Blog series: Week 7: Looking after yourself by spending quality time with family and friends

Looking after yourself by...

Last week we talked about having time on our own so we could re-charge our energies to be able to function well in life, relationships and possibly also meditate and get creative.

This week, we are talking about the opposite side of the spectrum: spending time with others, i.e. friends and family.

So, why is this important, you ask?

Well, according to research, spending quality time with others leads to increased wellbeing, mental health, and will also allow us to live a stronger, healthier, longer, and most importantly, a happier life!

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Peer relationships begin to be important – if not the most important – part of our lives during our teenage years. These early friendships, and also relationships with siblings of similar age, help with dealing with self-doubt, self-consciousness, fear and loneliness during those confusing years.

It is in these relationships where we start learning who we are, what we like, what we don’t like, and who we can trust with our feelings and struggles. Later on, these relationships might strengthen or be replaced by others, and change in the way we engage, including what activities we engage in with them.

Talking things through is something that friends and family can help with. We can be there for one another, and share the load, the stress, and look for a solution together, or just sit next to each other. Being understood by our loved ones relieves some of the pain and allows us to share the experience and not feel alone with our struggles.

When we engage with others, we might plan activities that we might not do if on our own. We might go for long walks or cycles, eat at a new restaurant and pick the healthier dishes.
Laughing with others increases endorphin levels and therefore increases happiness and reduces cortisol levels and therefore reduces stress. This in itself should make it more appealing to keep and develop relationships with others.

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Creating memories is also a good reason, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or cost much at all!

So, schedule time for friends and family, create memories that will last a lifetime!

In Therapy: looking after yourself

I hope you are enjoying the Looking after yourself Blog Series

Tomorrow, I will be posting on how to look after yourself by spending time with family and friends.

Next week will be the last post of the series, so I thought I would start by thanking you for reading and following so far!

I hope you will stay with me for the next series on dealing with Mental Health Issues: “In Therapy: working through…” and tell your friends, family, and colleagues about it!

In this new series (Mondays), I want to talk about particular Mental Health issues and how to work through them in therapy and also giving some tips on what you can do on your own, some food for thought, and signposting to services that could be of help.

Do contact me if you have any particular topics you would like me to discuss – anxiety, depression, relationship issues, shame, loss, will be some of the topics but there are so many more!

As information is a bit low sometimes, or at the very least confusing! I am also going to post mid-week (possibly every week or every fortnight!) about Counselling and Psychotherapy modalities — how they work, why they work that way, and how they can help with the Mental Health issues discussed above.

Don’t forget you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Connect with me on LinkedIn!

If you want to collaborate with the series in any way – maybe with a guest post of your own in a related topic, or to make an appearance in one of the topics I’m posting about, drop me a line and I will be more than happy to have a conversation with you and come up with great content for everyone to read and get something out of!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

 

Blog Series, Week 6: Looking after yourself by…having a bath!

Looking after yourself by...

Yes, you read right…but having a bath is not all I want to talk about this week.

What this article is really about is this: being on your own.

Now I realise that society tells us that being a hermit or isolated from others is a terrible, terrible thing. But I’m not talking about being on your own all the time. I am talking about taking the time to be on your own, to re-charge your energies and therefore be able to be with others feeling better about yourself and them!

For me, I need to disconnect from people to re-charge. Doing my counselling work is different though. It is more when I’m socialising that I feel drained by the end of it. So having my own space is important to me.

Others might re-charge by actually spending time with others, which will be the topic of next week’s post!

So do I feel lonely when I spend time on my own? Not at all! In fact I believe it is necessary for everyone to have time on their own once in a while.

Solitude is important to replenish yourself with what you need to be able to do life and to weather everything it has to give: problems, fun times, strong emotions, as well as it replenishes us in order to be able to give to others, to do our work well, to live well.

Here are some suggestions of how to be alone – without feeling lonely – and getting the most of that time:

Have a bath

I learned from a young lady with Autism that I used to support. When she had a bit of a difficult day, she would ask for a bath. Sometimes she would have 2-3 baths in the space of 7 hours, but it really relaxed her! At this point I hadn’t had a bath since playing with my sister when we were little, and saw no benefit – just a waste of time and water.

But having tried it since then, I am definitely a fan!

Get some Epsom Salts, Lavender Salts, some candles and your favourite music, and relax!

Try it and drop me a line below with the results!

It will also give you a chance to meditate and reflect on life, your plans, your relationships, or just a chance to zone out and enjoy time to yourself.

Get to know yourself better

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Meditating will allow you time to think about the things that you have done in your life in the past, what you are doing now, and what you want to do in the near and distant future.

Getting to know yourself better will also allow you to change the way you are in relationships, to begin new ones or end the ones that are either toxic or not good for you in other ways, to set clearer boundaries that make you happier, and to find ways to care for yourself that match your personality and needs.

Reading / writing / journaling / drawing / colouring / singing / cross-stitching or crocheting

This is a bit of a varied list, but not all of us are good at all of these or would necessarily enjoy some of these as a relaxing activity!

I particularly would prefer to read or write, which is what I am doing right now! Be true to yourself and find what works best. Remember, it’s about relaxing and looking after yourself. You have enough “work” to do in other areas of your life, this is a gift from yourself to yourself, something easy and lovely for you to enjoy!

Have a nap

This is one of my favourite activities, anyone that knows me will vouch for this one!

Sleep is a great way to disconnect from everything around us and, I find that it helps to work through problems or to think through what to do next – for example what to write on my blog next comes up for me after a nice bit of sleep!

So you need sleep not only to get your body and your brain to rest, but also to process your emotions, and any issues, problems or situations that might be going on for you right now.

Cook a nice meal for yourself or cheat and get a take away!

Cooking can be a very relaxing activity for some of us. Others might just go for the take away menu and make a call, which is perfectly fine. I like doing that too!

There is something in preparing our own meal, there is something caring about it. Meditation can also be done during this time as you focus on chopping, frying, preparing.

Find something you enjoy, find its recipe and ingredients and enjoy!

Exercise / go for a walk

In a few weeks time, I will be talking about the importance of keeping fit, so will keep it short here.

A great space to meditate is amongst nature, amongst the fresh air. So you get two things for the price of one! And both are free!

So go for it, try one or two or all of these and let me know how it goes!

Until next time…

Blog series, week 5: Looking After Yourself – A Personal Perspective [video content]

Looking after yourself by...

tami1

This week, it is my utmost pleasure to introduce Tami Bauer, my best friend since we were 5 years old!

This woman is such a powerful example of what a massive change you can make when you finally take the steps to look after yourself, by finding a way – or in Tami’s case, a variety of ways – to do so.

As everything to do with emotions, scars from the past, things we have ignored or ‘swept under the carpet’, they catch up with us and demand our attention, one way or another.

I asked Tami about her own journey to successful self-care and how she keeps it up, with everything life throws at her.

In this video, Tami answers some questions that we all can learn from, and have probably asked ourselves. Maybe it has stayed at the asking stage for some of us.

Take some inspiration from Tami’s journey, and let me know how it goes! Taking the first step is the hardest but possibly the most rewarding in the end!

2She goes through some of the things we have already spoken about in the past blog posts – setting boundaries, getting rid of toxic people or comments people make, being more assertive, being kind and compassionate to yourself, and others.

Below the video, I will leave the questions I asked Tami so you can follow the video or skip to the questions you want to know more about.

 

What led you to start your journey?

What was the first step you took to look after yourself?

Did the other aspects of your journey come after this?

Who has supported you throughout this process?

What do you do on those days that it’s difficult to keep up with the diet, the exercise routine, the positivity to carry on?

If you could speak to the Tami from 20-25 years ago (you must have been between 11-16 years old), what would you say to her now?

How about 15 years ago (aged 22)?

What advice would you give to people in a similar situation to you in regards diet/food related issues? in regards to exercise? and in regards to mental health/healing past hurts?taminme

Thanks Tami for this in-depth and very personal account of what your journey has been like, and how you are better off for braving it all and powering through day to day!

If you want to follow Tami’s journey even further, You can do so by liking her Facebook page and Subscribing to her youtube channel.

Blog series, week 4: Looking after yourself: Un-plug from technology and plug-in to nature

Looking after yourself by...

In the past editions of the series, we have looked at how to set boundaries and honour our feelings. This week we will look at how to look after ourselves in the “plugged-in” environment we live in 24/7/365 nowadays.

We need technology to communicate with loved ones and friends all over the world, we need it for our business – heck I need it for keeping tabs on my blog, followers and potential clients contacting me for counselling or tutoring! – But do we need this 24/7/365?

It’s hard to disengage, it’s like we’re going to miss something great if we disconnect for even 5 minutes!

Image may contain: tree, plant, grass, outdoor and nature

Recent studies and articles have mentioned how technology is affecting our mental health – getting a like on Facebook, a retweet on Twitter, a follow on other social media platforms, can mean a good day for someone…a negative comment can do the opposite altogether. Also, sitting in the “in my phone” position gives us back problems, neck pain
and possibly even headaches! Not to mention the fact that it separates us from what is happening in our environment.

Now I’m not saying get rid of your technology, I would be a hypocrite. I’m not getting rid of my technology either! It’s just how we manage and balance life with technology in it.

So what alternatives do I suggest for you this week? Have a look at what Ecotherapists recommend:

Bring nature into your home environment2

This could mean an art activity while you fill your home with things you’ve found on a hike, a walk or a visit to the local garden centre.

Position your furniture -maybe a chair or your bed – in such a way that you can see a tree or a nice plant from your window.

Getting indoor plants is an easy way to bring nature in, especially if you live in a city or a block of flats. Horticulture is a good way to re-engage with nature: grow plants in a window box,  help a neighbour with their garden, get an allotment, go to pick-your-own farms and get fresh and organic vegetables for your dinner.

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Listen to sounds of waves, birds, and other sounds of nature you enjoy.

Do more activities outdoors

Spending time in nature is free, so that’s a bonus!

Fit in a short walk around a park before work or on your way back. Do more exercise outdoors, with the fresh air.

Go for a walk along a beach and pick up curious objects along the way.

Meditate – find a favourite spot and just sit in silence, learn to “be” rather than “do” all the time…

Animals 

Go bird watching. Go for wildlife walks where you look for animals in their natural habitats.

Visit a local farm.

No automatic alt text available.Pet sit your neighbours’ animals. Or get a pet yourself is this is possible!

Hang bird feeders to attract birds, and maybe even build nests for them.

There is much that nature can give us that technology can’t – not all the time anyway. Sometimes just a short walk without our phones could do the trick. Or sitting at the beach looking at the water and listening to the sounds of the seagulls, the waves.

So, check yourself:

how will you balance all that nature brings with all that technology brings, how will you get what you need from both while at the same time looking after your mental and physical health?

What can you do to reach a better balance which won’t mean giving up on the life that you’re used to with technology around?

Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor

Is there a park near you that you can go to more often? Could you read your kindle book there instead of indoors? How about starting an adventure and growing your own plants for the first time (those are my first little plants on the photo)?

Any more ideas? Drop me a comment below!

Blog Series, Week 3: Looking after yourself by…Honouring your Feelings

Looking after yourself by...

Welcome to week 3 of the blog series Looking after yourself! Thanks for following and I
hope you enjoy this one on honouring your feelings!

In case you missed the past posts, find the first one here and the second one here (there is also a version in Spanish for each!)

So, what does it mean to “honour” anything or anyone?

The Cambridge online dictionary defines honour as follows:

to honour is to show great respect for someone or something, especially in public.

So, for the purposes of this article, honour means to show respect, and it is interesting that it says that this is especially the case when in public. So if we are talking about honouring our feelings, we must do this both when we are on our own, but especially when we are in the presence of others!

Wow! That is powerful!

In order for others to honour us and our feelings, we must show them how we honour ourselves and our feelings!

Observe yourself

I mean, really watch your reactions, both physical, emotional and in your thinking. All of these things we do that we usually take for granted or are sub-conscious and automatic, will tell us what we need to know about how we really feel about something. This in turn will allow us to make a decision of what to do with that person, situation or thing we are dealing with.

Trust your “gut” and bodily responses
That gut feeling that everyone talks about is on the go all the time in our lives. The difference is whether we listen to it or shrug it off, only realising later on that if we had listened to it we would have avoided an argument, an accident, an uncomfortable situation.

Our bodies tell us a lot about how we really feel about something or someone – we might start shaking when an old boyfriend walks past, we might clench our fists when near that person that hogs all the attention with silly stories, or we might feel sad when going past a particular street where we used to hang out with that friend that is no longer with us…

So what should we do about the gut and bodily feelings? Listen to them, respond to them. Maybe get away from that person that angers you; go work through your sad feelings, maybe all you need is a little cry to honour yourself and that friend you lost.

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Get out of your head and into your heart

Don’t get me wrong, thinking is as important as feeling, but when trying to honour our feelings, we need to stop that voice that starts judging, saying things like:

“oh your friends won’t like that you’re telling them they upset you”

“you should put their feelings before yours”

“it’s not socially acceptable to think about your own feelings and much less to let others know about it”

“you are going to end up without friends if you say/do that”

If you are going to have a thought about how you’re feeling, let it be something like this:

“I am entitled to feel this way, I am not hurting anyone with how I feel, I need to be true to myself or these feelings are going to get bigger and then I will explode, It’s better to deal with them right now”


Process past hurts

There is a lot of value in working through issues from our past, when others might have not honoured us or our feelings and left us hurt and vulnerable. We might repeat these learned painful patterns with others if we don’t work through them.

I am not saying it will be easy, but learning how to process that anger, upset, sadness (etc…) that you might not have been allowed or known how to work through in the past, will be a step in the right direction.

It will allow you to name your feelings, to understand what you might have felt at the time, and feel those un-felt feelings, which will free you from those “ghosts” of the past.

Giving these un-felt feelings space to come up and out means you are honouring your past self’s feelings and therefore it will be easier to honour your feelings from now on.

If you feel it – value it, it must be important!

Last week we talked about valuing ourselves – part of this is acknowledging our feelings are important. We will never feel anything out of thin air or without it having a real meaning for us.

If we understand this, then we will be more assertive and more able to honour ourselves, to set those boundaries with ourselves and others.

It is like creating a habit, it will take time to set clear boundaries with others, and it will

take time to value your feelings and not feel ashamed or mean when expressing them; but once you do, it will be great!

Following these tips will help you can assert yourself – to yourself and others:

you will be able to accept all your feelings, to express how you are feeling – to yourself and others – and more importantly to be caring, compassionate and empathic to yourself about what you are feeling.

This in turn will lead others to do the same for you, and maybe even start being more caring to themselves!

Blog series, week 2: Looking after yourself by…Setting Boundaries

Looking after yourself by...

Welcome to week 2 of the Blog Series on Looking after yourself. If you missed the first 
one, you can catch up
here for the version in English (Spanish 

version here).

This week I want to talk about setting boundaries. So, you ask, what does “setting boundaries” mean?

A boundary, in simple terms, is a limit, it is as far as someone or something can go. If we think about it in terms of geographical terms, a boundary is the frontier between two countries. In the context of this article, I will be referring to a boundary as the limits we make for and around ourselves to keep safe in relationships, at work…in life in general really.

Physical boundaries

These relate to your personal space, your privacy and your body. You might like your door locked to keep others out while you are busy working on the laptop, watching your
favourite Netflix series or resting. When you say hello to someone, do you do one kiss, two kisses, a handshake or hug, or just wave at them from a couple of feet back. What things are a no-no for your wellbeing – maybe loud music annoys you and you prefer a bit of silence? How are you in your sexual relationships, what is acceptable, with whom, and possibly where also.

Material boundaries can also be included here – do you lend books, clothes, money or other possessions to your friends and family or do you keep them to yourself?

Emotional boundaries
This is a big one for many if not all of us, and something I see a lot in sessions with clients. People tend to take responsibility for their emotions and those of others, carrying a big burden that doesn’t even belong to them!

An example –Anne has just had an argument with their best friend, Mary: Anne is  being open and honest with Mary about how Anne felt let down when Mary didn’t show up to the cinema and didn’t even call to say she wasn’t coming. Mary gets defensive and says Anne is exaggerating and making her feel upset. Mary doesn’t apologise or acknowledge her responsibility in the matter. Anne leaves feeling guilty about upsetting her friend, forgetting that Mary let her down.

In a healthy scenario, Anne wouldn’t feel guilty about expressing her feelings to Mary, and Mary would take responsibility for her actions without blaming Anne of exaggerating. Each would own their part in the argument.

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Psychological boundaries

These are very close to emotional boundaries. Setting psychological boundaries help us keep safe from others’ inflicting emotional harm on us.

 Boundaries equal respect

Yes, respect for yourself, and for others, and from others towards you. As we saw last week, society tells us to be there for others whilst disregarding ourselves. But if we do this, we will not be respected, and the longer we let this happen, the more difficult it gets to set boundaries and be listened to. It is not impossible to set them after a period of time has passed. In fact it is better late than never!

So, let your friends, family, and even yourself, what your boundaries are – what’s OK and what’s not OK in your books – how you want to be respected. Read this letter to a parent (from about paragraph 6), it is a great example of setting boundaries!

Get rid of toxic people

OK, this one sounds a bit harsh, but it is sometimes necessary for our wellbeing. The types of people I’m talking about range from people who are always negative, always criticising you and others, people that always want attention without considering your needs (we called them selfish on the last article), jealous and possessive people, those who play the victim and don’t take responsibility for their actions or words, and those who keep disappointing you, like Mary. I would like to add Narcissits to this list, as they will display many of the behaviours above and blame you for them behaving in those ways. You will end up confused and hurt without realising – until a later point – that they are responsible for their behaviours but they are putting the blame on you instead.

Learn to say no

If we agree to everything everyone asks of us, we will run out of fuel and run out of time to ourselves. When we don’t say no to people, we are saying in other words that we don’t respect ourselves or our time, and they can disrespect you too by demanding more and more of your time. Nobody is going to die because you say no to driving them to the shops, or meeting them on Saturday when you said you were free on Sunday. If someone calls you selfish, then that’s their opinion and they own that opinion, you don’t have to fall prey to it and give in to their demands.

Unless you want to help them out, then it’s fine! Just stay true to your feelings, needs and self.

Value yourself and others will follow suit

For this last bit, I have invited Carla Dena, entrepreneur behind Inspired Spaces, to tell us how she has achieved this in her life and work:

“Valuing oneself is important for freelancers like me. When I was starting out as a freelance writer, I had a tendency to lower down my rates just to land projects. Clients who wanted to cut down labor costs preyed on newbies like I was then. Later on, I realised that time and expertise are my two most valuable assets as a professional and I shouldn’t just give those away almost for free

(unless for a good cause). And so, I began becoming more assertive in setting fees for my services. As soon as I did this, clients also began looking at my work as valuable investment. In the end, it’s not just about the money, but about finding value and fulfilment in one’s career.”

Looking After Young Carers’ Mental Health (#youngcarersawarenessday #mentalhealth)

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Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post!

 

Today I’d like to talk about Mental health in regards to young carers.

 

This is also the focus of this year’s young carers’ awareness day (read more here).


If you are a young carer, do read until the end, or skip to the end for some tips on how you can look after yourself while doing this great job for your loved one!


CarersWeek.Org mentions that the statistics point towards three in five of us becoming unpaid carers at some point in our lives. This could be short term or long term, depending on what the person we look after is struggling with.


I have worked as a paid support worker for the past 11 years, and from personal experience or watching my colleagues, I can say that it has impacted on our physical and mental health.

It is a very rewarding job, which is why I’ve been doing it for so long. But some of the consequences are similar to those of unpaid carers, but unpaid carers have so much more stacked up against them.


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Let me point out the similarities first:


  • Aches and pains – particularly back troubles, but sometimes we might get hurt due to challenging behaviours (bites, being hit, things thrown at us) or moving in a way that leads to sprained ankles and other things. Some of my colleagues have chronic physical ailments that might mean they have to be extra careful when they do their job, and in turn the job will affect how they do things, but as carers we sometimes forget that we are important too.

  • Headaches and/or Stomach problems- due to pressures about getting it right with someone’s mental health, ensuring the people we look after are getting out in the community, getting their medication right all the time, dealing with other professionals, and dealing with the bureaucracies and policies of the agency we work for.

  • Advocacy roles – sometimes we need to step up and speak up for those who can’t or who are not able to “shout the loudest” which is the only way to get the support they need. It takes a village, and sometimes we are that village!

  • Mental health can be affected due to the things mentioned above.

  • Sometimes we will be having our meal on the job and we have to stand up mid-way to get the people we support something, which will lead to indigestion or worse. We need to remember ourselves, but it’s hard when there’s an obvious need in front of us!


OK, so those are some similarities between paid and unpaid carers.

These might be exacerbated by their pre-existing living circumstances and the consequences of becoming an unpaid carer.

Don’t get me wrong, it is rewarding to care for someone, see them smile or be able to achieve something with your help. But the reality is, there is a real impact.


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Let’s add to the list of unpaid carers the following:


 

  • The lack of income from their carer role impacts on their lives and can lead to them living in poverty or at least their quality of life and wellbeing being compromised due to lack of time or ability to earn a full time living.

  • Benefits might be hard to get going due to different reasons, which migh also impact on this. (Note, I’m writing this in regards to unpaid/paid carers in the UK. In other countries, there is no such things as benefits, so the money issues are further emphasised in these places).

  • The fact that they are doing the job without much training, unpaid carers might just fall into the role of carers out of need and proximity to the person in need. They might have a parent or sibling that has a disability or suddenly falls ill, is growing old or develops debilitating mental health issues.

  • Not having training or support in this way might mean they are doing the best they can, but they might not know the best way to look after their loved one, and much less how to look after themselves.


I hope these lists of effects from caring roles – paid or unpaid – gives you a bit more insight into the amount of emotional, physical and psychological energy that goes into caring for those in need of support with their daily lives.


I now leave you with some tips into how to look after yourself and your mental health whilst having unpaid carer responsibilities:


 

  • Get the book today, and get these lovely printables to support your self-care throughout the year! (1)

    Find out what support and training is out there.

  • Find people in your life that will become your support network, whether it means just having a cup of tea to talk over things with a friend, or more professional support like respite or psychological therapies to take the edge off and to help you carry on doing your role well and safely.

    • This network can be just friends and family, or also professionals as in the list above.
  • Self-care planning is very important.

    • Join support groups like the one I run on facebook

    • Get a self-care book (there are many great resources out there!)

    • Get a planner for your self-care activities. These don’t have to take a long time or be expensive.

      • Read my blog posts on these here.

      • You can take ten minutes out of your day to go for a short walk and take in the fresh air, see pretty trees, animals, and other things that you enjoy looking at.

      • Play your favourite music while making lunch or supporting someone with their personal care. You can both enjoy that, I’m sure!

        Book Review Here

      • Remember that you are also important and that you also need looking after and time to do the things that you enjoy.

      • Find a hobby you forgot about and re-start that.

      • Make yourself your favourite drink.

      • Have a bath or go swimming.

      • Read a book.

      • Practice meditation and/or mindfulness.

      • Find other things that work for you that are not already on this list. Self-care is very personal and individual to each of us!


Join in the Events and activities for carers week by clicking here! 


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


 

Reblog: Self-care yourself to improved mental health, by Julie Lee

Collaborations


In this week’s reblog post, I would like to share Julie Lee’s post.

I agree with Julie that self-care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. This is why I created the blog series on Looking after yourself, if you haven’t read them, click here to have a read!

Julie gives us a list of her favourite self-care activities, that won’t take more than 5-10 minutes of our time.

Ok, some might take longer, but you can plan for those self-care times, right?

Follow this link to read her insights.

 

Blog Series: Week 8: Look after yourself by…keeping fit [video content included]

Looking after yourself by...

becky.fb.post

Today I’ve invited Becky Murrell to answer a few questions about the importance of keeping fit. She a Personal Trainer based in Brighton and Hove, as well as creating workout videos for her facebook and instagram community, and holding events in her local area.

Let’s get to the interview…

 


So, what does keeping fit actually mean?

To me, keeping fit means keeping active and improving your fitness. You don’t have to go to extreme measures to keep fit.

Fitness is personal to everyone and what works for one person might not necessarily work for another.

One of the hardest things to do is staying motivated and staying motivated is part of keeping fit. Whether that be going to yoga once a week or the gym every other day.


 


Do I have to be in a gym every day for an hour to achieve physical fitness and wellbeing?

Absolutely not!!

Some of the most effective exercises involve using your body only and can be done in less than an hour. You most definitely don’t need a gym to do that in.

Exercise is so good for the body but it’s only good for the body if it benefits your goals. You don’t need to slave away every day to reap the benefits.

Exercise should be enjoyable and you’ll have great results if your form is correct and the exercise is performed correctly.

Remember quality over quantity.

That’s not to say training every day is bad, it’s always good to mix it up and do some cardio, strength, mobility to help keep your body mobile and strong.


2How does keeping fit affect my mental health?

It’s in so many studies: when we exercise endorphins are released which makes us feel good.  Par of my Personal Trainer Qualification, was studyingthe benefits of exercise on mental health.

As someone who personally has anxiety and previously had depression I can first hand say that exercise is the number one reason I am able to control that.

Exercise is so wonderful for so many reasons and one of those reasons is helping you feel in control. When I exercise I feel I am on control which is so important because anxiety and depression can make you feel helpless.


 


Do you have any tips for people that might find exercising a bit difficult to schedule into their daily lives?

Absolutely. The truth is when we enjoy something we find the time to do it. If you can’t find the time then you haven’t found the right exercise for you.

Don’t pick an exercise that others like – find something that meets your needs, that you enjoy.

Pick the right environment that you will feel comfortable in. Invest time in finding what makes you feel good.

We are all able to schedule stuff in if we really want to. Keep looking for that perfect exercise for you and you wont look back.


How does diet enter into this?

Diet is extremely important; however I believe balance is important! Life is for living and we should all have a treat.

If you have specific goals to look a certain way or enter a competition then diet is the most important thing because you can’t out-train a bad diet. But if you want to enjoy food and exercise without be strict then eating healthy most of the time and having a treat is absolutely something I recommend.


 


Any final thoughts on self-care?

Self care is so important to ensure you have a healthy and happy life. A lot of people think looking good is the main part of self care but actually there are more important things like our wellbeing, our mental health, looking after the inside of our body, having balance and being happy, getting enough sleep. All these things form part of self care.

The human body is amazing, you only get one. We should be doing all we can to keep it healthy happy and balanced.


To read more about Becky’s personal training classes and events, and watch some more of her amazing workou videos, go to her Facebook page. You can also follow her on Instagram.

 

 

Blog Series: Look after yourself by…

Looking after yourself by...

The following weeks, I will be writing about how to look after yourself by doing different things for yourself. This week, we will be looking at the importance of looking after yourself and what this might look like in a world where we are told that this is “selfish”.

I want to start the series by challenging the idea that looking after yourself, or self-care, is selfish. The following definitions might shed some light on the crucial difference between self-care and selfishness, and why it’s more than OK, in fact essential, to look after yourself:

www.dictionary.com defines “selfish” as:

1.Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

2.Characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.

 

The word that sticks out for me the most here is “only”, followed by “regardless of others”. So, somebody selfish is someone that doesn’t care what happens to others as long as they get what they want.

On the other hand, the Self-Care-Forum defines self-care as:

The actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.

Struggling with daily life-Need someone to talk to-I can help you.Click here to find out more. (1)

This definition speaks about an individual doing something for themselves in benefit of 

their wellbeing. It doesn’t say that they do it in spite of others or in disregard for others.

Self-care is just that –  care for the self.


So somebody that is self-caring is someone that is getting what they need without disregarding others.

I noticed, as I was writing the last few sentences that, when talking about someone selfish, I used the word “want”, and when talking about someone that is self-caring, I used the word “need”.


So, another aspect of self-care that puts it miles apart from selfishness is that self-care relates to someone’s basic needs – the need to be alone, the need to re-energise by sleeping, resting, engaging in hobbies, working out, re-thinking relationships…the need to restore wellness and wellbeing.

 Self-care doesn’t mean the person is isolated, it means the person will do what they need – alone or with others – in order to feel recharged and better about and within themselves, which will in turn allow them to feel better about and within their relationships.

A selfish person, in turn, will not care whether their relationships are better or worse as long as they get what they want, which might meet their needs in some way, but it will be at the expense of others.

Society tells us that we should put others before ourselves, that we must always come second. Well, we will run out of emotional, psychological, physical fuel if we do that.

On a personal note, the work (care work, counselling, teaching) I do wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t look after myself. It has been a journey to know how to do this, and striking a balance between self-care and giving of myself to help others has been a steep learning curve at times, but the proof of its benefit is immense!

Our ability to care for ourselves with sensitivity and self-awareness, will in turn help us when it’s our turn to care for or help others. Self-care is beneficial for the person looking after themselves, as well as for the people around them. So if you see someone practicing self-care, give them time and notice how much more engaged they are with themselves, their world and their relationships afterward.

Challenge:

Go on, try it out this week.

Do something that’s for you and you alone, and that won’t affect anyone else but will definitely benefit you and those relationships after you’ve done it.

Go for a meal on your own or with friends, read that novel that’s accumulating dust on your bedside table…say no to someone when you don’t feel like doing it…

Do something different for yourself, notice what happens and leave a comment below to let me know how it went!

It’s time for some Self-Care – Normal posting will resume in June

cropped-fullsizerender.jpgDear readers, and those following me on Social Media.

Due to some health issues I’m going to take some time away from my regular posting schedule, both via this blog and via social media.

Don’t worry, it’s not serious, but it does mean my energy levels are depleted some of the time, it varies week by week, some weeks I’m fine, others it’s awful!

That means that I am saving up the little energy I have to give 100+% to my counselling clients, supervisees and tutoring students. 

I am not happy about not being my usual self in regard to social media posting and blogging, as I love what I do here, so this is very frustrating and sad, but it is also necessary.


I talk about self-care – heck I wrote a book about it! – and I must be true to what I’ve learned and also practice what I preach. 

I do have an arsenal of posts that you can browse through while I get myself back on track.

I am in the process of freeing more time for myself, so in the near future (Bring on June and July!), I will have more time allocated solely to social media and blogging, which will be great!

Until then, I need to take it easy.


Feel free to ask me any questions or comment in this post, and others I’ve written in the past.

There’s series on therapy related topics (from your first therapy session, to anxiety, to spring cleaning!), relationships (more to be added in due course), autism (miniseries to continue in June), self-care (looking after yourself series), supervision content, and more!


Do have a browse in the categories or do a search and see what comes up, I might have written about it already!

If not, email me or contact me via the contact form and I’ll write one up in the second half of 2019.


I’ll probably do the odd post or re-post some of my oldies but goodies, but it will be much less than you’re probably seeing from me!

I know my readers and socials followers are lovely and understanding, so for that, I thank you, and I’ll see you soon!


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Who are you in your relationship? (Moving Out Of The Drama Triangle)

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Hi, and welcome to part two of the Drama Triangle mini-series.

In the previous post we defined what each of the roles meant and what the individual in those particular roles might be thinking or doing.

2

In order to improve your relationship, some things need to change.

Communication is key in relationships, so it’s a great place to start!

Neither the rescuer, the persecutor or the victim have good communication skills or good awareness of what they are saying or doing and how this affects their life and the people around them.

In this post, I’d like to leave you with some ideas of how to move out of those roles into healthier ones.

This is usually known as The empowerment triangle.

The word empowerment is key here, as it provides a way for each individual playing each role gets the knowledge and skills they need in order to get themselves into a healthier living position.


Let’s get right to it…


4

From Rescuer to Coach


In order to stop feeling like you need to help without looking after yourself, in order to not get triggered when you see others being vulnerable, there are some strategies to use in order to still be compassionate and caring, without putting yourself last or doing things that aren’t really your responsibility.

Empowering those around you that you’d usually help or rescue, by verbally telling them that you care for them and that you trust in their ability to resolve and move forward from their current situation, will remove the burden from you whilst still allowing you to be helpful.

Move from  the fixer to the cheerleader.

Sometimes the best thing we can do when we see someone struggling is to listen to them.

Decide what is your responsibility and what isn’t. As a rescuer you’ll need to think about whether someone else’s problem is yours to solve or not.

Think about how you handle your own problems and situations.

5

Do you let others resolve them for you or do you prefer to solve them in your own terms?

Setting boundaries on the time you spend helping others will allow you to look after yourself and realising that you also have needs to meet, whether that is through asking someone to listen to you or getting the support of friends or professionals, within reason (don’t let others fall into the rescuer role – although that’s their responsibility to sort out, not yours!)


From Victim to Thriver


A major step to take in order to move from victim to thriver, is the realisation that you have needs that you want to meet in order to live a healthier, better life.

You are valuable and valued.

You have strengths within you to achieve what you want.

You have people around you that you can rely on to help you get to where you want, in a healthy way that ensures your autonomy and allows you to be the best version of you that you can be.

The only one that stops you from getting the things you need and want is yourself.

Empower yourself to ask for what you need, as long as it doesn’t encroach on anyone else’s needs or boundaries.3

Find your own boundaries and find ways to cherish those things that you have, and add to that list as you go forward.


From Persecutor to Challenger


As we defined the persecutor in the previous post, they can be dominating, blame often and put others down. Anger and resentment can also take hold and lead to certain behaviours.

If you are in this role more often than not, maybe you can consider working through your anger and other emotions in a therapeutic setting.

This will allow you to differentiate between what’s within you and what is actually happening with the other person in your relationship.

Owning your own emotions will improve your way of thinking about yourself and your relationship, therefore improving the communication levels, as you are clearer on what is going on within you.

6

Knowing that certain things are beyond your responsibility or remit to solve will also help you not believe that you know better and allow others to know best about their own lives.


Responsibility, reacting, acting, setting boundaries and knowing how to meet our needs is important.

Having healthy levels of communication and self-awareness will help us take what’s ours and let go of what isn’t. Balance is key when it comes to taking responsibility and helping others.

Sometimes things are our responsibility. Other times we must empower ourselves and those around us to take what’s ours and leave what isn’t.

I hope this post has helped you meditate on the behaviours that might impact on your health and on your relationships.


(Stephen Karpman, 1960; David Emerald, 2017)


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How to avoid breaking the bank this Christmas!

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Hi, and welcome to this latest entry, where I’ll be talking about Christmas and how to keep safe and within budget.

I won’t be giving you number-crunching ideas, or maybe I will a bit – I do love an Excel Spreadsheet!


2

What I want to focus on is on giving you some food-for-thought about the usual societal expectations and how to break them without feeling guilty, or break them and have a better time this holiday season!

If you’ve read some of my past posts, I do love to challenge society and the unrealistic and sometimes unachievable expectations they place on us.

I like to free myself and those around me from those impositions… or at least prompt some thoughts so people can make up their mind!


Book Cover

You can read these previous posts here:

Blog Series: Looking after yourself

What to do with the should/must/have-to’s

A Don’t Do List

 


This Christmas, don’t break the bank. Avoid yourself some heartache by trying out some of the following:


3

  • Think of your priorities

It’s tricky to get the balance right when we are bombarded with adverts to buy the latest phone or gadget.

There’s also adverts selling you yummy looking food and drinks.

What I want you to think about is:

Do I really need this and that?

Can I afford this or that?

Will they get upset if I don’t get this or that?

Can I live with their reactions?

Will I thank or resent myself for buying stuff that is neither necessary or a priority?

Do I want to treat myself and splurge with this one thing? 

Think about the answers that came up for you as you read them.

If you get that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach, you have your answer.

You might also get an excited, nice feeling. There’s your alternative answer!

Go with your gut and your priorities.


  • Keep track of your spending 4

One of the easiest ways to keep within budget is to keep track of your spending.

You don’t have to be fantastic at Excel to use it, or you can just tally your totals on a sheet of paper.

Whatever works for you, as long as you know how much you’ve got going out and how much you’ve got to last you until the end of January (we generally get paid at the end of the month if we are employed; if you are self-employed, consider the gap in earnings for the holiday period and keep that amount on the side or in your savings, just in case).

It would be great to hear what you do to keep track of your spending, leave your comments in this post or if you found it through social media, retweet or comment in that post. Or both!


How to avoid breaking the bank this christmas.jpg

  • Come up with creative ways of giving gifts

In order to keep with the “don’t break the bank” theme, using your creativity to your advantage will work well for your budget and your bank account.

My husband and I love to travel and have meals out so we tend to save up our money for that.

They are great rewards for us after working hard for a while. It gives us a bit of a break from cooking or work life, and we can reconnect with each other without any distractions or responsibilities.

For Christmas we tend to get each other presents within a budget of £10, £15 or £20. We then pick a street in our town, or the shopping centre, and stick to that area to find the presents within one hour.

We meet after to exchange (no waste on wrapping paper!) and have lunch or dinner together.

As you can imagine, not many things cost these amounts these days, so it’s a great opportunity to get each other fun and quirky stuff that we wouldn’t usually get for ourselves.

I’ve got a Pirate Umbrella (I fit right in in Brighton – I’ve actually seen someone wearing a pirate outfit and there was no obvious reason for it. love it!), a Bauble Pillow, a Harmonica (no idea how to play it!) a book holder, and other bits that make me smile.

5

So, think about whether this is something you can do with your family members (maybe change the rules a bit if there’s many of you, or lower the maximum price…)


  • Say no to societal, family and friends’ demands when you feel like saying no.

I am big on setting boundaries as you might have read in other posts or in my Self Care Book.

Saying no to people is hard enough outside of the Christmas holidays, but it seems to get harder during this time of the year.

We are bombarded with requests to attend parties and other social activities, all which cost money.

Now I am not saying don’t go to any of them. What I’m saying is: listen to your gut.

Your gut will tell you whether you’ll feel good about going or whether you’ll later regret going.

If you do go, consider your budget and see what you can afford without feeling embarrased or put on the spot if questioned.

6You are the only one in charge of your finances, and therefore you decide what to do with them!

Same goes for your time.

Saying no when you feel like saying no will help you stay happy with yourself and your relationships with those that accept your “no” will be better.

Saying no keeps resentment and regret at bay.


  • Do what feels right for you – Celebrate  your way (or don’t celebrate at all)

Christmas is not necessarily a happy time for everyone.

We might have lost loved ones around this time, and it therefore makes it hard to celebrate.

If this is you, it might be an idea to process the loss in therapy or with someone you can talk openly with.

I find that when I work with grief in my sessions, clients usually benefit from finding a way to keep the memory of their loved one at the forefront rather than the pain of the loss.

They also learn to acknowledge when that pain is there, and befriend it. This helps them work through it and move forward without feeling guilty of doing so without their lost loved one.

Another think you could do is save on decorations!

Who are you competing with? Are you decorating because you enjoy it and enjoy seeing the faces of relatives and friends when they come to your house? Or are you decorating because it’s the done thing?

7

Think about it and decide whether you’re going all out, or keeping it low-key this Christmas. The choice is all yours!

I don’t decorate out of personal choice, but it doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate Christmas in my own way.

Watch out for my Christmas post on the 24th of December to get some more insight in what I believe Christmas is all about.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do leave comments about what your savings ideas are at this time of year!


 

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Self Care Book – Out Soon!

NEW BOOK


Dear readers,

I hope you have enjoyed the bank holiday weekend!

I will resume regular posts next Monday.


For this week, I would like to leave you with the news that I have finished writing my first ever book!

It is now in editing and can’t wait to share it with you all!

20170810_114447

It’s going to be on the topic of Self-Care, which is what I started writing about last August when I started publishing blog posts regularly.


I will be writing more blog posts or social media posts to talk a bit more about what you can find in the book –  what topics I’ve discussed, the resources you can use in your life after reading it, so you can get good at your own self-care, and other resources I’m putting together now – like a facebook group to carry on the conversation of self-care and get more tips and ideas from others interested in improving their self-care tools, skills and time spent doing these activities.

 

 

 

 

 


Looking after yourself by...

So today, I leave you with the links to my self-care blog posts, in the hopes that this will spark interest in the content of my ebook – it is not the same topics, but some are included and expanded on.

 

 


blog series on self care pinEnjoy the blog posts on the list below.

I am looking forward to sharing my ebook with you in the near future!

  1. Introduction
  2. Setting Boundaries
  3. Honour your feelings
  4. Unplug from technology – plug into nature
  5. My friend tells us about her self-care journey
  6. Being on your own
  7. Spending time with others
  8. Keeping fit

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NEW BOOK

In Therapy: Working through anxiety (part 2)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to part 2 of In Therapy: Working through anxiety. In this post I would like to talk about the risk factors, causes and consequences of anxiety. At the end I will leave you with some tips that might be helpful in those moments where we are overcome by anxiety.


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Some causes of anxiety might be more obvious than others. Some might be psychological – caused by a traumatic event, such as a particularly stressful life event like a relationship breakdown. Others might be more unconscious in nature, which we will explore when we discuss psychodynamic therapies for anxiety. Other causes might be medical or genetic. Let’s briefly explore these further.

Neurological factors

I will briefly talk about each one of these. Due to space constraints and the technical language used, I have chosen to summarise the main points for this section.  More in-depth information can be found by following this link.

Neurological factors include anatomical, hormonal and genetic factors.

Anatomical factors relate to the limbic system, which might be affected – by structural and hormonal issues. The Hippocampus is part of the stress-response system and if this area is not working well, then anxiety symptoms might occur.

Hormonal or pharmacological factors that might lead to anxiety related disorders includes an abnormal function of GABA receptors, low serotonin levels, an abnormal activation of the fear circuits in the brain, as well as abnormal norepinephrine and dopamine levels and function.

Genes can affect the person’s ability to deal with stress and anxiety. Specific genes have been linked to anxiety – usually affecting the HPA axis and monoaminergic signalling (follow the link above to find out what these do!) The interaction of genes and environment can lead to anxiety and other mood disorders.

Medical conditions

Anxiety might be an indicator of an underlying medical condition. Some of these conditions include:

  • heart disease

  • diabetes

  • thyroid problems

  • asthma and other respiratory disorders

  • drug – prescribed or recreational – or alcohol withdrawal

  • chronic pain

  • irritable bowel syndrome

  • some tumors

  • sometimes can also be caused as a side effect of a prescribed medication.

Psychological and social factors that might lead someone to experiencing anxiety include:

  • Trauma caused from childhood abuse or a traumatic event

  • Illness related stress

  • Unprocessed stress that adds up across time and to other issues

  • Personality might make some people more likely to develop anxiety

  • Other mental health disorders might appear with anxiety (depression, for example)

  • Drug and alcohol use might change the way the person behaves, thinks and acts


2


  • Other mental health issues such as depression, obsessive compulsive behaviours
  • Substance use and abuse
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia
  • Digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraines, headaches, back pain
  • Social isolation, fear of going out or fear of particular situations
  • Difficulties at work or school – loosing focus, not attending class or missing work days
  • Difficulty in looking after yourself – emotional and physical health issues such as neglecting personal care and healthy eating habits
  • Irritability
  • Relationship problems with friends and family
  • Suicide

4


– Getting help early from friends or professionals might be the best thing that you do for yourself! It will most likely prevent some of the consequences mentioned above from becoming a reality, and you will be better off even if it’s difficult to ask for help to start with.

– find activities you enjoy and find rewarding – this will affect your hormones and brain in a positive way, and keep you healthy and less anxious.

– keep yourself surrounded by people that are supportive, positive. A good support network means you don’t feel alone. You have people you trust and that will listen and support you through difficult times.

– Take time-out. If you are at school, at work, or at a social gathering and feel anxiety lurking, take yourself to the toilet, or outside for fresh air. Take ten minutes or however long you need, to calm down using the methods we learned in last week’s post – breathing slowly, counting to 10 slowly, talking to yourself in a positive manner and knowing that the feeling will go away in a few minutes.


Note: some of the information used for this post has been taken from the Mayo clinic and the NCBI website – reference links are found throughout the post.


Until next week…


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In Therapy: Working through…Anxiety (part 1)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to In Therapy: Working through…

In the next few posts, we will be discussing anxiety, what it is, its causes, consequences, and therapies that help work through anxiety issues.

I will also be leaving you with some tips on how to work through anxiety in daily life.


1


Anxiety can be defined as a feeling of worry or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It is something that happens to all of us at different points of our lives. It can be triggered by a variety of situations, both external (social or life situations) and internal (thoughts, feelings).

Anxiety has a history. In the days of cave-people, anxiety was helpful in keeping our fellow man alive. If there was danger, the person would get an increase in adrenaline, which would allow him to run faster or to defend himself from that danger.

Nowadays we don’t have the same kinds of dangers, but our bodies are still very similar to that of the caveman. Adrenaline still kicks in when we are in a situation we might consider frightful or dangerous, and our fight or flight (others include freeze, flop) mechanisms might kick in.

We might not have a cheetah looking at us like we’re their next dinner, but seeing that person that has bullied us in the past might give us the same feeling. Sometimes we might feel anxious over every day events, such as taking a test or going for a job interview.

Anxiety is normal, even though sometimes distressing. There are ways to work through it and find the coping mechanisms that will make it more manageable and less debilitating.


2


As with self-esteem, which we looked at in the past few blog posts, the symptoms of anxiety might be physical, psychological or behavioural.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate and palpitations

  • Increased muscle tension

  • Feeling wobbly on the legs

  • Breathing more quickly or having difficulty breathing

  • Feeling the need to use the toilet more often

  • Feeling sick

  • Feeling tight chested

  • Headaches or migraines

  • Increased sweating

  • Feeling flushed or blushing

  • Dry mouth

  • Shaking

Psychological symptoms include:

  • Thoughts

    • “I am losing control”
    • “I am going mad”
    • “I am going to die”
    • “I am ill”
    • “I am going to have a heart attack”
    • “I am going to be sick”
    • “I am going to faint”
  • Feelings

    • “Why are people looking at me”

    • “People know I’m anxious”

    • Feeling surreal – detached from their surroundings

    • Feeling like things are going much slower or faster than they actually are

    • Flight

    • Feeling tense, restless, high-strung, hyper

       Behavioural

      • Avoidance of situations and people that we believe cause us anxiety. This might be real or imagined causes.


3


The list of anxiety disorders is extensive, and we won’t have time to go through them all individually. If you want to find out more, please go the Anxiety UK Website (the list below is taken from this website). If you would like me to write more in depth about any of these, and how I might work with them in session, please leave me a comment below or send me an email and I will include this in future blog posts.

  • Agoraphobia
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Claustrophobia
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Trichotillomania
  • Health anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Social phobia
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobias
  • Depersonalisation disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Separation anxiety disorder

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  • One way of working through anxiety when it gets overwhelming, or even to prevent it, is looking after yourself in different ways. Click here for my series on self-care, which might give you some ideas into how to do this.
    • Have a bath
    • Spend time with friends and family
    • Find time to be on your own
    • Find a hobby or activity that you enjoy
    • Keeping fit
    • Get in touch with nature
    • Honour your feelings and set healthy boundaries
  • Meditation techniques might also be helpful
    • Breathing
    • Yoga/pilates
    • Mindfulness
  • When the thoughts or feelings that cause anxiety show up, challenge them with different, more positive ones. This might take a lot of work, depending on how anxious you get. We will discuss a bit more in the next few blog posts.

Until next week….


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Current events in the counselling and psychotherapy profession

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to see a very positive response to my blog posts on practical things to do for looking after yourself and living a more complete, calm and manageable life!

These will be continuing as usual on Mondays (English version) and Tuesdays (Spanish version).

In addition to these, I will also be posting mid-week on a topic that I’ve found relevant, interesting and current. As a member of BACP, BPS and other counselling related bodies, I get to read what is going on in the current counselling and psychotherapy climate, how this affect both professionals and clients alike. Some are beneficial to both, some are detrimental to one or the other. So I would like to shed some light on what is going on that might not be fully talked about in the general news but is a hot topic amongst counselling and psychotherapy professionals.

I might also write about courses I have recently attended and how valuable they have been for me as an individual, as a practitioner and how this might affect the way I practice in a positive way for my clients and supervisees.

If you have an opinion in these areas that you might want to discuss, do send me an email and we can work on a collaboration on my mid-week posts!

I would love for you to leave a comment below each blog post, to ensure I am writing what interests you, what is helpful to you and what you would like to read more or less of!

Enjoy!

Karin

Blog Post Showcase: Self-care is often a very un-beautiful thing. By Dilnia Noori.


Hello everyone, and welcome to this ongoing series, where I’ll be showcasing the blog posts that the graduates of my workshop via onlinevents experiential workshops have written.


In today’s post, Dilnia talks to us about self-care and how it can be a bit messy or sometimes boring and mundane.

It depends on what we need to do to help ourselves and give ourselves peace of mind and feel better about our life and ourselves.

Click here to read what Dilnia has to say about self-care and how to go about it.

If you want to read more on self-care, you can also look for my self-care series and my book 20 Self-Care Habits.


I’ll be updating these posts as I receive links to colleague’s blog posts. Keep an eye out for these!

You can also subscribe in the form below if you want to get them straight in your inbox as they are published.


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Guest Posts and Collaborations

Collaborations


In this page you will find fellow bloggers I have collaborated with on similar topics, and topics that interest both of us!

If you want to be a part of this lovely group, send me a message and an idea or ask me what I’m writing about that you could collaborate with!

Looking forward to collaborating with you and making this blogging world more informative and fun in the process!!!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Carla Dena, from Inspired Spaced collaborated with me on Setting Boundaries, do have a look at what she offers, and follow her on facebook too! 

She also featured me as an Inspiring Trailblazer on her website!


Nikki Meadows from The Richness of a Simple Life and NikkiMeadows.com invited me to Guest post (Topic: Emotional Overwhelm) on her website, which supports people to live a life of self-love, self-acceptance, and more! Do have a look at her website for more of what she offers as a coach and a blogger! You can also follow Nikki on Twitter and on Facebook! Find a mention of this post in my blog here.


As a Member of the Brighton University Alumni, and a PGDip (Therapeutic Psychodynamic Counselling) Graduate, I am pleased to have my story posted on their blog: Karin’s journey from international student to counsellor. Thanks to Sarah Grant for this lovely opportunity, and looking forward to working even more with the Brighton Alumni! Find a mention of this post in my blog here.


As a born-and-bred Guatemalan, My heart is with the people of Guatemala in many ways. Supporting great causes there is something that I’ve always wanted to do. I am pleased to have gotten in touch with Common Hope and be supporting them via blog posts – and other ways in the near future! Have a look at my blog post and their website about SponsorPalooza and how you can also support this great cause and the various projects they have in place!


I recently interviewed my best friend from a young age, Tami Bauer, as she is such an inspiration to many due to the way she’s faced her challenges, her past hurts and how she is living life in a space of self-care and self-awareness. Find the video she recorded in my post on A Personal Perspective on Self Care


Becky Murrell gave us some insights into what we can do to keep fit, in week 8 of the Self-Care Blog Series.

Find more on Becky’s Personal Training business and videos on Facebook and Instagram.

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