December 25, 2016 · 9:48 am
All I would like you to do today is to enjoy yourself.
Christmas is not about being perfect – it’s about having a good day. So don’t try too hard, relax, enjoy yourself and make the most of the day.
See you in the New Year x
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Tagged as 25, advent, blogmas, calendar, care, Christmas, day, New, self, Self Care, selfcare, talk, talking therapy, year
December 24, 2016 · 7:47 pm
It’s the day before the day!!!! Happy Christmas Eve!
Todays Self care idea is quite a simple one. Remember why you started.
Tomorrow ( and tonight ) may be full of tasks that you are doing on behalf of other people. Maybe it’s travelling with small children, maybe cooking for the family, maybe putting together toys. All of these can can be a little frustrating – especially if we don’t feel appreciated for it. If that happens, try to remember why you did it in the first place.
The chances are that the reason you were doing it, was to make that other person happy, not to get appreciation. So, appreciate yourself for doing something nice and leave it at that. If you get appreciation (or reciprocation) from the other person then you should be thrilled, but not expect it.
Another reason you should remember why you started is if you are trying to stick to an exercise plan or diet over the next few days. Nobody’s saying you can’t enjoy yourself, just don’t go crazy and undo all the good work you’ve been doing up until now.
Have an amazing Christmas everyone x
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December 23, 2016 · 1:59 pm
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder – what do you see that you think is beautiful?
All too often we neglect to see the beauty in what’s around us. In nature, in our home, in our friends and family, in ourselves.
Beauty is all around you if you take the time to look for it.
There aren’t many people in the world who can look in the mirror and honestly say that they see beauty there – and that is a terrible shame. Of course we don’t all fit into society’s pattern of what beautiful looks like (which by the way changes dramatically depending on which society you are in) but we all have beauty in us.
Is there a part of your body that you are unhappy with? Maybe you think it’s too thin, or too fat….Maybe you think it’s too saggy or too taut…..Maybe you think it’s too big or too small….Whatever it is you are finding fault with doesn’t really matter, because my self-care challenge for you today is to find a way to love it, to appreciate it, to find its beauty.
There are several methods that I find useful with this sort of challenge. I have fat ankles -let’s use them as an example.
Ok, so my ankles are a little on the chunky side – on the upside they are sturdy. They don’t cause me any pain and they support my body. They are flexible and strong enough to keep me balanced and allow me to walk and run anywhere that I want to. I may not look as good as I would like to in a skirt, but I did get to walk all over New York last month (110,000 steps in 4 days) and explore an amazing place in person. In balance, I would rather have chunky ankles that support me, than pretty ones that don’t.
The lotion method
Now, this doesn’t work for every part of your body, but it’s good for things that are covered in skin. The idea is that you but yourself a nice bottle or body lotion. Something that smells good and that will condition your skin. You then make a commitment to yourself to use the lotion on the body part you dislike every day. Spend time rubbing the lotion in and thinking about that part of your body n as positive a way as you can. By the time you have finnished the bottle, you should have better feelings about that part or you.
Ask for feedback
Quite often the part of ourselves that we dislike most doesn’t even register as a thing with other people. I’m quite self conscious of my ankles, so I tend not to wear skirts ot shoes that show them off. When I pointed this out to a friend of mine she laughed at me at told me there was nothing wrong with my ankles and that I was being silly. That gave me the confidence to buy a dress I wouldn’t normally have done, wear it and then get lots of lovely compliments about how I looked.
Work on it
If the part of you you’re not so keen on can be improved with diet or exercise, why not give it a go? I carry my weight a little differently than most people, and even when I’m not overweight, I have larger legs than most. However, despite it being the last place to go, when I lose the weight, the ankle do slim down too – not as much as I’d like, but they do slim down. Maybe I could try some different exercises that would stretch and lengthen them too – Now there’s a thought…
So, I’m off to research ankle exercises. What will you be doing today?
It can be difficult to change how you feel about yourself particularly if you have body dysmorphia. Hypnosis is a great tool to help change your feelings about yourself so that you can see the positives in your amazing body. Don’t suffer unnecessarily – get the help you need to feel great.
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Tagged as 23, advent, ankles, beauty, blog, blogmas, body, calendar, care, coventry hypnosis, day, dysmorphia, fat, hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, NLP, reframing, self, Self Care, selfcare, wordpress
December 22, 2016 · 4:46 pm
Continuing our theme of looking at self care and the senses today we shall be thinking about touch.
What sort of things do you like to touch? Cool things? Warm things? Soft things? Hard things? Rough things? Smooth things?
Have you ever even thought about how touch affects how you feel?
If I’m feeling bad one of the ways I can make myself feel better is to be around (ideally surrounded and engulfed by) warm fluffy things. Like getting into a bed that’s had the electric blanket on or with several hot water bottles, or sitting under a blanket with big warm fluffy socks on. Or getting dressed in clothes that have just come out of the drier or off the radiator. I am the queen of cosy town.
There is a danish word that has no direct English translation. The word is Hygge and it sort of translates to ‘feeling warm and cosy in the company of good friends’ and often involves blankets, slippers, fires, candles and frequently alcohol. For me, hygge, is a desirable state.
When I’m feeling stressed, down or just worn out, I try to make time to feel better. I know that might seem like an obvious thing to say, but more often than not people will carry on regardless. They think that the way they feel cannot be affected by something as simple as taking some time out to create a different environment, so the put their heads down and just plough on.
So my self care challenge to you today is to think about how things make you feel, how you would like to feel, and how you can create an environment that supports you feeling the way that you would like to feel.
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December 21, 2016 · 2:47 pm
Regular readers (hello) may have noticed a pattern emerging in the last few posts. On the 19th we looked at sound (so to speak) on the 20th taste. Following on with the theme of senses let’s spend some time thinking about smell.
Our noses are spectacular – not as good as many other animals, but still spectacular.
We can recognise different scents – some we may love, others we may hate, but all of the smells we smell have memories and associations with them. It is often said that scent has the strongest link to memory. Have you ever caught a whiff that sent you straight back to childhood? Or another that made you feel like you did at the dentist?
One way that we can self care through smell is to make sure that we, and our environment smell nice. Make sure things around you are clean. Then choose the scents you want to experience. If you want to feel refreshed and invigorated go for more citrus scents. If you want to feel more relaxed and calm go for more earth scents. Want to feel like you’re on a beach holiday – coconuts and mangoes.
Another way is through therapies like aromatherapy. These use specific essential oils either just as a scent or as part of a massage to make you feel well.
Think of a happy memory, or just some place that you really enjoy. Think of what scents you would notice if you were there, and try to recreate them in your environment. Maybe your subconscious will then give you more positive happy thoughts to brighten your day?
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Tagged as 21, advent, aroma, aromatherapy, blog, blogmas, calendar, care, citrus, day, inspiration, massage, scent, self, Self Care, selfcare, smell, well, wordpress
December 20, 2016 · 11:29 am
Oh my goodness – just 5 days to go!
Yesterday I started looking at the senses and your hearing got a little TLC.
Today can I suggest that you pay a little attention to your tastebuds?
For many of us one of the greatest joys in life is our sense of taste. Personally I just love to eat beautiful foods and drink amazing drinks. I very rarely drink alcohol, but when I do it’s an excuse to try a cocktail with some new flavours.
What sort of tastes stimulate you? Some have a sweet tooth, some prefer things more savoury. Some like it hot, others mild. For me the combination of sweet, sour, salt, chilli and oumami that you tend to get in Thai foods really works.
One of the greatest gifts I ever gave myself was to enjoy the taste of foods that are good for me. I used to hate salmon – all fish in fact. I did like chilli, so in order to be able to eat a piece of salmon (which you are recommended to eat twice a week to get all the lovely healthy oils from) I used to make salmon fish cakes with enough chilli in to mask the taste of the fish. I can’t say as I really enjoyed them to start with, but I did get used to them. There is a theory that if you eat any food every day for 3 weeks then you will start to like the taste. I didn’t eat it every day – just a couple of times a week. Slowly, over time, I began to enjoy it. I started changing up the recipe, less chilli, more salmon. Then I started cooking salmon in the pan and eating it with salads, or baking it in the oven and eating it with some steamed veggies. Now I actively look forward to eating it. I don’t eat it just because I should, but because I want to.
Self care is a balance. It’s balancing what’s good for you with a little of what you like. Sometimes that’s eating healthy, nutritious food. Sometimes it’s giving yourself a treat (just make sure it is a treat and doesn’t become the norm – if you’re doing it more than twice a week it’s getting a bit routine!). The ultimate win is when you find something that is both healthy and that you look forward to.
So my challenge for you today is a choice. I’d like you to eat/drink something that you find yummy – really yummy – but if you’re up for it I would also like you to choose a food that you think you should eat more of (fish, vegetables,whole grains, nuts etc) and work on ways of incorporating them into your diet. Clearly you shouldn’t eat anything that you are allergic to, or even if you just have a reaction to, but a mixed healthy diet is one of the best ways I know to take care of yourself.
Changing your diet can be difficult on your own. If you are looking for ways to release yourself from fussy eating habits, or just from eating too much junk, then you don’t have to do it on your own. There are people out there – like hypnotherapists – who can make it a lot easier for you.
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Tagged as 20, advent, blog, blogmas, calendar, chilli, day, fish, food, Hypnotherapy, inspiration, lifestyle, salmon, self, Self Care, selfcare, taste, wordpress
December 19, 2016 · 4:07 pm
With only six days until the 25th are you feeling festive?
Are sleigh bells ringing in your ears? Is it beginning to sound a lot like Christmas?
All of our senses can take a bit of a pounding during the festive season, and our hearing is not immune to the excesses of party time. So my self care thoughts for today are based around your ears.
If things have been kind of hectic, give yourself some space without noise. Take a walk somewhere quiet and don’t put headphones on – just listen to what’s around you.
Or if that’s not an option for you maybe you could sit quietly at home, maybe playing a little classical music – something soothing like a piano concerto…
Then again, maybe things have been a little too quiet for you – maybe you need to play some Christmas albums and have a good old song along. Or, maybe go caroling?
Or maybe the spirit of Christmas has already overloaded your senses and you need to take a break from it with some crazy jazz, some banging metal, some turbo dance – what ever floats your musical boat. Just enjoy a little bit of whatever you need.
What works for one person will not always work for someone else. So if you feel frazzled by what other people seem to be enjoying, don’t worry. You’re just in a different head space than them right now, and that’s OK – you do what’s right for you.
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Tagged as 19, advent, album, blog, blogmas, calendar, carols, Christmas, day, ears, hearing, inspiration, learning, music, quiet, self, Self Care, selfcare, wordpress
December 18, 2016 · 1:57 pm
Hi peeps – how are we all doing? With just one week to go to the big day, I’m hoping you’re all feeling pretty good.
A lot of what Christmas is about is relationships. If you’ve been watching a few cheesy Christmas films, you may have noticed that the heart of them all is the connection of one person with another, and our connections to other people, whether family or friends are a significant factor in our happiness.
As with most things, what works for one person may not work for another, but those relationships are important to everyone – it’s just the numbers that vary. Some of us are happy with just a few people in our circle, some need many. The more people you have, the more work it takes to keep those relationships alive, and sometimes people get lost along the way.
Think back over the last 10 years or so. Have there been significant people in your life that have drifted away? I’m not talking about those we have lost because they have passed away (as heart breaking as it is, we have to learn to move on without them) but those we have lost to distance, time or disagreements.
Confession time – I’m not the best person at staying in touch with friends. There is a little insecurity there…a part of me believes that they’re probably not that keen on me so I don’t want to push to make arrangements in case they think of it as a drag or hassle. There’s also a little laziness…it take effort to stay in touch with people. There’s a drop of negativity…they will probably not want to get together anyway, and there’s also a little selfishness…I quite like my own company and my own home. All of these things come together in me, meaning that it’s very easy for me to lose touch with people. If I want to maintain or renew these connections, I have to make a little effort to do so. But when I do, the rewards are outstanding.
Each New Year I make a list of New Year’s resolutions. One of them that remains on the list every year is to reconnect with at least one person who has been important to me.
It can be a little scary making that first step. What if they ignore us? What if they actively reject us? What if they don’t remember us? What if nothing comes of it? Well the answer to all of those questions have similar outcomes. If they go our way great, but if they don’t we are in no worse a position than when we started. That person is still not in our lives we now just have a clearer picture of why they’re not.
So today, my self care challenge to you is to reconnect with an old friend. Write them a message on facebook, send them a christmas card, text them, email them, hell, you could even give them or call or go and visit them. It can seem daunting but a quick hello could lead to the nicest Christmas you’ve had in ages.
Social anxiety can reduce your ability to make and maintain relationships. This isn’t something that you have to live with. Please seek help from a qualified therapist to change how you feel so that you can enjoy life to the max. You really do deserve it.
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Tagged as 18, advent, anxiety, anxious, calendar, care, Christmas, connect, day, friend, friends, friendship, lifestyle, lonely, lost, reconnect, relationships, self, Self Care, selfcare, social, suicide, wordpress
December 17, 2016 · 12:20 pm
Welcome back – it’s so lovely to see you here again.
Self care is important. When you don’t take care of yourself you are letting yourself, and those around you, down. How you are affect how others are.
A lot of what I’ve written about during the first part of this self care advent calendar has involved just focussing on yourself. I make no apologies for that – you are important.
Although what I am about to suggest today may seem as though it’s more about other people, it’s still about you. It’s about how it makes you feel, how you think about yourself.
I would like you to be proud of yourself, to think about yourself as a good person. So, what do you need to do in order to feel that way. I’m sure you have answers of your own, and they may be the most important things for you to work on, but I’m going to suggest one way that seems to work well for me and lots of others.
Random acts of kindness.
If you haven’t heard of this concept before, it’s kind of self explanatory. You do something nice for someone random. Ideally this isn’t someone in your social circle, they’re not a friend or family, they’re not even someone you work with – just a random stranger.
Sometimes it’s nice to see how people react to your kindness, sometimes it’s best just to do it and move on.
I would LOVE to know some suggestions for random acts that you could or have done, but in case you’re struggling for inspiration, here are some of my easy favourites.
- Leave some change in a vending machine.
- Give to a food bank.
- Give a stranger a flower.
- Give a stranger a compliment.
- Top up a parking meter.
- Leave a positive note for someone.
- Send an anonymous gift.
- Give some socks to a homeless person.
- Send someone a drink in a bar.
- Read a random blog and tell them something nice about it.
I’m not a big fan of concepts like law of attraction or Karma, but I do think you get what you give. The more positivity and love you put out into the world, the more will com back to you. Try to engender the feelings you would like to have in others and it may find it’s way back to you. Even if it doesn’t come back from the people you pass it too, it may come back in the way you feel about yourself.
Our self esteem is incredibly important. The way we feel about ourselves in one of the most important factors in our health and wellbeing. Don’t believe me? Things like loneliness have as big an impact on your life span as smoking, and if we don’t have good self esteem we can struggle with relationships and feelings of worth. Although it may seem like something you just have to do or not do, things are never that simple. Our subconscious mind can get some poor programming which can be corrected. If you struggle with self esteem, getting help from a hypnotherapist could be the best thing you ever do.
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Tagged as 17, advent, attraction, calendar, care, day, Depression, Development, inspiration, karma, law, Random act of kindness, self, Self Care, stress, wordpress
December 16, 2016 · 12:55 pm
If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know that I wrote this yesterday in an attempt to get ahead of the game – I hope you enjoy it. What did you get ahead of, and how do you feel about it today knowing that you have one less thing to do?
One of the reasons I wanted to get this done yesterday is that today is my Partner’s Birthday. He is away at work in the morning, but will be home by afternoon and I want to make sure that the house is nice and clean, his favourite food and drinks are bought and prepared and that I can spend all my time celebrating with him.
Which brings me on to today’s topic – time.
The most valuable commodity you have is your time. We all have a limited amount of it – 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year and who knows how may years in our life. We sell our time to our clients or our employers. We give our time to our friends and family. Some of us have more than we know what to do with, some of us could do with bonus hours in the day and days in the week. Time is precious.
I often have people tell me that they don’t have time to do things. Exercise , meditation, cooking for themselves, mindfulness etc. My response tends to be that we all have the same amount of time in a day, we just have to decide how we are going to use it. When you say you don’t have time, what you mean is I prioritise other things over this.
Have you ever had a conversation with a child who wants you to do something with them, and you’ve said that you don’t have time. Try reframing that sentence into a priority statement. Instead of saying I don’t have time, you say it as I am prioritising something else over doing this with you. Now if the thing you are prioritising is important, that’s ok. Some things have to take priority – earning money to pay bills, buying food to eat, cooking meals to keep them healthy. If the thing you are prioritising is less important or maybe even selfish, then this sentence can highlight that and help you to see things in a more honest way. For example if you tell someone that you are prioritising getting drunk over helping them with something important to them, then you are going to struggle to justify that.
So, spend your time wisely today – and every day. It’s one of the few things you can never get back.
One of the ways you can tell if you, or someone you know, has an addiction is the way they prioritise their time. If fulfilling the addiction takes priority over everything else, like being with others, taking care of themselves or their children, or working, then it’s time to get some serious help. Hypnotherapy and other talking therapies are one of the best ways to help you break free of addictive patterns. See if you can get the need today.
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