Tag Archives: Christmas

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

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, coaching, depression, Development, experiment, fun, Good News, inspiration, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Self Care, Self Help, support

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

Leave a comment

Filed under addiction, coaching, Development, Dieting, Exercise, experiment, Food, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, nutrition, Positivity, Psychology, Self Care, Self Help, Stress, support

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 19

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.

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under coaching, depression, Development, experiment, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, lifestyle, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, Peace, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Care, Self Help, Stress, support, Worrying

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.

2 Comments

Filed under coaching, depression, experiment, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, lifestyle, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Care, Self Help, Stress, support, Worrying

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 15

10 days to go until the big day….Not long now.

Hopefully you are almost ready for Christmas at this point. If not maybe today could be a day where you get closer to it, or if you’re really organised, get ahead of the game.

I’m not looking for you to do any specific task today, but I would like you to do something you have planned in for tomorrow or the following few days.

Sometimes we can all feel that all we are doing is playing catch up. We are constantly chasing our tail or just putting out fires – whatever your preferred metaphor.

So today is your chance to get ahead of plan and feel really good about it.

As I’ve written before, when we achieve things we are more likely to achieve other things. When we complete a task ahead of schedule we not only get a greater sense of accomplishment than when we do it on time, but we also are more likely to crack on and get some other stuff done. As an added bonus, we also avoid the stress of having things overdue. Win Win.

It’s really as simple as that. I’m about to take my own advice and get ahead of the game by writing tomorrows advent post and scheduling it to be published tomorrow.

Let’s catch up then – it’s going to be a good one.

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, coaching, depression, Development, experiment, fun, Good News, Happy, inspiration, lifestyle, Mental Health, Motivation, Peace, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Care, Self Help, Stress, support, Worrying

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 6

We’ve made it to day 6 – Woo hoo!

So just to recap, were up, clean and dressed, well fed, we’ve been out into the big wide world, we’ve got a plan for the month and we’ve had a clean up…aren’t we doing fabulously?

So what does today bring? A little sparkle that’s what. Or maybe not depending on your tastes…it’s up to you really.

My suggestion for today is to put up a decoration or two. If you celebrate Christmas, this is a lovely time of year to decorate your home with a few sparkles, but even if you don’t it doesn’t mean you can’t put up some special decoration. Maybe you’re celebrating something else and you could decorate for that or maybe this isn’t any special time for you, but you could still decorate with a beautiful photo or some fresh flowers…

It really doesn’t matter what you choose, but making a space beautiful has a positive impact. You fulfil an internal need to be creative and you respect your space by making it attractive.

Personally I like my decorations to have a little meaning behind them. When we go away on holiday I try to pick up Christmas decorations that will remind me of happy times. We recently spent a long weekend in New York and it was amazing. We bought a little Santa ornament at a Christmas shop just by Carnegie Hall and today I put it up in front of the clock in the living room. Now every time I look at the time I get a little positive memory of our wonderful trip – good eh?

There is also something kind of nice about taking some time over things. As I wrote yesterday, it’s important to make time to create some metal space. Doing things in a mindful way is an opportunity to do this. Instead of rushing through your decorating, take time over it. Avoid other distractions and hold the objects that you are placing. Notice how they feel, how they look, how they smell. What memories do they bring up? What thoughts do you associate with them? How will you feel when you place it just right. Really focus on each thought and emotion and see them for what they are – just thoughts and feelings. You don’t have to act on them. You don’t have to keep them. Just notice them and let them pass…when you can do this with all your thoughts and feelings, you can eliminate stress and anxiety from your life completely, so it’s well worth practising.

When you’ve put up your decorations, take time to enjoy them too. Sit back and admire your work. Invite a friend around so that they can tell you how gorgeous it all looks. Ask the neighbours round for a coffee. Whilst it’s good to do these things for yourself, it’s also good to share them.


A lot of people suffer with overthinking, worry and anxiety. Mindfulness can be a great way to deal with these intrusive thoughts and to learn how to master them. There are classes happening all over the world and online, so it’s worth spending some time getting to grips with this incredible technique.

1 Comment

Filed under coaching, depression, Development, experiment, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, lifestyle, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, Peace, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Care, Self Help, Stress, support, Worrying

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 4

Hi there – welcome to the fourth day of our self care advent calendar. So now you should be dressed, clean, well fed and have ventured outside.

Keep it up – every day – yep, I said it, every day.

But here’s one that you can do for just one day (sort of). I want you to make a December/Christmas bucket list.

If you celebrate Christmas this is a great idea to make sure you are getting the most from the holiday season. If you don’t celebrate Christmas you can still join in by creating a list of all the things you want to do this December.

I want you to make your own, but I’m going to give you mine so that you can use it for inspiration.

Christmas Bucket List

  1. Decorate the house
  2. Make a Christmas tree ornament
  3. Watch a Christmas film (Elf for me)
  4. Donate to a food bank/homeless shelter
  5. Take silly Christmas photos
  6. Take a drive and look at the Christmas lights
  7. Write and send Christmas cards (with proper messages to those I care about)
  8. Make a drink Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows in
  9. Make a Gingerbread house
  10. Make some seed and nut fatballs to feed the birds
  11. Make the house smell like Christmas (baked apples, cinnamon, cloves, sandalwood and oranges)
  12. Take some stuff to the charity shop
  13. Sing loudly to Christmas songs
  14. Go for a long walk in the country
  15. Dry orange slices
  16. Make some Christmas cookies and give them to the neighbours
  17. Snuggle up by the fire with a good book
  18. Wear fluffy socks
  19. Drink some mulled cider
  20. Go Ice skating
  21. Kiss someone you love under the mistletoe
  22. Wear a Christmas jumper
  23. Have a pamper day – hair, nails and feet looking their best for Christmas parties
  24. Donate to an animal shelter – food, toys or bedding
  25. Eat a candy cane
  26. Decorate the table for Christmas dinner

 

So as I said – this one is a one off. You just need to do all the things on it, and that could take all month!

Only put things on the list that YOU want to do – don’t try to fit into anyone else’s expectation of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. It’s your list.

Also whilst I would love for you to do all the things on your list, you may not get them all done, and that’s OK – there’s always next year, or maybe you could just extend it into to January….it’s all flexible. It’s your list, your life and your experience – do it any way that works well for you. Having said that, it there is something that you’ve put on your list that you never get round to doing, ask yourself why. Is it because you didn’t really want to do it in the first place? Or maybe you do want to do it but can’t quite fund a way to make it happen…If that’s the case you need to make a plan and make it happen. Your Life if Your responsibility – make the things you want to happen happen.

So go forth and get on with your amazing Christmas Bucket List.


Sometimes we can all do with a little helping hand to get us moving. If you need help with motivation or planning, maybe you could use the help of a therapist or life coach. We’re out there and happy to get you where you want to be.

3 Comments

Filed under Blogging, charity, coaching, depression, Development, experiment, Food, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, lifestyle, Mental Health, Motivation, Peace, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Care, Self Help, support

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.

 

5 Comments

Filed under coaching, Development, Dieting, Food, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, lifestyle, Mental Health, Motivation, nutrition, Psychology, Self Care, Self Help, support

How to have a Stress Free Christmas

Christmas is supposed to be a lovely holiday – friends and family celebrating, joy to the world, peace and harmony – so why do so many people end up feeling incredibly stressed?

Did you know that the suicide rate increases dramatically at this time of year? Also the divorce rate soars in early January. How sad that this season creates so much unhappiness.

I think most of the problems are caused by expectations. You want it to be perfect. You want to feel loved and love in return. You want everyone to get along.

So my first tip is…

Manage your expectations. If you have a group of people coming together, don’t expect the all to get on. There will be friction (especially if there is alcohol involved) so expect it and have a plan to deal with it. That plan could be just to let it go, not to worry about it. It could be to plan an activity or game that will keep people occupied. It could be about mediating and finding common ground – whatever it is , have a plan, but also accept that your plan may not work out how you want it to.

If you are going to be alone you still need to manage your expectations. At a time of year when everyone is talking about how important family is, how great it is to be in a relationship etc etc you need to own your singleness. I’ve been alone at Christmas a few times – sometimes it’s been utterly depressing, sometimes it’s been awesome. That tells me that my happiness doesn’t depend on whether I’m with people or not, but it does depend on how I feel about it. Don’t dwell on what you think it should be, accept what it is and make the absolute most of it. Plan something wonderful for yourself. If you have the money, go away, book a trip, do something you’ve always wanted to do. If you’re broke, get your favourite snacks in, plan a personal pamper day, grab the cosy blankets and a good book/film and enjoy it (all the while thanking your lucky stars that you’re not spending the day running yourself ragged trying to please a load of unappreciative family who will just have a fight and ruin your day anyway)

Which brings me to tip 2

Plan and Prepare. Try not to give yourself too much work to do on the day. It might seem a little over the top, but a little planning goes a long way. Write yourself a list of things that you need to do for YOUR Christmas. I can’t give you a list as everyone’s Christmas is their own, but think about furniture that you need, food that you want, games that you want to play, decorations you want to have, gifts you want to give, how you want to wrap them, people you want to see, cards you want to send. Do as much as you can as early as you can. Leave NOTHING to the last minute. Last minute = stress. Avoid it where possible. Cards can be written, addressed and stamped now. Some food can be prepared and frozen. Online shopping lists can be created. Get on it now – not only will it reduce your stress, but you’ll also feel amazingly smug and well organised when you hear about other people stressing.

Despite what I’ve just said, you also need to remember tip 3

Keep it simple. Your job is not to put on the most elaborate Christmas celebration that has ever existed. You don’t have to handmake soaps in the shape of wrapped Christmas presents, you don’t have to cook like a gourmet chef, you don’t need to buy everyone a uniquely thoughtful gift that speaks to their soul. Sometimes a scented candle or some bed socks are OK. Pre prepared food still tastes great and most people will be happy with the slightly dodgy Christmas TV and a nap after dinner.

Which brings me back to expectations and tip 4 is

It’s also OK to manage other people’s expectations. As a business owner I know how important it is to manage other peoples expectations. If I tell you I’m going to do something, I need to be able to deliver that. If I don’t deliver, I disappoint. If I do what I said I was going to do, then my clients are OK with that. If I exceed what I said I was going to do, everyone is happy. So, underplay what you are going to do and over deliver.

My final tip for today is

Don’t try to do everything yourself. This is a double edged sword. Firstly, by delegating tasks you avoid the stress of having to do everything. That’s a win. The weight of Christmas is not ALL on your shoulders. The other side is that your guest may actually really enjoy contributing to Christmas. It makes them feel involved and gives them a chance to show that they can make something wonderful too. If people offer to help, don’t get defensive. They are not trying to tell you that they don’t think you can do this. They just want to help and to be involved. Let them. Christmas does not belong just to you.


All of these things will help to keep things a bit calmer, more relaxed, under control. However some people will still struggle with stress at this time of year. Please, however you feel, don’t let seasonal stress get to you. If you can manage it yourself- fantastic. If you can’t please get help. There are lots of professionals around who can help you to feel the way you want to feel, to live the life you want to live. As a hypnotherapist I help people all year round, but stress, anxiety and loneliness are more prevalent at this time of year ( and weight loss is more prevalent in January!)

Here’s to your stress free Christmas

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Blogging, depression, Dieting, Food, Good News, Happy, hypnosis, inspiration, lifestyle, meditation, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Stress, support, Worrying

My Happy Jar

My Happy Jar

This is the latest post about my Happy Jar.

It’s a way to look back on things and remember all the little things that make us happy.

The idea came from a nice story I once heard about a woman who had a jar. Every time she thought of something that made her happy, she would jot it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. Whenever she felt down, or fed up, she would go to her jar and find all the things that made her happy. Some things were big things, events that happened that she could look back on and smile, but most were little things that she could cherish and maybe even recreate to make her feel better.

So here are a few things from my Happy Jar this month.

A lovely Christmas with my Partner and his Dad.

Seeing the nieces opening up their presents.

Frosty mornings when everything is painted white.

The smell of fresh paint.

Clean white walls – I’m decorating!

Chocolate Yule log.

Mulled cider.

The smell of pine needles and oranges and cinnamon.

Chatting to my Mum.

Christmas cards from people you haven’t seen for an age.

The pop of a champagne bottle.(I put the cork in the jar for this one!)

Getting my organic veggie box this morning.

Teaching a 4 year old how to draw farm animals.

Coming in from a cold walk with the dog and snuggling up on the sofa.

I know none of these things are amazing, there is nothing earth shattering about them, but all of them have made me smile and brought a least a little joy to my soul.

What will you put in your happy jar this month?

6 Comments

Filed under coaching, depression, Development, experiment, fun, Good News, Happy, Health, humour, inspiration, Mental Health, Motivation, Positivity, Psychology, Relaxation, Self Help, Stress, Worrying