The Love/Hate science experiment is a great experiment that all children and adults should do and the results are astonishing and will teach a lot about the affects of love/positivity and hate/negativity. When my partner Dino heard about this experiment we just had to try it for ourselves to see if the effects were really true.
Equipment that you need
2 Clear pots (we used washed up yogurts pots
Label your two pots one as Love the other as Hate and put a little bit of cooked rice in both pots about a tablespoon in each should do.
Every day you need to talk to the pots of rice, the love pot you need to say nice things to and tell it you love it and the hate pot you need to be horrible to it and say that you hate it.
These pots are then left out on the side for the next week to see which pot gets mouldy first. Make sure you keep the pots next to each other when leaving them out so they are in the same environment and the test is then done fairly.
Even though it is only rice it still doesn’t feel right being mean to it. I found it quite hard and even my daughter turned around after telling the rice she hated it and said ‘that was the meanest thing I have said’. However this is an experiment that will teach them an important life lesson.
The rice in both pots is still looking like fresh cooked rice.
The rice has started to dry out and go a bit hard. It looks slightly harder in the hate pot but there is not that much difference at the moment.
The rice has dried out a lot in both pots, it clearly looks a lot more dried out in the Hate pot than the love pot but neither pot has any signs of mould.
There is a small spot of mould showing in the love pot of rice.
In the hate pot it is clear to see that there is a lot more mould.
The Love pot is starting to go mouldy and has one spot of mould on the rice.
The hate pot has clearly got a lot more mould in it than the love pot.
After 6 days the Love pot has a few spots here and there of mould.
After 6 days the hate pot of rice is almost completely mouldy.
I was sceptical that this experiment would work or that there would be any clear results but I am amazed by just how compelling the evidence from the experiment was.
It is clear to see from the evidence that the hate pot has suffered greatly from the hatred and negativity it was shown and at the end of the experiment the rice was almost completely covered in mould.
The love pot on the other hand has got hardly any mould showing the effects that love and positivity has.
If this is the effects that negativity and positivity have on a pot of rice imagine what they do to the human body. It just goes to show how important it is to always be kind to others and the power that love and kindness can have.
This is a great experiment to do with children it is easy to set up cheap to do but the results are compelling and it will teach children and important lesson on kindness.
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Lockdown is a hard time for us all and everyone is coping differently. I felt compelled to write this post after reading that the suicide rate has increased during lockdown which is just heartbreaking. To hear that people are feeling that down and isolated they feel that taking their own life is the only option is so sad and more needs to be done to reach out and help people feeling this way before it is too late.
Staying positive and trying to ride this out is great but it is not going to help you in the short term. It is not a good idea to base your current happiness on a thought for the future that is out of your control.
The best thing to do is take a minute to think about what small changes you can implement now to make life more bearable until the day arrives that we are allowed out again and to fulfil a normal life.
Here are some simple steps you can do now to try and help with your current mental health:
Let it out
First thing is let your emotions out and don’t try and ignore them. Having a good cry can help with this and release some stored up emotions.
It is also important to think about what made you feel like this in the first place and not just lockdown in general but what parts are you struggling with. Writing them down will help you to understand and have a better picture of the areas where you need to implement small changes.
Limit or cut out social media
If you are feeling down and struggling then seeing pictures plastered everywhere of everyone happy and enjoying lockdown is not going to help. We always seem to judge ourselves by what we see others doing especially over social media. However social media is very subjective and not an accurate outlook of how people really feel. By limiting or taking yourself off social media you will be taking away that unrealistic standard of which to judge yourself by.
Limit the news exposure
With all that is happening at the moment the media channels seem to be showing an endless cycle of bad news so watching constantly can make anyone feel sad. Watching too much of the news can be overwhelming and will cause you to feel sad and panicked by what is going on so limiting your exposure to it can help improve your mood.
Set a routine
Now this doesn’t have to be a military style routine but having some kind of routine will help put some structure to your days during lockdown. We keep the routine of doing an exercise video every morning. This isn’t always at the same time every day but Monday – Friday at some point in the morning we do the video all of us together. I try to then do homeschooling until 3pm (notice the word TRY as it is not always successful), even if home learning isn’t going well I still will do my best to not let them on their tablets to play until after 3pm. The other part of our routine is going for our daily walk after dinner everyday. As you can see this is a very relaxed routine but it helps massively to bring some structure to the day.
Find a Hobby
Finding and participating in a hobby will keep your mind occupied and off what is currently happening and will also lift your mood and help improve your mental health.
Drawing, painting, knitting or writing are all great activities to keep your mind occupied and will help lift your mood. I know this can be hard if you have young children but if you are really struggling with your mental health then there is no shame in leaving your children in front of the TV for a bit so you can take some time for yourself and do an activity that is going to help your mental health. Parenting can be hard especially during this current situation so if needed use the power of TV and electronics to create some time for yourself. Once you are feeling better you will be in a better frame of mind to help your children.
You could also take some time in the evening when the children are in bed to do a hobby that you enjoy even if just once a week instead of sitting down to watch TV. Being creative and achieving something will help boost your mood and improve your mental health.
I have spent a lot of time drawing, writing poems and stories which I could lose myself in for ages and completely forget for a while what is going on. Once I have finished writing or drawing I feel so much happier and calmer. I have put together a post of lockdown poems that others and I have written.
With the days all merging into one and us having no commitments to adhere to like work and school runs it is hard to keep the motivation going. Week by week the motivation is slipping further and further away. That is why making a short list everyday of things to do can help give you motivation. I put things like hover, clean bathroom, fold washing, on my list, things that normally I would just get on and do but with lockdown my motivation is slipping so writing them down helps. I find that having these little tasks written down that once I have completed them and tick them off the list it gives me a sense of achievement and a bit of motivation to take on other tasks that weren’t on the list. As well as cleaning my list also contains things like, get the children to draw a picture, drink more water, eat 2 pieces of fruit and other small things like this that can help make the day more positive when achieved.
If everything is getting too much for you then please reach out either to family, friends, mental health charities or there have even been lots of support groups set up to help others during lockdown. So many people are suffering from mental health issues at the moment so please don’t feel you have to suffer alone. The NHS have a list of helpline numbers you can call for help and advice.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
We have all been thrown into a situation that we were not ready for and have no control over when it will be over. No one was prepared or expected this and we are all trying to find ways to cope. I don’t think there is a parent or individual who has not struggled and found things hard at least once during lockdown.
If you do have a bad day where you feel down, homeschooling has been a flop, you have all eaten crap all day don’t feel guilty about it we all are having these days. Just try and make some small steps (maybe write a list of things to do, see above) that you can do to make the next day slightly better.
It is important that you take things easy and one step at a time making small changes to help with your mental health and well being.
If you are struggling with homeschooling you need to remember that teachers go through years of training to be able to do the task of teaching our little ones something we have not had so don’t feel guilty if your home lessons don’t always work out. Do take a look at my post. Please stop worrying about homeschooling your children.
In a difficult and challenging time when everyone is struggling and having to change their way of life it is so amazing to see just how much love and positivity there is.
Everyone seems to have joined together even though they are being kept apart to help spread some lockdown love.
Children have created rainbows that you see in window after window when out walking to help spread some cheer and happiness.
Every Thursday neighbours have come together from the safety of their front doors to clap and cheer for all the key workers risking their health to save others and to keep the country going.
There are whole social media communities that have been created to bring people together and share tips and help one another. In fact nearly every where on social media right now you can find people coming together to help one another and support each other through these difficult times.
Even on the daily walks despite not being able to getting within 2 meters of each other people are all friendly, smiling and saying hello to one another.
Some supermarkets have donated their increased profits to charity and people and business everywhere are doing what they can to help charities and equip our key workers from helping to make masks and visors to simply baking a cake to show appreciation.
It is amazing to see the determination that everyone has to help one another through these challenging times and to work together so as not to let this horrible virus break us.
We are stronger together and together we will get through this.
Please do share in the comments any other ways that you have been helping to spread the lockdown love.
Almost overnight parents across the world have now become teachers and are trying to do the very best they can to home school their children in a very challenging environment.
Most parents don’t have experience of homeschooling and due to how suddenly it all happened didn’t have time to prepare.
Well this post is my plea to all parents to stop worrying and stressing over homeschooling your children. They will be alright.
You have to remember that schools and teachers have months of preparation and years of experience to provide our children with structured learning at school so trying to replicate this structure at home is going to be near impossible. Not to mention that we as home school teachers now have the added stress that we can’t go outside and the fear of the CoronaVirus causing everyone anxiety.
Most primary schools have around 30 children per class all with different abilities, likes and interests so structure is key in a school environment to ensure classes and learning run efficiently and everyone gets to do a bit of everything.
However in a home setting you will only have your own children to teach so why not take this time to let them focus on the subjects they enjoy the most whether it be Art, cooking, creative writing, geography ect. Ask them what they would like to learn each day or which subject they would like to focus on. Even if your children, like mine, spend nearly all day drawing and baking they are still learning and developing their skills.
These are tough times that we are all going through and I think most adults are feeling worried and anxious so our children must be feeling a bit of it too. Anything you can get them to do that will keep them occupied and enjoying themselves will help to ease their stress and worry.
Even if you have high school children instead of trying to get them to do a bit of every lesson and fit it all, spend a bit of time on the core subjects Maths, English, Science and then spend most of the time on the subject that they enjoy the most. This is going to be a hard time for them too especially that they are not able to go out with their friends so keeping them happy is going to be the main priority and probably a tough one with teenagers.
There are lots of online educational games and learning tools available now that are brilliant for teaching children especially when homeschooling but if your children really don’t take to it or don’t want to do it then don’t feel pressured to make them. Just keep trying different things until you find something that works.
This is a very difficult time for everyone and a lot of people are suffering at the moment but if we try to find a positive in all of this it is that we have been given this extra time with our children so just try to take the time to enjoy it.
This is a very difficult time that we are all facing and as well as looking after our physical health we need to also think about our mental health. A lot of us are going to be put into situations we are not used to being in and will find isolation a challenging time. I wanted to share a few tips / ideas to help anyone that is feeling overwhelmed by the current situation to find some calm.
Read a book
By taking time out to read a book this can really help your mind relax and for a period of time forget about your worries. As the saying goes ‘ lose yourself in a good book’. I always find reading takes my mind off things and helps me relax. Reading is especially good before bed as it will help you to sleep better.
If you have run out of books and are unable to go out to get a new one then why not look at kindle books. You can download the kindle app for free on phones and tablets and then using the kindle store you can have access to purchase thousands of books to read instantly. There are also so many indie authors with great kindle books at amazing prices.
Take a break from the news
I think we have all got caught up in the media storm around the Corona Virus and are constantly checking the news to see what the latest updates are. I am not normally one for the news but even I have found myself checking over and over again for updates and it can be so overwhelming.
If you find it is getting too much then taking a break from the news and social media can help. I don’t mean cut yourself off completely but have a good few hours a day where you completely blank out the news and anything to do with the Corona virus.
Listen to Music
Music is a great way to relax and try and take your mind off things for a bit. Although try and stay away from the radio as this will have lots of news and updates and you want to get away from listening to these if you want to relax. Even putting the music on and having a dance around will be a great benefit especially if you have little ones at home they can join in to.
I think exercise is going to be a key part in us all being able to stay sane during this tough time.
While you are able to get out and enjoy walks or runs in the fresh air as much as possible, please do make sure you stick to the current health guidelines and stay safe when out.
If you are self-isolating then setting a regular exercise routine is going to be crucial. It is so easy especially when at home to brush off exercising and finding the energy to exercise can be hard. However if you do manage to be motivated and keep exercising then you will find you have a lot more energy not to mention feel happier. When we exercise our bodies release endorphins which can trigger a positive feeling in the body.
A few ways you can exercise when self-isolating –
Exercise from online videos. Youtube has lots of great workout videos including the Body Coach. If you want to sign up to more of a class where you have someone helping you stay motivated try signing up to an online exercise platform. A lady I follow Laura Bland runs a online health and fitness business and with the way things are at the moment you will find a lot of your usual exercise clubs are going online like a local one to me FitClub has done.
Indoor walking. Being indoors it is easy to sit for long periods of time without moving so to combat this why not set yourself an hourly alarm to get up and walk around your house a set number of times.
If you have stairs in your home and are able to walk up and down the stairs a few times. You can see how many times you can do it and then increase it by 1 extra time everyday.
Dancing is a great way to exercise and is fun too. Just put on your favourite tunes and dance away until your heart’s content.
Being creative and taking part in any kind of art can really help with mental health and can be a great distraction when times are tough. This could be in the form of colouring, drawing, painting, knitting, story writing and even photography and if you are finding yourself homeschooling children then these are activities you can all do together. Being creative is my go to activity when I am feeling stressed, my favourites are photography, writing and painting.
Connect with people
Self-isolation doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself off from the world just away physically from it. You can still connect with people over the phone, txt, social media or by video calling, so make it a priority to speak with at least one person a day that is not in quarantine with you. This could be family members or friends and speaking with them will not only benefit you but will help them too. Social media is a great way to connect you with like minded people from all over the world and can help you feel that you are not alone. However do remember if you do start to feel overwhelmed again ensure you take a break from it.
In these tough times it is more important now to ensure you are regularly practising self-care. Just by setting a side a bit of time everyday to carry out some self-care can really have a positive effect on your mental health. Some of the ways you can do this include –
Life moves at a million miles an hour and more often than not we are always rushing around and looking to the future planning our next moves and making lists and goals of tasks we want to complete. We are usually so wrapped up striving to achieve that we often forget to remind ourselves of what we have accomplished so far.
I recently got so caught up worrying about the future and the goals that I am still yet to achieve I started to feel really stressed and was putting myself under unnecessary pressure.
That was when I realised enough was enough I had to stop and take a few minutes to focus on all the amazing things that I have achieved so far in both my personal life and business.
I got my notebook and sat down and wrote a couple of things that I should be proud of myself for achieving. I am always so hard on myself and I am my biggest critic so this reflective exercise was so beneficial to me. It helped me to realise just how far I had come and to not be so hard on myself.
From reflective thinking it helped me realise what I had done well and what hadn’t gone so well before and from this I was then able to come up with a few realistic goals that I want to achieve in 2020.
Reflection is an important process that I myself have overlooked too often and I am sure many others to do. Reflection allows us to gain a better perspective of ourselves and can also help us to move forward. It can be a hard process to look back at ourselves and who we once were but a short reminder of this will help put our future in perspective.
If you are ever feeling down or having a bad day, this wonderful little book is just what you need to pick yourself up.
I am your friend a book of hope is packed full of colourful images with positive messages that burst of the page. They will leaving you feeling uplifted and inspired.
This handy smaller pocket edition of the book is designed to be your perfect companion when you are out and about. You can pick it up and flick through it anywhere or share it with someone in need of cheering up. There is also a bigger hardback edition of the book.
As soon as I opened the book I was drawn in, you can just feel the love, positivity and emotion that the author and illustrator Billie Bacall is portraying. She created this book to help lift herself out of a very difficult time in her life. In a short time period she suffered the sudden death of her husband and went through major surgery and chemotherapy. It is through drawing that she found solace and a way out of her a difficult period in her life.
Now she shares her drawings to uplift and inspire others to stay positive and to help them through dark times.
After I finished reading the book I felt on a high reeling in the positive vibes. I straight away shared it with my girls and they loved the book too.
Why! Why do we do it to ourselves. With the beginning of every new year we all make these health and fitness goals that just are not sustainable. It is like we are stuck in a broken record making the same mistakes every year.
I mean, what is it about January that makes us all focus about our health and fitness anyway?
Is it that we have all over indulged too much at Christmas and start to feel guilty so once January hits we go on diets but surely calories don’t count in December, right.
Or it could be that come the 1st January everywhere you go they are selling gym equipment, food supplements and gym clothes, even Aldi best buys are taken over by the January get fit quick idea. Everywhere you look there is adverts for gym membership trying to pressures us to make the change and newspapers and magazines are packed full of articles on how to be super fit and healthy.
I mean how many times have you bought a piece of equipment or gym membership with the best intentions and once January has ended it has gone to waist never to be used again?
Well I can tell you now that you are not the only one!
It turns out that the second Saturday of February is statistically known as ‘fall of the wagon day’ as identified by Citylab and Foursquare research.
To be honest even that is good going we are only on the 4th January and I have already given in on eating healthy and finished a box of Lindt chocolates to myself.
Now I am all for getting healthy and sustaining a fitness routine and I do actively promote these but I feel that every January there is so much pressure put on us to change literally overnight from eating chocolates for breakfast still on 31st December to then be eating avocados and rye bread from the 1st January.
I do want to be healthier and fitter and I do encourage everyone to else as well to take the steps towards living a healthier life. However it needs to be done slowly and over the course of the year so it is more sustainable.
If we ease into it and implement small changes then it will be so much easier to keep. If you are going from doing no exercise at all and then all of a sudden you are doing 5 days a week of exercise I doubt you will be able to keep this going. It is better to start off with one day a week of exercise then as the weeks/months go on slowly increase to 2-3 days.
The same with diet don’t go jumping in on the newest fad diet that you just won’t be able to keep up. Start by making small healthy changes like maybe eating a healthier breakfast, drinking more water and then slowly build on this.
If we can all slowly build on small sustainable health & fitness steps then by next New Year we won’t need to make these radical New Years health resolutions as we will already be at are prime health and fitness levels.
My January small steps that I have made is to start ordering weekly fruit and veg boxes from our local green grocer to ensure we are all getting more in our diet and instead of signing up for gym membership I have signed the whole family back up to National Trust membership to get us back out visiting these beautiful places and going out for walks again around the grounds.
What small steps are you going to make to work on your long term health goals?
I have to admit when Elsie the Coordinator for MIBA Somerset was looking for people to be part of the event I was not the first to volunteer. In fact I nearly didn’t go as I didn’t think I could do it.
A few years ago I hated having my picture taken and couldn’t even look at myself in a picture even looking in the mirror was hard work. Although I have come a long way since then I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to make the leap to being in a photo shoot especially not in my bikini and knowing that the picture would be all over Facebook for the world to see..
At first the date of the event was on a day I couldn’t make, so I was quite relieved that I had an excuse not to go..
The date then changed to a date that I had nothing else going on so I could make it and didn’t have a valid excuse. I saw a couple of posts on The MIBA Somerset Facebook group asking people to join the event but I couldn’t bring myself to sign up. It was when I saw the last post the day before the event and there were a lot of comments saying people couldn’t make it. It was then that I thought I had to go as I know how much thought and effort Elsie puts into every event and I know she would have gone all out for this so I decided I would do it.
I am so glad that I did go, I have gained so much out of it. The event really has given me a boost of confidence, I don’t even wear bikinis at the beach so to be able to stand in front of a camera in one is a huge achievement.
Body confidence is such an important topic and as I have all daughters I need to show them that the pictures they see in magazines of women are not real life. It is time we taught the next generation what real women look like without the photo shopping and that they are still beautiful.
At the photo shoot I was joined by so many amazing women and together we spurred each other on and the results are amazing. We have shown that it is possible to have beautiful photos of real women without the airbrushing.
Our photographer OJL Photography was brilliant and along with Elsie’s creativity they have produced great photos to really highlight Body Confidence and show that the women that took part are beautiful just the way they are.
I have put together a short video of the event, again I was so nervous recording myself talking that I didn’t think I would even have the confidence to post this video but after the photo shoot I feel that it is important to share and move out of my comfort zone.