Prioritise Wellbeing


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

I would like to focus today’s post on “you”. You are my priority in this post.

Why? Because you should be a priority in your life at all times.

I’m going to tell you a few ways in which you can easily achieve making yourself a priority in your life.3

Prioritising yourself and your wellbeing doesn’t mean forgetting those around you, it just means that you come first, and if you come first, you’ll have more time and energy to help and support and spend time to those around you.



Here are some ideas for you to ponder on, in order to get your wellbeing back to being a priority, or to improve the way you look after yourself:

  • Spend some time in quiet and solitude to figure out what helps and what hinders your wellbeing.

  • Think about what things you’ve stopped doing that you really enjoyed. Find out why you stopped them and work through those reasons so you can re-start these activities if and when you want to.

  • Use your resources. I talk about this in my book. We all have our resources and we all have people and things around us that can help us improve or maintain our wellbeing. Maybe you live near the sea or a popular place to run or walk, or a swimming pool. Maybe you enjoy indoor activities more. Look for the things and people that will help you achieve our wellbeing goals, and support each other to get what you want from the activities you engage in.

  • Remember, what worked for you in the past might not work for you now. Reassess how you’ve changed and work with that to add or remove things from your life.


  • As I discussed in the previous post, and in other posts, learning to say “no” will allow us to be true to ourselves and in turn this will maintain or improve our wellbeing and also our relationships, as there’ll be no room for resenting ourselves or those we don’t say no to.

  • Disconnect from all your electronics at least once a week. Leave the house without your phone or anything with the potential to distract you from “you” time.

  • Use mindfulness videos on Youtube or download an app like the CalmApp to meditate and learn how to slow your breathing down to help you relax and wind down, or just take a break when things are getting too much. The more you do it, the more effective the results are!

  • Find a group of people you can talk to about your deepest, darkest emotions, thoughts and plans. This could be friends, family or a therapist like yours truly.

Book CoverThere we go! I think this list has plenty of good stuff in there to help you prioritise yourself and your needs.

You’ll see how things improve within yourself and your relationships as you put some of these in practice.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. There are more resources out there to further support you with this.

Have you got my book yet? It is a great resource to help you work out how to improve your life and relationships through 20 easy self-care habits. Click here to find out more.

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A (don’t have) to do list

1Hi and welcome to my latest blog post.

You might remember my blog post titled “What to do with the should do / have to / must do’s”, if not you can read it by clicking the title.

I am a bit of a rebel – healthy rebellion and within reason! – when it comes to society or people in my life telling me how I should do things.


Even if it’s things like “you should be eating better”, well thanks for the sentiment, but I need to come to that realisation myself so I can be congruent and in tune with myself and actually achieve this “eating better” that you tell me about.

It is even more poignant when people say things like “you have to be helpful even if you’re tired”, “why are you saying no to me when you used to always say yes”, and more like that.

2If I’m helpful to everyone even if I’m tired, I will resent myself and others and be even more tired and less able to help anybody else!

If I say yes all the time, I’m denying myself much needed alone time or time to regroup and be on my own.

Anthony Delaney writes a don’t do list that adds to what I’ve written about above. I’ll leave a few bullet point messages I took away from reading this book a few years ago. You can read more by clicking on the link.


  • Don’t be afraid of commitments

Fearing commitment to a person, a task, ourselves, will stop us from achieving those things that are within our grasp to achieve.

We all have amazing strengths and resources to tap into to improve our lives and relationships, and sometimes to improve the lives of others too! This is one of the reasons I wrote and published my book.

Having goals will help us make those commitments and challenge those things that are stopping us from moving forward and achieving them.

We might need to challenge some of the people in our lives that frighten us into thinking “what if it all goes wrong” and keeping us from trying and stepping out of our comfort zones.


We might also need to challenge our own thoughts – asking “am I good enough?” or impostor syndrome might kick in.


Challenge negative self-talk and self-beliefs, either with yourself, with a friend or with a therapist, and help yourself move forward with what is growing inside of you!

Fear of losing what we have could be another thing stopping us from setting goals or committing to achieve them. This point is all about priorities, which is a whole ‘nother blog post in itself!

Book Review Here

  • You are not alone

Support groups in general, and those popping up on Facebook and other forums, like my 20 Self-Care Habits group, are there to remind us that we are not alone in our suffering, our struggles, or our joys!

Being with like-minded individuals allows us to realise that we are not on our own.

We can be real with ourselves and others because others are allowing themselves to do the same!


Also, when you voice your opinion or struggle in one of these groups, you are being an example for someone else.


It is so reassuring to know that we are not the only ones in a particular situation, and that we can help each other!



  • I don’t have to please everyone

It goes without saying that I agree with this point and in fact encourage you to re-consider your reasons for wanting to please everyone.

It might be a deeply rooted way of being. Exploring it and figuring out how to change your mindset – if you want to change it – to freeing yourself from the need to please everyone, might be a great gift to yourself and those around you.

We’ve all heard the phrase “you can’t pour out of an empty cup”.  This is so true!

If I run out of energy or people-pleasing fuel, how am I going to keep giving? I’m going to burn out and end up depressed or anxious or something else.

Make sure you take time to regroup and re-energise. It’s about you too!6

  • I don’t have to worry if someone rejects me

Now, keeping with the cups theme – we are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

We won’t be liked by everyone. And that’s absolutely fine.

Think about this: do you like everyone you’ve ever met? did someone come up in your mind when you read this bit?

Ok then. You don’t like everyone. Not everyone will like you either.

Personality clashes.

It’s fine.

  • I don’t have to feel guilty7

This last point has a few things that we need to learn how to stop feeling guilty about:

for looking after myself

for setting boundaries

for doing things my way

for not being in control of everything

being real instead of pretending to be someone I’m not

losing my temper or keeping cool in difficulty

not having it all

being scared

not having all the anwers


not meeting everyone else’s needs

In his introduction, Delaney says he wrote this book to help his readers “slow down, relax, enjoy life”.

I hope this post has helped trigger your thoughts about how to achieve this in your life.


Book Review Here

I spoke about this in my facebook group, come in and join the conversation!




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Practising what I preach – When life gets “in the way”….

Insights...From the Desktop of Karin BraunerHi everyone!

I have been pondering on some things for the past few weeks. You might have noticed a lack of new blog posts or less original stuff on my social media platforms.

I’ve been in a bit of a health “pickle”. I am in the process of sorting it out but it takes time to find out what is going on in my body and how to work it out – tests, procedures, medication and other options.

I was stressing out recently, here are some of my thoughts:

“I haven’t written my post for today”

“I’m letting my audience down”

“My social media will stagnate and I will lose all the hard work I’ve done”

“I must carry on no matter what”


I quickly realised that these thoughts weren’t helping and I gave myself a compassionate-but-firm “talking-to” and came to the conclusion that I need to strip things down to the bare minumum, which means:

  • Putting new blog posts on hold for the next month at least, and reassess at the end of the month.
  • Creating new content and scheduling content on Social Media is also on hold, but fortunately there is the “saving grace” of other people’s content – 80% of my posts should be curated content anyway so I will appease my “social media stagnation fears” by reposting, which takes seconds. If I don’t then I don’t, but the option is there.
  • My plans for online courses are also on hold.


In a way, this gives you an idea of what I’m working on, so it’s not a bad idea to let you know about my stripped back plans for the next month. Lots to look forward to for my audience, readers and followers, but also for myself….




….It’s just not happening this month. I need to take the time off! (sounds like I’m trying to convince myself huh? well I sort of am, because I love my work, everything above makes me happy, but I need to take this time off to be able to do it to the best of my ability and without hurting myself!).




What I will be doing during this month:

  • I will look forward to my 2 weeks off I’ve scheduled at the end of the month (29th October to 9th November) for self-care. I find that having something to look forward to like a short break or holiday helps as there is a chance to fully relax and let go soon.
  • Focusing on client work, saving all my energy and willpower to do a great job with my clients, who deserve the high quality of counselling and tutoring services I am known for and that they signed up for.cropped-fullsizerender.jpg
  • Being true to myself and cancelling on time when I feel things might be too much. I had to do this last week and it was fine. It shows I’m human and clients were understanding. I must remind myself that this is unusual, this is not forever, and I’ll be back to my usual self in good time.
  • Resting and finding solutions through research and contacting doctors, pushing for the care I deserve – trust me it’s been hard work getting my needs met but I am practicing what I preach and persevering with looking after my health.

Book CoverWhat I’ve learned  – and have been reminded of – through this tricky health time in my life:

  1. I am not the only one struggling with health issues – other counsellors are struggling and doing the best they can.
  2. I am allowed to stop, take stock and rethink things.
  3. I have a clear plan of where I want to get to, and this means I can take breaks (day, week, month) when I need to, and when I get back to it, there is a clear guide to follow.
  4. People are very understanding and helpful in times of need.
  5. I deserve to get the care and support I need. It is there, it’s a matter of who shouts the loudest at the moment with the services.
  6. Time is short, but time heals and then there will be more time to do the things I enjoy.
  7. Relationships are important. My support system is so vital and everyone has been supporting me with thoughts, comments, reassurance and cups of tea or glasses of wine!
  8. I am practising what I preach. What I write in my book, what I tell my clients, I am doing it.
  9. am sure there are more…I will add them to this post as I think of them! Have you got any that you want to add here?

While I get back on track with my physical health, have a browse through my blogsite for some informative and interesting posts that I’ve already written -since August 2017 up to now.

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20 Self-Care Habits – Book Review #5 ***Book Out 31st July *** Bonus Video -A word from the author in this post!

20 self care habits pinterest

Click here to visit my website – read more reviews, download freebies, and more!

This book is exactly what it says it is, different ways to integrate self-care into your daily life. It starts off with an overview of why the author is writing about self-care, giving us an insight into her life.

Some introductions can be patronising but this was not at all, there was no judgment, and Karin suggests that you know yourself best. The book covers 20 different self-care activities ranging from the usual spending time in nature and putting yourself first, to ones we might not find obvious, such as personal space.

I liked that each topic starts with a quote that ties nicely into the chapter and the author uses her own personal experiences to explain each habit, this makes the book feel like your speaking with a friend. The examples are easily relatable, for instance, in putting your needs first chapter, the example of lending a friend money, makes its easier to see how important your needs are when put in to a perceptible example of money.

The lay out of each chapter follows the same format, and this is something I particularly like a lot! The bullet points of how your life can improve with each habit are clear and concise, making it easy to digest.

22I especially liked the reflection time section at the end of each chapter, it’s almost like they’ve reached out a hand and brought you in to the book. It gives you questions to help you reflect on your own personal circumstances and how each habit impacts your own life, as well as prompting you to make changes to improve your own self-care.

Whilst I would not normally read an eBook, the layout of this book was so easy to navigate and read on my phone.

I like the idea of the printable reminders and planners, which are a brilliant addition to this book!

Self-care is over looked so much and isn’t something I ever thought about until I started my training as a counsellor. This book makes it so easy to see the little ways in which you can look after yourself without too much effort. I would recommend this book to fellow counsellors, students, clients and family members.

Overall, if you’re looking for a proactive book to help work on your self care then this is the book for you!



20 Self-Care Habits – Book Review #4 ***Preorder today! *** Bonus video in this post!

20 self care habits instagram20 habits of self-care is a practical and insightful tool for anyone who wants to make self-care a priority.

The overall message is much the same as other self care books however it is original in the reflection aspect. The think, feel and act sections are good prompts for anyone new to reflection in this sense.

I would say the book is aimed at beginners in self-care, and it is a great place to start. It could be all that a ‘newbie’ to self-care requires. As someone who has been reading other self-care books and undertaking reflections for over 3 years. A lot of the features were what I have already been introduced to. That being said, the think, feel and act sections did draw my attention to specific areas of reflection that I had not thought of in detail before.

These sections at the end of each chapter have echoes of what a therapist would prompt you to think about, which is understandable as the author is a counsellor. I do believe that the book being written by a counsellor who has experience on both sides of self-care, witnessing others struggles with the subject, has given Karin more insight into the needs of other people regarding self-care.

1Many other books are written with the author’s experiences and could potentially not have the same wide area of reflection to prompt. The fact that Karin clearly labels each part of the reflection into ‘think’ ‘feel’ and ‘act’ means that a reader can choose which parts of the reflection works best for them and skip to those bits.

The whole book is written with careful words and is laid out in such a way it would not scare off those who class themselves as not being readers. Other books can take a while to get to the point of the chapter whereas this book is precise.

My overall feelings on the book are that firstly I would recommend it to anyone who is new to self-care as a starting platform. In addition, with the reflection aspect it is original and for a new person to the self-care ideaology could replace the need for a therapist.

This could be hugely beneficial to someone who could not afford counselling.

On this note, It would be a good book for mental health teams, and NHS counsellors (who only offer 6 sessions) to recommend to people so they can learn to take care of themselves. The impact of this book, if recommended like this could be substantial.



20 Self-Care Habits – Book Review #3 ***Preorder your copy today! *** bonus video in this post!

20 self care habits instagram20 Habits of Self Care is exactly what it says on the cover  – a book about self care habits and I absolutely loved it.  Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down, not just because it was so interesting but also because of how easy it was to read.

After introducing us to the subject of self care and why it is so important, the author begins each chapter with a quote related to the topic being discussed which immediately got me thinking about the subject and how it relates to my own life.  The friendly, natural writing style enabled me to really reflect on how each self care tip already does, or could, improve my life and the personal experiences she shares throughout the book also helped with this.

Each chapter relates to a different self care practice, all of which could be easily incorporated into even the busiest of people’s lives because of their simplicity.  What I really enjoyed is that the author doesn’t just introduce us to the concepts of self care practices but also makes suggestions about how, by using these practices every day, we can experience improvements in both our lives and our relationships.  She allows us to think about the importance of putting our own needs in front of those of others and reminds us that saying no isn’t a bad thing.

The reflective exercises at the end of each chapter provided me a fantastic opportunity to really sit and think about how when I haven’t put my own needs first it has negatively impacted on my self esteem or feelings of self worth and how differently things could have been if I had.  Including these exercises meant that I didn’t just rush onto the next chapter and by slowing the reading process down in this way it felt like the author was already encouraging me to slow down the pace I normally live my life.

As mentioned previously the author’s personal reflections really helped me really reflect on the importance of self care, but not only that they also made the whole idea of self care more relatable to everyday life.

Whether you are new to the idea of self care or an old hand, this book is a light, easy read which flows seamlessly from chapter to chapter.  Having already noticed the changes it has made to my life since reading it I highly recommend it.

M. C.


Self Care Book – Out Soon!


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!


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

Looking after yourself by...

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: 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!

spend time with others1

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.

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

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!

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