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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 25

Happy Christmas!

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

merry christmas

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 24

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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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 23

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.

Reframing

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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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 22

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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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 21

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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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 18

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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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 17

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.

  1. Leave some change in a vending machine.
  2. Give to a food bank.
  3. Give a stranger a flower.
  4. Give a stranger a compliment.
  5. Top up a parking meter.
  6. Leave a positive note for someone.
  7. Send an anonymous gift.
  8. Give some socks to a homeless person.
  9. Send someone a drink in a bar.
  10. 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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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 10

Look as us – we’ve made it to Day 10! Way to go!

So how shall we celebrate getting to double figures on our self care journey?

How about some exercise?

Exercise is an important part of self care and so is knowing your limits. Don’t push yourself too hard but do what you need to to improve your health.Also, don’t be fooled into believing exercise has to involve going to a gym – it most certainly does not.

Let me be clear, if you have a gym membership, that’s brilliant – make sure you use it. You don’t get the benefits just by paying for it each month. You have to go and exercise.

But if you’re like me and the thought of going to a gym brings you out in a cold sweat, then you may have thought that exercise wasn’t for you and that was that. Not so young paduin – there is much you can do that will bring you both physical and mental benefits.

Let’s start easy. Put some music on that you enjoy and move your body to it. If it’s fast and frantic, brilliant, you’re getting a cardio vascular work out. If it’s slow and steady, brilliant you’re gently working your core and improving your balance. You are also creating some mental space which is so important for a healthy mind.

Maybe you’d like to do something more productive? How about cleaning the house. Change the beds, go crazy with the duster, clean the windows, mop the floors, scrub the oven. A little more cardio (the faster you work the more your heart rate increases) and a clean sparkly home as a benefit! Also if you start to think of cleaning as your chance to care for yourself and your home, you might start to like it a little more.

Do you have a garden that could do with some attention? From weeding and mowing the lawn to digging holes and clearing ponds, the level of exertion varies, so choose what is right for you. By doing this you take care of yourself, your garden and all the ecosystem that thrives within it.

We could even get out of the house for a bit and use a walk to the shops or to work as another situation where we can exercise, create mental space and enjoy being outdoors? Maybe the walk is a more leisurely one at the weekend to a restaurant or museum that you fancy going to?

If you’re feeling really energetic maybe you could go for a run…or maybe even go to a class. Yoga and pilates are great forms of exercise without the puffy sweaty bits. If you don’t fancy pulling unusual poses in public there are plenty of youtube videos, dvd’s and digital streaming of lessons that you can follow.

There are options available for all levels of fitness and ability. Just do a little something that works for you. It all counts towards your self care.


If you struggle with motivation to get started on, or maintain an exercise program, you may find that hypnotherapy could help you get into the right frame of mind.

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 7

One week in and where are we? Well hopefully you’re up, clean and dressed, well fed, you’ve been outside, you’ve cleaned up, made a plan and even started decorating…and maybe feeling pretty good about it?

So how are we ending out first week of Self Care?

How about tapping into your creativity.

Now, creativity is a double edged sword. On one hand it can create beautiful, imaginative, original things. On the other hand, it can create catastrophic thoughts and stories of doom and gloom.

Overthinking is a form of creativity – but it’s not one that I think you should be focusing on, so let’s harness that creative spark in other ways. Some are blessed with talent. Some are naturally creative. Some are not. It doesn’t matter – you can still flex that creativity muscle and get some benefit from it.

Do you write Music or Play an instrument? – Write a song

Do you Paint? – Paint a portrait or landscape that you love

Do you Bake? – Make a cake to give to a homeless shelter/ neighbour / friend (or just eat it yourself)

Do you Cook? – Create a 3 course menu for a special occasion and try it out

Do you Knit? – Knit some bobble hats for a charity shop

Do you Sew? – Make an outfit or if you sew like I do, a napkin.

Do you Write? – blog, write a short story, send a card

Do you Vlog? – Do a vlog to help someone

Do you Draw? – Create some illustrations

Do you Sing? – Record a new version of your favourite song

Can’t do any of those things? That’s OK there’s still plenty you can do. Put together a new outfit, decorate a room, put together a mood board, do some papier-mâché, colour in a picture, decoupage, finger paints, modelling clay…..whatever you fancy. Just play and make something. It doesn’t have to be good. You don’t have to show anyone. Just be creative in a good way rather than a negative one.

As I said, over-thinking, catastrophizing and worrying are just ways of using your creativity and your imagination in an unhelpful way. When you catch yourself doing it, try to redirect your creative impulse into something better. If you feel like you really need to spend some time worrying, try to designate a set period of time in which to to do all of your worrying. Think you can get it all out of the way in 10 minutes? Give yourself 15 – but not a minute more. It can take a little practice for the continual worriers out there, but keep practising – you’ll get on top of it.


As a Hypnotherapist I see a lot of people with anxiety and depression.  Anxiety is often caused by a misdirected creative impulse that people can’t curb. If you find yourself in a situation like that, please get help as soon as possible. Not only is it unnecessary for you to suffer with this, it’s important to get help sooner rather than later. Although it is Never too late to change, it’s easier when it hasn’t become normal behaviour.

 

 

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 2

On the second day of the advent calendar we will continue our steps of basic self care.

Having read day 1, you should already be up, clean and dressed. Now we need to make sure you are fed and watered!

I’m a firm believer in food as medicine. Your body is a machine – a beautiful, complex, wonderful machine. In order for it to work well, it needs the right fuel inside of it. It needs enough to work well, but not so much that it becomes overladen. If you give your body the right fuel it has a much better chance of working the way it should.

So start your day right. Have a scrumptious, healthy breakfast.

It’s not for me to tell you what is best for you – maybe it’s bacon and eggs, maybe avocado on toast, maybe it’s a bowl of porridge – what ever it is, make sure it’s something tasty which will give you the fuel you need to have a great day.

If you are overweight, self care involves changing that. I’m not suggesting that you suddenly go on a crash diet, but making healthy choices and reducing your portion size will gently reduce your weight and make you feel better. I’m not talking about feeling bad about being overweight – you should love and appreciate your body whatever size or shape it is – but you will help it to work at it’s best if you are not overweight.

If you are underweight, self care involves changing that. Again. I’m not suggesting you should start pigging out on junk food, but you should make sure that you are increasing the amount that you are eating to give your body all the energy and nutrients it needs in order to be at it’s best.

If your weight is perfect – brilliant, well done you! All you have to do is keep it in that range whilst giving your body all the fruits and vegetables it needs to function at it’s best. Whether your an omnivore, carnivore, vegetarian, fruitarian, vegan or a raw food fan your body needs a range of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. Make sure you are giving it what it needs.

So many health problems can be fixed or improved with diet. Changes can be made to skin conditions, dietary problems, joint pains, fibromyalgia, kidney stones, urinary infections, cramps and even epilepsy. Some things like Type 2 diabetes, IBS and coeliac disease are very treatable with managing food choices. What you fuel your body with is important – choose the things that are going to care for your body.

Part of what you eat is what you drink – or at least it should be. If you are trying to reduce your weight, make sure that you are not drinking your calories. Whether that comes in the form of fizzy drinks (about 140 calories in a can) sugary tea/ coffee or alcohol (about 600 calories in a bottle of wine), you need to keep those calories in mind. Those calories don’t really fill you up – so you still eat more. Also, the fact that most of them come from sugar means that you are creating a sugar high, which is followed by a sugar low. This is bad news for your body and what’s worse is the sugar low will make you crave more of the evil white stuff – have you ever noticed how hard it is to stop snacking once you’ve started?

December is the month to eat, drink and be merry – so eat well, hydrate and be happy with the choices you are making!


So many people struggle with weight management, but it is so important to your health – both mental and physical. If you need some support to get your head in the right place to manage your weight effectively give a professional a call and get on the right path.

 

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