The Short and Long Term Effects Of Laughter

You know it feels so good to have a long and intense belly laugh but what is really happening in your body when you laugh?

There are both physical and emotional effects on the body and mind when we laugh. You may have even heard of laughter therapy which encourages forced laughter and also uses humour to reduce feelings of stress and depression.

Scientific research on the effects of laughter indicate that laughter from tickling even forced laughter has a lasting benefit on the body. So whether you’re laughing with someone or just releasing some pent up emotion, the act of laughing will help you to feel better.

Some Short and long term health benefits of laughter:

  • Enhances cardiovascular function by improving blood-flow through our vasculature system.
  • Strengthens immune and endocrine systems by lowering levels of the stress hormones in our body such as cortisol and adrenaline. Ongoing low levels of stress can cause cortisol levels to remain in the system for extended periods, laughter can help reduce stress and cortisol levels.
  • Laughing together with someone else is more rewarding that laughing at them and it promotes a feeling of togetherness. Laughter occurs in many animals too. It is understood that laughter helps to strengthens social bonds between humans and animals alike.
  • Massages and exercises the muscles of the abdomen and diaphragm. Like a very gentle workout.
  • Feels like a physical release similar to crying or screaming but makes you feel good
  • Feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine are released both during laughter and smiling. The brain will respond by providing you with happiness hormones even if you force yourself to smile. Amazing!
  • Improves your sense of humour and outlook on difficult situations.

There are many physical and mental benefits of laughter and science is revealing more and more of them as we incorporate MRI and other technology in our research worldwide.

Thank you so much for reading. Stay happy and keep smiling.

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Crafting People Are Happy People

How good is it to just sit back for a relaxing crafternoon (crafting in the afternoon)? It feels so rewarding when we finish a project and stand back to admire our handiwork, so it is no surprise to hear that there are emotional and neurological benefits of learning a new skill and letting your creativity loose.

Scientific research shows that crafting lowers stress and can help reduce feelings of anxiety. Levels of the stress-hormone cortisol decreases during and after performing creative craft activities.

While you’re crafting you are connecting to the present world around you instead of being stuck in the worries of the past or future. Your brain power is taken up by something far more productive and useful for your health. Some people use art as a therapeutic or meditative process to clear and calm the mind.

Inventing new ideas and exploring old ones in a different way can be so rewarding. It brings on those feelings of self accomplishment as well as expanding your mind to see new perspectives.

You’ve probably heard that doing crossword puzzles staves off dementia by helping keep the brain active. Basically, when you don’t use it – you lose it, so if you’re making new connections in your brain you’re keeping it active. Whether your hobby is crossword puzzles or creating a new piece of art, you are keeping those neural connections in working order.

There are many different types of crafts that are available for you to try. Find one that resonates with you and practice it, letting your mind flow with creativity.

My favourite craft at the moment is crochet. It took me a bit of practice, but once I got the hang of it, it just clicked for me. The repeating movements are quite soothing, as long as you take breaks to rest your hands! Here are some of my previous posts related to crochet crafts.

Here is a list of some other crafts you might like to try, maybe there are some you’ve always wanted to try or maybe you will find something new that you never considered before:

Origami/paper art

Painting

Sewing/needlework

Yarn crafts such as knitting, macrame, etc.

Scrapbooking

Lettering/calligraphy

Clay sculpting/pottery

Resin pouring

Flower pressing or flower arranging

Origami cranes

Reply in the comments with the crafts you love and the crafts that you’ve always wanted to try. Which crafts interest you and which crafts have you tried but didn’t like? For me, I’ve tried sewing and embroidery but they are too complex and confusing for me to grasp, whereas crochet clicked in my brain and I understand it a lot easier. Isn’t neurology so fascinating?!

Please visit and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more from me, QueeenVk. ❤

Therapeutic Benefits Of Weighted Blankets, Plushies and Lap Pads

The weighted blanket craze has been opening up the conversation around mental health and anxiety. People of all different backgrounds and neurotypes are experiencing the benefits of weighted therapy items. Therapy toys can be used by people of all ages as they can help anyone who is experiencing difficulty with coping day to day.

Me having a doona day, in my lounge wear snuggling the woma python I designed and crocheted.

I combined my passion of crochet with my desire to help people and make people smile to come up with a few cute weighted plushie designs. The featured image at the top of the post is the cute crocheted weight crocodile I created.

Me getting cuddles from the crocheted weighted crocodile plushies I designed and made.

There is a lack of colourful and lovable lap pads and weighted blankets out there. These therapy items can be so enjoyable and soothing. So I decided to design a lap pad with stimming bits to preoccupy your hands while watching TV.

A progress shot of my stimming lap pad while I was sewing the seams up. It’s a sky and sea theme with (clockwise from top left) 2 clouds, a sun, sea anemone, star fish and a bubble.

I filled the centre of the lap pad with foam so it has structure while it sits on your lap.

You can email me at fullcupwellness1@gmail.com to order your custom crocheted therapy items. All ideas are welcome. Let’s get creative together.

See my crochet creations that are up for sale here (including the weighted crocodiles!)

Check out my YouTube channel for more The Full Cup Wellness with me, Queeenvk

Nutritious Delicious Fungi

Mushrooms are the meat of the vegetarian world. But they are neither meat nor vegetable. They are classified as fungi because of a few specific characteristics, for example, the cell walls are made of a material called chitin. This is why mushrooms are more nutritious when cooked because those chitin cell walls are too tough for us to digest to reach the goodness inside.

Fun fact: The mushroom part that pops out of the ground is actually the fruiting body of the fungus. You’re picking the fruit!

Types of mushrooms that you can eat:

Make sure you only eat mushrooms that have been picked by a professional. There are many mushrooms that contain toxins that they use to protect themselves from being eaten since they can’t run away from predators. Sometimes these poisonous mushrooms look very similar to safe mushrooms, which can prove fatal if you eat them. There have been recent reports of families being poisoned after they picked mushrooms in Australia that look almost exactly like the safe mushrooms from other countries. It is vital that you don’t go and harvest your own mushrooms without the proper knowledge.

There are so many types of good eating mushrooms all around the world. They all have different flavours so I encourage you to explore the exotic mushrooms at your grocery store. Some really delicious mushrooms you may have heard of are:

Enoki or enokitake

Shimeji

Shitake

Oyster mushroom

Vitamins, minerals and other benefits of eating cooked mushrooms:

Vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, D, E, folate,

Trace minerals such as potassium,

Amino acids,

Low calorie source of fibre and protein,

Antioxidants, especially when grilled or microwaved.

Best ways to cook mushrooms:

Grill or microwave mushrooms to get the most nutritional value out of them. These methods leave the antioxidant activity in tact (Source). You can also fry, boil or bake mushrooms to enjoy the beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Fun fact: The largest organism in the world is a fungus that spans a few km across in a forest in Oregon, USA.

What are your favourite ways to prepare mushrooms? Do you stuff them? Fry them with butter and garlic? Those are my favourite ways to enjoy mushrooms.

You’re worth more than a number

[Listen to me read this post out for you on Spotify]

You’re worth far more than any number on a scale.

If you don’t have to, seriously, NEVER weigh yourself.

Is it actually useful to know your weight and how it fluctuates daily, weekly, monthly? Be honest.

Instead, it’s far more useful to note how your body is feeling. How are you feeling at the moment? Are you a bit bloaty? Are you in pain? Are your clothes tight or uncomfortable?

If stepping on the scales makes you feel so crappy that you lose motivation then remove that toxic bitch from your life!! No BODY has time for that negativity.

If you’re losing confidence and beating yourself up because of those scales, get yourself out of that depressing cycle.

You have the power to remove those negative influences in your life and become more productive in your journey through life.

And remember, our weight fluctuates so much that we weigh differently at different times of the day. The amount of water you drink or whether you’ve emptied your bowels will make a lot of difference. Even the amount of sleep you get will change your weight!

So weighing youself day to day doesn’t actually matter. You know what does matter?

How strong you are becoming as you train your muscles to lift weights.

Holding that yoga pose or nailing your pilates routine.

Reaching your goal of running a few km or completing a marathon.

Feeling confident when you look in the mirror.

Loving yourself because you’re worth it!

It’s rare that I check my weight anymore. When I do, I accept the number that appears on the dial. It’s only a number.

Working towards fitting into a pair of jeans or a slinky dress is a great goal, but you deserve to love yourself and feel worthy in the clothes you are already in. No matter the size.

The health benefits of deep restful sleep

Sleep is linked to multiple aspects of our health because it affects different organs and hormone levels throughout the body. Deep restful sleep is also known as slow wave sleep and occurs as the third stage of non-REM sleep. The REM stage of sleep comes after this deep sleep stage. During deep sleep the brain detoxifies itself from harmful proteins that build up during the day and sorts out your recent memories. We cycle through the stages of sleep multiple times during the night. However, people who snore or have sleep apnea are less likely to reach the deeper stages of sleep as they are waking themselves up multiple times during the night.

For the adults, you want to make sure you’re having 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night. Everything is better in moderation. Teens and babies need different amounts of sleep depending on their age.

Less than 7 hours of sleep or poor quality sleep can cause:

Your blood to thin leading to an increased risk of low blood pressure and dizziness. Fewer red blood cells are made so your blood ends up being thinner than it should be.

Reduced cognitive abilities. Lack of sleep can affect you in the same way as too much alcohol. Don’t drive while sleepy, it’s as bad as drunk driving!

Poor memory recall as your recent memories aren’t effectively processed by the brain.

Difficulty in maintaining weight due to disruption of levels of hormones involved in hunger (ghrelin) and feeling full (leptin). Studies have shown that less than 5 hours sleep cause a decrease in leptin levels. This is probably because your body wants to make sure you last the fast of the night but if you have a shorter sleep then your body thinks you need less leptin to keep you feeling full. Unfortunately ghrelin then comes in and makes you feel hungry before a meal. It isn’t affected by your sleep but I have noticed that if I’m not asleep by midnight I get those hunger pains that make it difficult to get to sleep without having a snack first. In the long run it becomes harder to maintain your weight if you’re always eating a second dinner before bed (which was me back in the day when I was up late studying for uni exams).

Lack of deep restful sleep to clear the build up of toxic proteins in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s. Current research indicates that Alzheimer’s might be caused due to build up of tau and amyloid-beta proteins in the brain that are created during the daytime. These proteins are cleared from the brain during deep sleep so it’s very important to deal with insomnia if you can.

Life span can be affected by poor quality sleep. Studies have shown that shift workers may have a decreased life span. Disruption to sleep patterns can cause insomnia as our circadian rhythm is a daily cycle consisting of different hormones released during certain times of the day.

Too much sleep can lead to:

Thicker blood which leads to increased risk of stroke and high blood pressure. More sleep doesn’t necessarily make you feel more refreshed. It can leave you feeling more drowsy if you sleep longer than around 9 hours.

Tricks to beat insomnia:

I know everyone says this one but it’s absolutely true: AVOID CAFFEINE. Caffeine has a lasting effect in the body so limit your intake to the morning and no more than one cup of coffee per day. Black tea contains less caffeine but it’s still there so limit cups of tea or make them weaker.

Blue light filter: Exposure to blue light suppresses your body’s natural melatonin levels. Melatonin is the hormone that increases in your body during the evening, telling your body that it’s time to go to sleep and recharge. The release of melatonin helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and sleep cycles. Blue light is emitted from your TV, computer and smartphone screens. Use the blue light filter function on your smart phone after the sun goes down. You can set them to turn on and off at your chosen times. Personally, my smartphone’s blue light filter is set to switch on at 9 pm and off at 6 am. If your TV, computer or laptop doesnt have a blue light filter function you can purchase blue light filter glasses that look just like regular reading glasses. Search for them online. There are specialty online stores that focus on these light filtering glasses.

Meditations: Yoga nidra for sleep and mindfulness meditation. These types of meditation are like a brain training exercise to keep your thoughts on the present moment. Insomnia can sometimes be caused by us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. When we’re in the present moment we’re free to control our thoughts into something more productive. Specifically with yoga nidra mediation you will focus on each part of your body individually, making sure it is totally relaxed and ready for sleep. You willl often find that you’re only a quarter of the way through before you fall asleep, it’s surprisingly effective! Give it a go, there are guided meditation tracks online or in my favourite free meditation app Insight Timer.

Supplements: There are some supplements you can purchase from your pharmacy off the shelf. I like velarian root supplements. I’ve also tried melatonin with some success. Personally I haven’t experienced any side effects of using these but ask your doctor for more advice on these supplements and if they’re right for you.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Visit my Youtube channel, QueeenVK, for more Full Cup Wellness.

Keep your cup full!

Crafting with a conscience

**List to me read out this post on my Podcast instead! Click here**

Mindful crafting is a great way to enrich your creativity and exercise other parts of your brain. And besides, craft supplies are so colourful and fun. They are enticing. Winking at us from the art aisle. Although, how much do we know about the ingredients of the paints, pigments and glitters we buy? What effects do these non-food safe ingredients have on our environment or on us and our families?

Oil paints

Some oil paints are toxic because of the heavy metals used in some of the pigments so try not to eat them. The label on the paint tube will indicate whether it contains toxic chemicals. Other toxic particles that can be inhaled as the paints dry are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The effects of VOCs include respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea and they can trigger asthma attacks. For example, an increase in VOCs leads to reduced air quality. Picture in your mind the worst air pollution of a city. Smog is basically a bunch of VOCs polluting the air. Note that there are different types of VOCs and not all are considered hazardous. However paint and solvent fumes are in the hazardous column.

Disposal: You will need to be careful about disposing of your excess oil paints to avoid them polluting the environment. Oil-based paints are considered hazardous waste in many areas so they need to be taken to a household chemical waste collection point. Contact your local council for details on where to dispose of hazardous waste.

Oil paints are not water-based so they don’t dissolve in water, which is why you use solvents when working with oil paints and cleaning your painting tools. Solvents like paint thinners are considered hazardous waste so they cannot be poured down the drain, in the garden or thrown into the general waste bin. Contact your local council to find out where to dispose of hazardous waste.

Acrylic paints

Acrylic paint is water-based so you’ll be using water to clean your tools and thin the paint.

As with oil-based paints there are some pigments in acrylic paint that may be toxic. Check the labels on the paints for warnings of harmful chemicals. If the label says non-toxic then it doesn’t contain any heavy metals in the pigments. But it also doesn’t guarantee that it’s totally harmless. There are other components of the paint, such as binding agents and additives that produce VOCs and are harmful on skin.

Disposal: Don’t pour the paints down the drain or in the garden as they contain chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. The water that you rinse your paint brushes and tools in can be evaporated and the vessel can be discarded in the general waste. Extra acrylic paint can be dried and thrown in with your general waste. Pouring old paint sludge down the drain is a bad idea because it will cause blockages to build up in the pipes.

Glitter

The teeny tiny sparkly pieces of plastic that make up glitter are also known as microplastics. Microplastics and nanoplastics are pieces of plastic on the micro and nano-scale that have been made, either on purpose, or by nature of errosion from the breakdown of larger plastics. Read my post on microplastics to find out how they’re affecting us and the environment. Spoiler alert: microplastic pollution frightens me; The sheer amount of it, the chemicals that leach from it and their effects.

Disposal: To prevent your glitter from polluting the environment the safest way to dispose of these microplastics is in a sealed container in your general waste. The small particles cannot be recycled. Any cards or paper wrapping with glitter on it cannot go to the recycling bin either. Dammit, glitter, why you gotta be so evil?

Crayons

Crayons are often made of paraffin wax which is made of fossil fuels. Paraffin wax can emit VOCs when you burn a paraffin wax candle but the jury seems to be out on the toxicity of paraffin crayons. Many sources claim that paraffin wax crayons are non-toxic but they are made from toxic chemicals so they may decompose back down to these toxic components.

Harmless crayons can be made with soy wax or beeswax.

Disposal: Crayons are recyclable. You can use your oven to melt down old stubs into new crayons. There are also council collections that will take old crayons. Or you can donate unused crayons to schools or daycares.

Thanks so much for joining me today. Check out my YouTube channel Queeenvk for more Full Cup Wellness.

Keep your cup full!

What’s the purpose of thinking positively?

**Click here to listen to me read out this post on my Podcast instead**

The title is a little dramatic. But sometimes our existence in our surrounding environment can feel awful.

Think about how perspective can make things seem more awful on one day compared with the next. Swing that perspective in another direction and things don’t seem so bad. Your boss was piling on the work without acknowledging your amazing report? You are affected by the person’s behaviour but you aren’t the cause of it. Perspective. It’s not your fault, you are amazing. Now you can communicate this with your boss or you can use the extra work to show that you deserve a promotion. You are in control of your present. See my previous post for why the present moment is so powerful and how to get there.

You are in control of your happiness if you want it. Hear me out. Happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a temporary feeling you can choose to enjoy. All emotions are temporary. Even anger and sadness. Yes, I suffer from depression and I’m going to share a brain training exercise that anyone with any level of mental heath can utilise. It takes pratice and won’t be easy to begin with. Your mind is so powerful that it can make new pathways when you keep pratising a skill until you master it.

Let’s practise right now.

Do a body scan and check in with yourself on how you’re feeling right now. If your shoulders are tensed and you’re biting your nails you might be feeling stressed or anxious. Relax your tense muscles and breathe deeply. Shallow breaths are a sign that you are not relaxed. You’re allowed to feel any emotions or think any thoughts but when any of them come into your mind imagine them floating back out of your mind. They can float down a stream as a leaf floating on the water’s surface, they can flow out of your body as you exhale. When you’re just noticing your breath or the sounds around you or just enjoying being in your body, that’s when you are in the present moment. You have found it! Well done.

Now that you have found the present you can choose your next thought or action or your next feeling. Feel happiness if you want to. Be without fear or pain if you want to.

The next part is a little more advanced but give it a go.

Look at the present you as though you are looking at yourself, a step away from yourself and outside of your own mind. Without your emotions. Look at yourself with kindness, as though you’re looking at your best friend. You want that person to be happy, content and safe.

Of course this all helps if you don’t struggle with self hatred…actually I do experience that myself so this is a helpful tool to get perspective on how I am treating myself. This tool can help you too. I have also felt the benefits of doing, what some people call, loving kindness meditation. Basically you send love and gratitude to yourself, your friends and family, then to your enemies and finally to everyone in the world. It’s a bit challenging when you’re mad at some people but to let go of that and feel gratitude and kindness towards those people is incredibly therapeutic. It’s easier if you remember that all people are like us in that they are also searching to be without pain or fear in each moment.

Surround yourself with positive thoughts and the positive things will continue to happen to you. It’s not that the number of positive situations increases but your perception of each situation changes the outcome. Perspective. It’s all perspective.

The 5 types of boredom The Full Cup Wellness

Which type of boredom are you feeling? You can read this episode as a post at https://thefullcupwellness.com/2021/08/20/which-type-of-boredom-are-you-feeling/
  1. The 5 types of boredom
  2. Environmentally friendly leather?
  3. You're Worth More Than A Number
  4. Crafting With A Conscience
  5. Australian Bush Tucker In The Kitchen

Mindfulness Anytime Anywhere

Tip: At the bottom of this page you can hear me read this blog post out for you in the podcast player. Some other blog posts are available too.

Mindfulness is the art of being in the present moment. I say art because it’s something that can be practised and honed. You may not be an expert at mindfulness meditation but you can be if you want to be. The trick is to practise. Mindfulness is a brain training exercise that will benefit you in surprising ways. When I first heard about mindfulness meditation I thought it was only for hipsters, hippies and monks. True! I had no idea what it involved or how it could help me. Now I know it can help anyone. Mindfulness is beneficial for children, teens, adults and those who don’t identify with any particular age group.

If mindfulness is being in the present moment, how do I get there? And stay there?

It’s all too easy to worry about the future or be upset by thoughts of the past. There is a better, more productive way to live. In the present. There are some meditation techniques to help you find the present moment in your mind. Try some of these techniques and figure out what works best for you. It could even be a combination of techniques that you find most helpful.

Use your senses

The five senses can be used to gently move your focus back to the present moment.

Touch: Bring your focus back to the present moment by feeling your way there. You don’t need special tools to do this. Your clothing may be soft or you may have a pet at home. Feel some fabric or the soft fur (or scales) of your beloved pet and focus on how your fingers receive this sensation. Is it smooth? Is it warm? Acknowledge any thoughts and feelings you may have. Let yourself feel those feelings and bring your thoughts back to the absolute present moment. There are no worries of the past or future when you are focused on the present. Another form of touch is the feeling of your feet on the ground or your body against your chair. There’ll be more on that sensation later.

Smell and taste: Ask yourself what smells can you detect right now. Are there any tastes on your tongue? Mindful eating is the perfect way to enjoy your meals because you will fully engage with the flavours and sensations of the food. Breathe in the aroma of your cup of tea or coffee or cocoa.

Hearing: Focus on the sounds reaching your ears within in the room or nearby area. Then extend your awareness to the sounds outside of the room or area. Acknowledge the sounds without judgment. If your thoughts begin to wander show yourself patience and allow your thoughts to drift back to the present moment.

Sight: Whether your eyes are open or closed you can focus on what they are seeing. While they’re closed you can acknowledge whether the environment is bright or dim. Or visualise a candle, which is a common meditation technique, and see how long you can focus on the imagined flame. If you need to have your eyes open, such as during a walk or while driving, you can use the world around you to stay present. The next time you’re out for a walk try a walking meditation to stay in the mindul present. During a walking meditation you can ask yourself, what’s the sky up to today? Are there any clouds or birds or sky writers? Acknowledge your surroundings and your position within them, how tall the trees are, how the leaves move in the breeze. You can add in the other senses too, focus on how warm or cool the air feels on your skin and what smells are reaching your nose.

Grounding

If you have read the paragraph on the sense of touch above you will have an idea of this one already. Grounding involves feeling your connection to the Earth through your feet or your body. You can do this with socks or bare feet or in shoes while sitting or you can be lying down or sitting upright. The point is to envision your connection to the ground while feeling the physical connection through your body. Focus on the space at which you feel your body touching the ground. Remain in the present moment by just being and feeling your existence physically. You are present in this place at this time. No past or future concerns are harming you and they have no power in your present moment.

Breathing and heartbeat

Your breath and your heartbeat are always there. Often it’s not quiet enough to hear either of them, but it is normally possible to feel them. You can feel your own pulse by pressing your forefinger and middle finger (not your thumb as it has its own pulse) against the inside of your wrist or your neck next to your windpipe. Sometimes it’s difficult to find your pulse. I find it easier to find my breath. Sometimes when I’m trying to sleep I hear my heartbeat is too fast because I was WORRYING about the past or the future. In those moments I tell myself I can learn to slow my heartbeat by focusing on my breathing. They seem to go hand in hand. With enough practice you can have this other level of control over your body.

Breathing deep, soothing breaths is a common way to calm yourself during moments of stress that have caused an increase in your heart rate. You can also focus on the calming breaths as you breathe them to bring yourself to the present moment. The breath is very powerful in this way. It’s something you can always bring your awareness back to. Observe yourself in the moment just breathing. Your eyes can be closed if it’s safe to do so. If any thoughts or emotions come to your mind you can let them pass by and float away with your breath. Let your focus be only on your breath and how it feels flowing in and out. Be in the present moment with your breath. No worries or emotions can hurt you in the present moment.

Curiosity

When was the last time you were a beginner at something? Or looked at something you’ve never seen before? When you learn something new you focus on each step carefully, individually. Once you’ve mastered a skill you no longer think twice about performing it. You don’t look at the steps closely or consider how each part comes together, it is just assumed. The world around you can also blur together as you assume the common objects you see every day. Un-blur your mind and focus on an object like you are a baby and have no understanding of the object. Create curiosity within your mind and come back to the present by really fully focusing on an object or a skill such as hula hooping or throwing a ball. Consider how it feels but without emotion or judgement. No judgement of causes or effects. Just see it for what it is in the moment and enjoy every one of those moments. You are present. You exist and it is amazing.

Key points:

Remember to allow yourself to feel emotions and acknowledge your thoughts when they wander. Be kind with yourself, no need to be discouraged when you stray from the present moment.

It’s okay to feel anger, happiness, all of the good and bad emotions are valid. But remind yourself that good or bad, the emotions are only temporary. You can control how you feel. The past cannot harm you.

The worries of the future are holding you back from focusing on your present moment. The future will happen whether or not you fixate on it. Fixation on the future cannot help you prepare for it. You have total control of your body in the present moment. You have the power to make it however you want it to be right now. You choose if you stand up and breathe in the fresh air or stay where you are. You choose whether you sit in sadness and worry about what others think about you. Are you worrying about those people? No. Then they aren’t worrying about you. You’re here in the present moment, make it whatever YOU want it to be.

Side note: Every other fellow human is also living and existing on the Earth just like you, searching for contentment and safety. If you or they are displaying angry emotions then it is because you/they are scared or hurt. We are able to choose how we react if we are wholly in the present moment. We are powerful enough to create the present that we want to exist in. Remain present, ask yourself why you are feeling a particular emotion and you can choose whether you alter your behaviour based on your anger, hurt or fear. Or choose to breathe and stay in control of your present.

Thank you so much for reading. Be kind and be present.

Visit my Youtube channel for more Full Cup Wellness online. Visit my store on Storenvy for my crochet creations.

The 5 types of boredom The Full Cup Wellness

Which type of boredom are you feeling? You can read this episode as a post at https://thefullcupwellness.com/2021/08/20/which-type-of-boredom-are-you-feeling/
  1. The 5 types of boredom
  2. Environmentally friendly leather?
  3. You're Worth More Than A Number
  4. Crafting With A Conscience
  5. Australian Bush Tucker In The Kitchen

Crochet your own waste-free scrubber sponges

Now that we have learned the mindful skill of crochet we can make our own custom items. You can get creative and design your own clothes, toys, household items, art… imagine all of the possibilities.

Imagine a waste-free home…

Or at least a reduced waste home. A home without plastic in the cleaning cupboard! All of the microfibre cleaning cloths and sponges you have used to clean your home have been creating plastic waste and contributing to landfil. Thankfully there are so many amazing alternatives that are even more effective at cleaning. It’s so easy to make the switch to something better for you and the environment.

Just remember when you’re buying yarn for crochet and knitting, all of the synthetic fibres out there are creating microplastics that enter our environment and our bodies. I like to stick to cotton and hemp yarn when I’m making items for cleaning. I designed this scrubber sponge pattern so that one side is made from hemp yarn for extra scouring power and the other side is made of cotton for regular wiping and scrubbing.

Hemp side
Cotton side

Detour: Here is my video explaining the trouble with microplastics https://youtu.be/Uspk3LOrfjY

I’ve called this deisgn a multipurpose scrubber sponge because it’s useful for cleaning in any room of the house, not just the kitchen. Keep one of these in your bathroom and laundry too. You’ll be reaching for it to clean every surface in your home.

This is my first time writing a pattern for other people to use so please let me know if there are any mistakes!

The Pattern: Hemp and Cotton Scrubber Sponge

  • Patern notes:
  • This pattern is written in US Crochet terms.
  • Begin with a foundation chain and make the sponge as long as you like. You can keep adding rows to make the sponge wider. I found this size works best for my small lady hands but you might prefer an oversized style sponge.
  • Abbreviations:
  • Ch: Chain
  • Sc: Single crochet
  • Hdc: Half double crochet
  • Pattern:
  • With hemp yarn Ch 25
  • Row 1: Hdc in the 3rd chain from the hook. Hdc all the way along.
  • Rows 2 – 12: Ch 2 for the turning chain. Hdc to the end of the row.
  • Attach cotton yarn and cut off the hemp yarn.
  • Row 12: Sc along the long edge of the hemp rectangle.
  • Rows 13 – 24: Hdc to the end of the row. Don’t bind off yet!
  • Finishing: Still with your cotton sitting at the end of Row 24, fold the 2 halves of the sponge together and Sc along the other long edge to join the 2 halves. You will be crocheting into both of the stitches on each edge so they are now “sewn” together.
  • I leave the short sides open so that the air flows through the sponge for easy drying.
  • You can sew or crochet up the short sides if you desire.

Let me know in the comments if you try out this pattern. Tell us what you think!

You can purchase one of these scrubbers at my Storenvy store and check out my other crochet creations for sale.