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Addicted to Love

addictedto-love

As a segway on my blog, moving from the subject of Love for February and Addiction for March, today’s post is about those who are addicted to love.

I have a friend who is completely addicted to love. She loves the idea of love. She ends up going from one relationship to another with barely a gap between them. If you saw her Facebook feed you could be forgiven for thinking that she is a nightmare of a person to be with, but as her friend, I can tell you she’s actually a really great person. So why can’t she sort out her relationship situation?

Well, to start with, as I already mentioned, she goes from one relationship to another with barely enough chance to get catch her breath, let alone take some time to grieve for the old relationship and find calm and comfort from herself. Why is that important? Because she doesn’t know who she is. She’s never alone enough to get to know herself. I’m pretty sure if I asked her, she would say that she has a strong sense of who she is, but I don’t think she does. She certainly isn’t comfortable on her own. That’s why she goes searching for another relationship the moment the most recent one ends.

Now I don’t want to get too ‘Laws of attraction’ on you, but I do think we get back what we give out. If you’re in a happy mood you attract people who are happy. If you are in a grumpy mood, you attract people who are grumpy. If you are desperate and needy you attract either a) people who are desperate and needy (not that attractive) or b) people who will take advantage of your desperation and neediness. I would argue that neither of these is a great basis for a strong relationship.

This then leads to her being incredibly disappointed in how the relationship goes. She has wonderful expectations on what should happen. She likes a man to be a man’s man, tough and strong and able to look after her. She wants to be wined and dined. She wants them to be honest and emotionally available. She wants them to be amazing. When they turn out to be human, fallible and often a little emotionally closed off she gets upset and ends the relationship. Does she the take time to work out why this keeps happening? No, she dives straight back in again to see if she can get it right with the next one – and quite importantly, she blames them for not living up to her expectations. She constantly bemoans the fact that she can’t find a good man rather than working out why the good one’s aren’t chasing her.

So what should she do? Well to start with, take a break. Decide not to be in a relationship for a while. It would be helpful to her to take some time to let the wounds heal (and believe me, she feels like she is covered in wounds), to grow and to learn to be by herself. Then she needs to learn to love herself. Not just to put on a lot of puff and bluster (which she is already quite good at) but to actually learn to love all of herself. That means accepting the bad parts as well as the good. Once she has done that, maybe she will be able to be as kind to others. She will be able to love someone who is less than perfect, to understand them and help them in the way that she has helped herself. She will also be projecting more confidence and happiness – which I think she would find attractive in others, and they will find attractive in her.


Not everyone finds it easy to get over a relationship or to be on their own. If you or someone you know struggles with this, maybe you could find some help from a therapist. Invest in yourself – it pays dividends.

 

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A tasty, heart healthy, Valentine’s treat

February is Heart Awareness month. With that in mind, and also knowing the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach (and a women’s is through chocolate) I’ve put together a little sweet treat that’s a bit healthier than your standard brownie. The fat comes from Avocado and the sugar is mostly from maple syrup. It’s choc full of nuts (almonds and peanuts) and has a few sexy seeds thrown in for good measure. Most of all though, they taste absolutely fantastic. They are a treat, but one you shouldn’t feel too guilty about as the high protein content from the nuts and seeds will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Ingredients

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1 ripe avocado                                                     60g smooth peanut butter

75g dark brown sugar                                       1 tsp vanilla essence

30g cocoa                                                              1 large egg

30g Raw cacao                                                     50g Dried Cherries (or goji berries or cranberries)

150 g ground almonds                                      A handful of whatever seeds you fancy (I’ve used

100 ml of maple syrup                                          pumpkin seeds and flax seeds in this one)

 

Preheat oven to 180C/160c Fan/Gas 4. Line a 20cm/20cm tin with grease proof paper

Scoop out the flesh of the avocado into a bowl and mash it up (discard the stone and skin)

Now this is the tricky bit….throw everything else in the bowl and mix. How simple is that? If it seems too thick add a few tablespoons of water and mix again until you have an even consistency (with dried fruit and seeds in).

img_20170209_163555369_burst000_cover_top

Spoon into the lined tin and try to level the top off as best you can – mine always looks a bit lumpy, but I’m OK with that.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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Cut into squares and enjoy x

 

 

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Love is not enough

How many times have you heard ‘all you need is love’? or ‘Love conquers everything’?

It’s a cute idea, but unfortunately it’s nonsense.

In certain cultures people can get married without even having spent time together before the wedding day, yet they still go on to have beautiful, strong and often loving relationships. Others fall deeply in love with an abuser who destroys them.

Love is easy – you fall into it, you fall out of it, it just happens. A good relationship needs you to put in some effort.

In the example I gave above – falling in love with an abuser – there are some really important things missing.

Respect

A good relationship requires respect – from both parties. It doesn’t mean that you always have to agree, but you must respect each others feelings. If you dismiss how someone feels, or tell them they shouldn’t feel that way, it’s not respecting them. If you accept this behaviour from someone else – you’re not respecting yourself.

Trust

Trust can take time to build, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. It can be destroyed in seconds. It’s one of the most fragile things in any relationship and must be handled with care. Whilst it’s obviously important to honour the trust someone gives you, it’s equally important to give that trust in the first place. Yes, you may have been hurt before, but if the hurt was caused by someone else, it’s deeply unfair to punish your partner for the behaviour of someone else.

Courtesy

Courtesy is the little things – the ‘pleases’ and ‘thankyous’. The ‘bless you’ when you sneeze, the ‘pardon me’ when you burp. It’s the small polite things that demonstrate that you are thinking about the other person all the time.

Caring and Kindness

Caring is kind of like Love light, but it’s just as important. Showing that you care about what sort of day they had. Caring about their sore foot. Caring if they are tired or want to talk. I’m not saying their feelings should always come first, but show them that you care about it. Be kind. It’s simple but if we all treated our partners with kindness we would end abuse immediately.

Reliable

To me one of the biggest things about any relationship I have is reliability. Doing what I said I would, when I said I’d do it. Showing up, every time. I can rely on my partner and they can rely on me.

Responsibility

Responsibility is about owning the obligations in the relationship and not giving excuses. I am responsible for my behaviour – no-one else. If I put myself in situations where I get drunk, take drugs, have other people influence me, that’s still my responsibility.

Honesty

I need to be honest with myself and my partner – all the time. I also expect that from them. This links back to the trust. If I want them to trust me, and I want to be happy trusting them, we need to be honest – even when it’s hard or it hurts.

Communication

Honesty is worthless if there is no communication. If someone doesn’t tell you something that’s bothering them, that’s a form of dishonesty. If you don’t tell me, how can I possibly do something about it. People seem to think that their partner should be able to read their mind. Unless you’re dating Derren Brown, that could be a little unfair.

Commitment

An here’s the big one. If I’m in a relationship with you, I’m committing to it. 100% There are no days off, there are no exceptions. All of the above, all of the time. As  I said at the beginning the love part is easy – it just happens. Maybe I’ll fall in love with someone else – I’m not in control of that. But what I am in control of is my thoughts and behaviours, and if I’m committed to the relationship, I will shut down any of the other stuff before it’s a problem.

Love just happens – a good relationship is much more beautiful than that.


Jealousy is a horrible destructive emotion. If you need help getting over negative emotions, you should consider a therapy like hypnotherapy or BWRT.

 

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How to be kind to yourself

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February is heart awareness month and as I wrote yesterday, I’m focussing on the relationship side of this subject.

I strongly believe that you will not have the best relationships you can if you don’t have a good relationship with yourself, and unfortunately, it’s one of the hardest ones to get right as we don’t get good feedback on it.

Some people are too hard on themselves – way harder than they are on other people. They persistently tell themselves that they aren’t good enough, that they’re stupid, that they’re lazy, that they don’t work hard enough, that they’re not pretty enough, that they’re fat, that they’re ugly. Can you imagine if you spoke like that to another person? I think, at the very least, you could expect them not to want to hang around with you.  Why would you spend time with someone who constantly abuses you?

Some people don’t care enough for themselves. As a hypnotherapist I see people all the time who smoke, who are overweight, who don’t exercise. When I ask them how they would feel if their kids smoked, ate rubbish or didn’t do any exercise they are horrified. They want the best for them, but don’t appear to want the best for themselves….

Some people don’t protect themselves. They take stupid risks with their health. They starve themselves, or dramatically overeat. They take drugs. They put themselves in dangerous situations. Again, they would be really upset to think of someone they loved in that situation, but it’s OK for them….does that mean they don’t love themselves?

So how do you build a relationship with yourself?

Easy – the same way as with anyone else.

Start by being interested. Question yourself and your motives. Find out what is really important to you. Help yourself to achieve that.

Support yourself. Be kind, be understanding, but also be challenging. Stretch yourself without being mean to yourself.

Be a good friend to yourself. You can be your own inner bully or your own cheerleader. Think about what can go right, how brilliant things can be.

Stop being a hater. Don’t hate yourself – ever. Not any part of yourself. Hate is a horrible, destructive emotion and it doesn’t help anyone. I don’t care if you don’t love your thighs, or you skin. I don’t care if you don’t like the way you react in certain situations. I don’t care if you aren’t thrilled with your weight. Work out how to change it, but don’t hate it.

I believe that when you get this stuff right you attract people to you. Self confidence is attractive. That means you draw people towards you who enhance your life. It also means that you don’t need people to complete you so you stop hanging on to people who don’t add anything to your life.

So, whatever your relationship status, spend a little time thinking about your relationship with yourself. Are you being a good friend? How can you be better? What changes are you going to make? What positive effects could that have?

As ever, I would love to know your thoughts on this – why not drop me a comment?


If you’re interested, why not follow me in instagram, twitter, facebook or check out my website.

 

 

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Successful slimming

via Daily Prompt: Successful

Using wordpress’s daily prompt as a jumping point today’s post is about successful slimming, what it means to me and how you can make it easier to achieve.

Everyone has their own idea of what successful is, but to me the idea of successful slimming is about losing weight to get a healthier body, but without any of this suffering nonsense. It’s about not feeling hungry, it’s about eating foods that I love and it’s about not feeling restricted.

So how do you go about losing weight in a successful way?

For me the first place to start is in your head. As with most things in life, when you get your head in the right place the rest is easy. Have you ever been on a diet that failed in the first few days? Or maybe stuck to it for a week or two but felt awful the whole time? If that’s ever happened to you I would suggest that your head wasn’t in the right place to begin with.

When you decide to change something in your life it’s always a bit odd at first – after all, you’re not used to doing it. It can be useful to examine your motivation before you get started, so that you know what you’re working for.

People tend to fall into one of two categories when it comes to reasons to change. The first group are running away from something. With weight loss, they could be running from being fat, from not looking the way they want to, from shopping in plus sized stores, from feeling breathless, from aching joints or from the way that they feel inside. The other group run towards something. It could be running towards feeling slim, to liking the way they look more, to shopping at a high street/designer store, to feeling fitter, to walking easily or to feeling better in themselves. In essence these are the same set of motivators but put in a different way.

People have a natural tendency to fall into one camp or another, and sometimes there is a specific incident that affects that. For instance if someone was very overweight and they could not go on a rollercoaster it may be natural to want to run from that situation and want to change it. Or maybe there is a future event that you want to lose weight for, like a wedding, which gives you something to run towards.

I would say that you should think about whatever motivates you in the best way for you, but where you can, think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Our brains are not very good at discerning the words don’t or not. For instance in the phrase ‘don’t panic’ our brain tends to focus on the word panic….and panics. If that is exchanged for the words ‘stay calm’ then there is a much better chance that the word we react to is calm.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that we are all our own greatest hypnotists, and that most of the things that we think are recycled round and round in our heads. If the words you are using are things like ‘I don’t want to be fat’ or ‘I don’t want to eat cake today’ your brain is picking up the words fat and eat cake – which puts temptation right in our path, over and over again. No wonder it’s a struggle. Instead consciously use the words ‘I want to be thinner’ and ‘I want to make healthy food choices today’. That way you have your own personal diet supporter with you every moment.

You might like some of the other posts this January on weight loss and diet. Give them a click to see more.

Crack your cravings   Why am I always hungry?   January diet tips   Eat the rainbowwww.talktherapies.co.uk


Being at a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself. If you ( or someone you care about) has trouble managing their weight there are people out there who can help. Losing weight doesn’t have to be hard!

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Why am I always hungry?

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Diets work by restricting your calories. Simple as that. Yes, some combine foods in certain ways and some restrict certain food types, but ultimately it all comes down to putting fewer calories in your body than you are using.

There are 2 main reasons people fail to stick to their diet. One is because they crave a certain food or food type. I have already written a post about that this month – how to crack your cravings – check it out if you want some help with that. The other main reason is hunger, yet there is something you can do about this too – even on a restricted diet.

  1. Try to work out if you are ACTUALLY HUNGRY

That may seem silly, but quite often we ‘feel hungry’ even when we are not. Sometimes we are emotionally hungry, or hungry to be heard. Sometimes we are just thirsty and need a drink. Sometimes we want to eat food (because we like the taste) but are not hungry.

A starving man would eat just about anything – we’ve all heard tales of survivors who ate awful things just to stay alive – that’s the power of hunger. If you’re hungry, and you fancy some cake or crisps or other junk food, see if an apple will do instead. If it won’t, you’re probably not that hungry – you’re just looking for a taste sensation. That is not a good enough reason to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

You could also try asking yourself what else (other than food) you may need right now. Try giving yourself that instead and see if you feel satisfied.

Then again maybe you just need a drink and to put your feet up for 5 minutes. It’s worth a try!

2. Eat to avoid hunger.

One of the reasons we feel hungry is because our blood sugar had dropped. When we eat high sugar food it gives us a high blood sugar that our body has to bring down (because it’s really bad for us) so it changes our body chemistry reducing it. That then causes our blood sugar to drop, which in turn makes us hungry. That’s why you might find that after starting on a bar of chocolate, or packet of biscuits, you keep going back to them until they’re gone. Avoiding sugary food evens out the blood sugar meaning you get less low blood sugars and therefore don’t feel as hungry. It’s worth pointing out here that some foods get converted to sugar in your body and have the same effect. White starches like potatoes, rice, pasta, flour etc have very similar effects to sugar.

Instead of eating sugar and starch try to keep your meals small but packed with lean protein and vegetables. If you really need some starch with your meal try a sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa or chick peas.

3. Plan your meals (and have a back up)

We often reach for bad food choices when we are really hungry. They are quick, satisfying and make our life easier. People who manage their weight well are often good planners. They plan ahead – they know what they will eat and when. No long periods of starvation. No panic take away orders. Just sensible planned food. You can do this too.

Trust me if I can, you can. I used to be the person I just described but now I plan better and I’m losing weight nicely. I’m not perfect though, and that’s where the back up comes in. By having healthy choice, ready meals in the fridge and batch cooked, freezer meals ready to go at a moments notice, I can forget to plan and still have a tasty, healthy choice available to me for my meals.

4. Eat regularly.

Your body gets used to eating at certain times. Try to stick to meal times. After a week or two your body will only expect food at these times and it will become a lot easier to avoid snacking.

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January Diet Tips

In the UK, today is known as Blue Monday. Statistically it’s the most depressing day of the year. The weather is cold and the sky is grey. Everyone is broke from Christmas (and waiting for their January pay). All those new years resolutions (like dieting and getting fit) are feeling impossible. Or to put it another way, things are feeling a bit rubbish.

It’s also the day most people are likely to give up on those New Years resolutions. Instead of thinking about their healthy food choices, they are calling for take out, shopping for cake and drinking the sugary and often alcoholic drinks. Coincidence? I think not.

So how do you stay on track when all around you are running for the sweet stuff?

  1. Remember why you started

When you told yourself that this was going to be the year that you got control of your diet, you meant it. Has anything changed? Have you suddenly decided that you want to be overweight? Probably not. So think about what you want to achieve, how you’re going to do it and feel the motivation. Why do you want to lose weight? Is it important to you? How will you feel when you reach your ideal weight?

2. Give yourself a treat (that’s not food/drink related)

When life is a bit tough, it’s only natural to want to make yourself feel better, but it doesn’t need to be related to food or drink. Pamper yourself. Get your hair cut, have a facial, get your nails done – whatever works for you. Then again maybe it’s a day out, booking a trip or getting tickets to an event. Possibly it’s just organising a catch up with friends or calling someone you like a chat with. There are millions of calorie free treats out there – find one that works for you.

3. Think about how you’ll feel tomorrow.

Lots of people with weight issues live in the past or the present, but rarely the future. Let me explain. When faced with a high calorie treat they are focussed only on the treat. About how they will feel when they are eating it and the few moments that follow. They rarely think about how they will feel tomorrow when they stand on the scales and the number has gone up. How they will feel in 2 months when they haven’t achieved the weight loss they were hoping for. When you want to indulge, use your imagination to project into the future and think how you will feel.

4. Be nice to yourself

Life can be hard sometimes and when it is we could all do with our own personal cheerleader to get us through the day. Someone who believes in us, someone who will help and motivate us, someone who cares about us. The great news is, you can do that for yourself. That little voice in your head can be a bully or a cheerleader – it’s up to you. If you have a natural bully, make the decision to not listen to that voice anymore and ask yourself what your inner cheerleader would say to you – listen to that voice instead.

5. Forgive yourself

If all else fails and you buckle to the sweet treat – forgive yourself. A moment of madness need not ruin your whole eating plan. Diets don’t work by the hour or the day or even the week. One bad moment shouldn’t ruin your day, One bad day shouldn’t affect the rest of the week. Forgive your little moment and get back on with making the choices that will make you feel great.


If you’re having trouble getting your eating under control hypnosis is a great tool to help get your head into the right space to make the changes you want.

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Eat the rainbow, feel over the rainbow.

eat-the-rainbow

How do you feel about Veggies? I’m not talking about vegetarians, I’m talking about what they eat – lovely, crunchy, colourful veggies.

I see lots of people in my hypnotherapy practice who struggle to eat them. I must admit I still find it surprising as I absolutely love them.

Personally I blame the parents, and honestly I think it should be thought of as neglect.

You are literally what you eat. It is the building blocks of your body. Your amazing body takes in food, breaks it down and uses it. Part of it for fuel, part of it for growth and renewal. Your skin is constantly replacing itself, so is your blood, your bones and your organs. About once every 7 years you are practically a different person. How cool is that? But if all the fuel you are giving your body is a bit rubbish, then it struggles to do this. It prematurely ages you, both in appearance and by actually reducing how long you will live.

Whatever you believe about how humans came to walk on the earth, by divine creation or by evolution (maybe both) our bodies work best when given a ‘natural diet’. A natural diet does NOT consist of processed foods. It consists of things that grow in the ground and things that eat things that grow in the ground. Quite simply speaking, if you can’t pick it or kill it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

So let’s think about some of the worst processed foods. Bacon, sausages and ham tend to be high on the danger list. Some scientists say that eating them is as dangerous as smoking. Then there are other things like processed and refined grains. Yes, wheat is natural and grows, but bread does not. White rice is not how it comes – it has to be processed, and don’t get me started on sugar, soda and energy drinks (or even fruit juices for that matter – when did you last eat 9 oranges in a row? That what goes into a normal glass of orange juice!). All of these things put our bodies into a bad place.

Things that put our bodies into a positive place should be enjoyed, not endured, and this is why I tend to blame the parents. I discovered veggies later in life (into my thirties) as when I was growing up I hated them. This may have been because I grew up in the UK in the 70’s and veggies were boiled to a soft mush. Every time. It was sad for all concerned. Consequently I thought I didn’t like veggies. They were tasteless and mushy.

My first real departure from this was when I started cooking for myself. In my twenties I cooked, but there were quite a lot of microwave meals and takeouts. I didn’t have the skills or experience (and more importantly the confidence) to try cooking real food. After I moved in with my partner I started cooking a little more – things like fajitas and roasts started happening. I tried steaming and roasting veggies, and found that I really like them. I tried different varieties and types (fennel and courgettes), I tried different colours (purple carrots and yellow radishes) I tries different ways of cooking them (mixing them with garlic or lemon juice) and I fell in love.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I do eat a mostly plant-based diet. It makes me feel healthy, and I love the tastes. A salad made with rocket and watercress, with red onions pickled in red wine vinegar, baby corn, sweet peppers, radishes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate and avocado is the best thing ever. Seriously – try it! As well as tasting great (and it really does) it has the benefit of being properly colourful. That means that it looks brilliant, but it also means that I’m getting lots of different types of building blocks to play with. Dark green gives me riboflavins and iron, Yellow gives me vitamin C, Orange gives me beta carotene that helps keep my eyes healthy. The red tomatoes re chock full of lycopene that protects against skin cancer and the purple in the onion has anthocyanin which helps reduce blood pressure.

It is a common buddhist practice to make sure that every meal has at least 5 different colour fruits or vegetable in it. Assuming you want to keep your sugar content down (as almost everyone in the western world is eating too much of the stuff) try to keep it to the veggies (and some protein) and you will be giving you body the best building materials you can.

Stop being beige – be brilliant!

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Blog Plans for 2017

Happy New Year!

Well, after a lovely Christmas break, I’m back to the blogosphere….How are you all doing?

Personally I love January, because I love new starts. They are full of opportunities, possibilities and potential. They also scare me a bit because of this – when everything is a possibility it can all be a bit overwhelming – there’s just too much to choose from, and in my humble opinion, you do have to choose. Anyone that tells you that this year is the one where they will eat healthy, exercise regularly, look amazing every day, make a million dollars, have the perfect relationship with their friends and family, start a new business and find inner peace is expecting a little bit much, don’t you think?

Even if all you’re planning on doing is growing your blog audience or blogging every day, it can still be a big expectation. There are so many things to blog about, but how to choose? Sometimes there is so much possibility I can’t narrow it down, sometimes I can’t think of a single thing. What to do?

For me it starts with a plan. Plans don’t have to be set in stone, they are a starting point. Write yourself a plan, but know that it can and probably will change.

The next thing I do is think about what I want to talk about – broadly speaking. As my blog here is all about happiness, health and hypnosis that needs to be at the fore of my planning – what large topics fall under that remit?

So this year I’ve decided to dedicate a month to a topic. I started last year. December was all about self care, and I wrote it like an advent calendar with a different post every day from 1 to 25. It worked quite well for me and those that follow my blog. It gave me structure and motivation to write (I’d promised after all) and it gave my followers a reason to check in – they knew what to expect. If it wasn’t something they were interested in they could take a pass, but if it was, they knew to come back every day for more.

In the same vein here are my ideas for Blogs I will be writing each month for 2017.

January – Diet

February – Relationships

March – Addictions

April – Happiness

May – Food

June – Anxiety

July – Exercise

August – Depression

Sept – Different therapy techniques

Oct – Dec TBD – I’m open to suggestions here, if you would like me to cover a topic that falls under the title of Happiness, Health and Hypnosis, this is your chance to put forward an idea! Just leave me a comment.

See anything there that you think you may be interested in – make sure you click follow to get them when they come out!

Once I’ve narrowed it down to topic areas, I find it easier to think about topics related to each big theme. Take diet for example. I can look at nutrition, staying satisfied, types of food that keep you feeling fuller for longer, diet myths, healthy goals, body image, small changes to make a big difference etc etc. So now we both know what to expect 🙂

Starting tomorrow the rest of my January blogs will be dedicated to diet. Getting right and making it easy. If you want to make sure you see them, you know what to do.

See you soon – let’s make January an awesome start!

 

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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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