics, Brexit, jobs, the list was endless. As soon as I got up, I checked my phone and read the news. Before going to bed I checked them again. That was really destroying me. So, the first thing I did to stop me from falling into depression was NOT READING THE NEWS.

I know I cannot hide in a bubble and be completely unaware of this world, but the frequency and the quantity were mentally poisonous to me. You cannot go to sleep in peace if you just read that a child had been abducted and abused. You cannot wake up with a positive attitude if what you put into your mind first are thoughts of anger or uncertainty.

Do I still read the news? I do, but not every day, not every time. And I try to be wiser on my choice of what am I going to read.

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The next thing I noticed was the amount of time spent on my mobile phone, especially when the children were with me. I could be checking Facebook while breastfeeding my baby boy. I could be Instagramming while listening to my 5-year-old. Time is a priceless gift given to us. What example am I giving to them if I’d rather look at a screen than on their little faces? So I needed to change that too. I decided I would put my phone away when I was with them. They are far more important to me than any social media.

As soon as I stopped reading the news and I put my phone aside while being with the family my days started to get brighter. I would be more open to the light, to the goodness of this world. There are probably so many other things we can do in our lives to stop us from feeling down. I encourage you all to find them out. What will work best for you and your family? For me, these two things have made a difference in my personal well-being. I hope that if you decide to put them into practice they will work for you too.

Please, if you feel so, tell us what has worked for you. We’d love to read your stories!

A new Facebook group for parent bloggers who write in Spanish

**This post has been written thinking on the Spanish speaking community of bloggers but feel more than welcome to read its translation into English:

With the new year I have rolled up my sleeves, organise myself and my time and finally decided to create a Facebook group for mums and dads bloggers who write in Spanish. 

This is the thing, when I started getting more involve with blogging, back in April last year, I came across several groups for bloggers who write in English. Living in UK and since my blog is bilingual I decided to join a few. You learn by experience, and must admit I enjoyed some more than others, but in their majority, all of them helped me somehow. One in particular, UK Parent Bloggers  created by Donna from What the Red Head said, was let’s say, my inspiration, to shape my idea of creating a community of fellow parent bloggers who speak Spanish.

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/mamasypapasbloguerosespanol/

A group where we could all ask freely our doubts and queries regarding blogging, family life -motherhood, fatherhood, raising children- sharing opportunities to work with brands, or even posting threads, every once in a while, where we can follow one another.

I’ve missed that type of group in my own language and finally I thought that since I hadn’t been able to find one till now and/or nobody had created one, then somebody needed to take the first step, don’t you think? So here we are! One of my small blogging goals for this year achieved. Now it’s only a matter of growing it so we can all enjoy it! 😀

Join the party!

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Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s blog

Although this is not family related it is blogging related but since the other day Sam told me my family blog seems like another child in our home we are talking about the same thing then… 😛

Blogger jealousy…have you ever look at somebody else’s blog and thought to yourself: mmm, how do they make it look so good?? I’m sure we’re talking about similar life experiences, in terms of parenting! but how come do they have thousands of followers and so many comments and mine is left in the corner like the kid that nobody wants to play with?

Oh well, I relaunched my blog 6 months ago when I had the urge to share with everyone our life changing experience of giving birth in the water and since then discovered my new passion for blogging. This new hobby has given me the opportunity to grow my social media skills, my photography skills and even my writing, not only in English but also in Spanish, as this is a multilingual family blog.

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Giving birth in the water to our second child 🙂

Along the way though I had my ups and downs and in the aim of learning more and being more engaged with the blogging community I read other parenting blogs too. It was hard not to fall in the “comparing myself to others wagon”. Something that you should never do if you want to keep growing. The way I see it is like the horse that needs to wear those blinders to keep himself focus and go straight, listening to its owner’s directions. If you look to the sides, you lose the point where you were heading to. So the first rule to not covet your neighbour’s blog is

Don’t look to the side

Now, I need to clarify this point. Don’t look to other bloggers to see what they’ve got and you don’t to make you feel bad. Look at others with the spirit of wanting to learn and apply to your own blog what you think will work for you. I, for example, have come to like a lot  some blogs, ones for the way they tell their stories, other ones for their aesthetic, other ones because of how engaging and friendly are online… they all teach me good lessons, and yes, at some point I was jealous but I got rid of those feelings and started to enjoy myself much more.

The second rule is linked to the first one…Don’t judge others

This story will help you understand it:

“There was a little girl that lived up in a mountain in a very small, old house. From there she could see another house up in the other hill. Its windows were always shining like gold. She wanted to live in that house. She thought it was beautiful, not like hers. One day she decided to get a bit closer. She walked up to the other house. When she got there, to her surprise, the house was abandoned, not well looked-after, it had nothing to do with what she expected to find…however, from that house she could see her own home, its windows were shining like gold.” (excerpt from General Conference Women Session)

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See? the grass grows always greener on the other side, or that’s what it looks like, right? Behind those perfect Instagram accounts, those lovely pictures of smiley children, behind that “perfect blog”, there’s an imperfect person with an imperfect life that we don’t know of.

The third and last rule,  stay true to yourself.

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I always remind this to myself. Hopefully it will help you too. It doesn’t matter what brands like, what your audience likes, you are not writing to “please” everyone. Your blog, as jokingly my husband said, it’s like another child, unique, especial, you want it to be its best to its own pace, to its own way. This is not a race to get followers, everyone is the winner if we become our very best. For me, blogging has more to do with sharing my family experiences in the aim to find people along the way that will be able to enjoy them, feel somehow related and grow with us. Don’t be like anybody else, just be you, and the companies that will want to work with you, or the readers that will engage with you is because they like you just the way you are.. (yes, I remembered Bruno Mars’ song as I wrote that bit.. LOL)

Blogger jealousy? Life jealousy? at the end it’s all the same, nothing good comes from “coveting” or “envying” others. Share with us your thoughts! We’re looking forward to reading them. 🙂

What’s new on The Family Treasure?

Our dear family, friends and readers who like to follow our blog, don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about it but we have a good excuse for this absence, we have been back in Barcelona for a few weeks enjoying the sunshine, the family, the food, so many things we will share with you very soon. (btw, when I say “soon” I mean in September, when I have some time again to sit down and write a proper post) 😉

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In the meantime, guess what?! our social media is growing little by little and we can proudly say that our stories are reaching over 300 people in each of the networks we participate in. So yes, here are our stats:

Twitter: 326 followers

Instagram: 301 followers

Facebook Page: 266 Likes

We are also on Google + and YouTube but haven’t worked with those ones too much yet. 🙂

Anyway, thank you everyone who’s decided to subscribe to our blog and get our stories on your inbox! Also a big thank you to every person who stops by and comments and also to those ones that don’t but still enjoy the reading, hopefully! 🙂

We are excited for the experiences ahead of us: J’s first day of school, me going back to work, my random thoughts of life, and so many other stories we would like to share with you. Hope you continue to enjoy them!

You know you’re an introvert blogger when…

You get nervous AND excited with your first comment from a completely stranger.

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You join a LINKY and feel like you’ve just crashed a party and everyone is looking at you thinking “who is this newbie?!

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You have a DRAFT post saved for ages cause you’re just not too sure of showing it to the WORLD!

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You comment on someone else’s post and feel like “Hi, I was just stopping by and..”

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And last but not least, you get a FOLLOWER and think “YEAH!” and then “Wait?! I don’t know that person AT ALL, is he/she stalking me??!”

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OK, you got me there, am I an introvert blogger? Maybe! Sometimes! and it might be because I’m just starting in this blogging world and all these freaking outs just vanish away in the future, but who knows! have you ever felt like that? or am I alone here?! haha

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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mummascribbles

ethannevelyn


Why I love being a mummy blogger

It’s been almost a month since I started blogging again on the Family Treasure. It was back on 2013 when we moved to UK from Barcelona that I decided to share our family experiences on a blog. In the beginning it was hard to decide which language I would use, since, as you can probably tell, English is not my mother tongue, and most of all I wanted to involve both of our families, my husband’s, who are Portuguese speaking and my side, who are Spanish speaking. That is why you see on the menu the Spanish Version of my blog, which is basically a replica of the English one.

Almost a month ago, after experiencing the water birth of our second child and enjoying maternity leave I decided it was the perfect time to go back to writing and creating entertaining, and if possible, useful and uplifting content.  This time, I wanted to be more consistent, more committed and more open to other networks as well. I don’t know how many followers you’re supposed to have or how many views or posts you need to reach in order to call yourself a “mummy blogger“, but I like to think I am one because I am a MUMMY and I blog about it! 🙂

So here just 5 of the main reasons why I’m loving it so much so far:

1 Our families love it!

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Yes, they are our most faithful and encouraging followers. For them, all the posts we write are perfect and wonderful, so well written, so inspiring! haha and with such a Fan Club, you cannot stop doing it. Being away from them is difficult enough so if there is something that can bring us all together and get them involved with our ups and downs of living abroad we will take advantage of that.

2 Makes me have some “me time”

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This is a bit of a selfish reason, but the truth is that since I have started blogging more frequently I can enjoy some time to reflect on our family, on our adventures and experiences. I’ve always liked writing, it was a main tool on my career and now I can create my own content without the pressure of a client pushing you to a deadline or the challenges of running your own business. I have to admit though, that since being so involved in other social networks, I’m learning how to find the right balance as well, because it would be quite ironic to invest so much time in front of the computer or the mobile phone telling you how wonderful my family is while my children and husband are begging me to actually spend some time with them, don’t you think? 😉

3 It’s becoming a learning path

Little by little I’m starting to realise that blogging is not a piece of cake. It’s time consuming and you’ve got to learn how to create and edit good images, footage if you do videos as well, how to organise your editorial calendar, how many times you will post, what you will talk about, which other social networks you will use, what their analytics reports mean…but you know what, I’m loving it! It can be frustrating some times, but it’s pushing me to the limits. For me, it is rewarding when I put into practise things that I learn and I see the positive outcome of them. It has become the perfect hobby for this break and I wish I can continue doing it when I go back to work. And who knows, maybe one day I could even collaborate with brands and other bloggers getting our stories out there!

4 Connecting with minds-alike

It is nice to read and see other mummy or daddy bloggers, and how they love the same thing that I treasure the most, the family. It is comforting to read some posts about motherhood challenges and how they deal with them or feel that you’re not alone on a rough day after looking after your little ones. When I receive a comment, a follow, a like, from them or any other of our friends just makes me realise that no matter how far we are from home or how often we see each other you are not alone on this journey towards happiness.

5 Sharing the gospel, and if necessary, using words.

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As a Latter-Day Saints family we strive our best to emulate Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. Thus said, we don’t like to be “preachy”, we’d rather let you have a look into our lives and see how we cope with challenges or how we have a blast, how we fail and fall and how we stand up again, cause for us that is what the gospel is all about. It shows you the why, when, what and how to achieve happiness regardless of the circumstances. It works for us! and if any time you get curious about our beliefs you’re more than welcome to ask. We love sharing our ideas from a respectful and heartfelt point of view, and vice versa, learning from yours would be a pleasure.

Not that the main reasons why I love being a mummy blogger narrow down to just 5 but join us in our adventures and together we can discover many more.

I would love to learn what other hobbies help you in your parenting daily lives, so please, don’t be shy and leave a comment. 🙂