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!


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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:


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  • 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!


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  • 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.

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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?

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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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Why do we need black friday?

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Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post, where I want to explore the “madness” that is Black Friday, and give you some food for thought.

I’ll leave you with some tips and take-home message at the end.

(Other opinions also available! Don’t kill the messenger…)


2I am not a big shopper, I buy what I need when I need it, and am sensible about how I spend my money – my downfall is when my favourite band is on tour, but also then I curb my enthusiasm and give myself a limit.

I prefer shopping on a weekday when it’s quieter and avoid the shops on weekends when it’s busier.

I can’t deal with it all!

…And I don’t need to deal with any of it, so I don’t…


The title for this post is a bit of a play on words.

My title question should have the emphasis on the word “do” – why DO we need this day in our lives?

Let me rephrase: Do we really need Black Friday?


Let’s look at some positives and negatives of Black Friday


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Positives

  • It’s a social activity that everyone can comment on and join in with (read on for the counterpart of this social activity)

  • We can get good deals on some things

  • If you are a business – it might boost your sales!


Negatives

  • Social activity gone-wrong: it can bring the worst out in people – aggression is part of it as people fight over the same TV set or pair of shoes!

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    Discounts are not really discounts – they just change the tag to make it look like you’re getting a great deal, but in reality you are paying the usual price or more!

  • Pressure to buy stuff that you might not really need – shopping guilt might set in, or you might have needed the money for something else more pressing.

  • Stress, anxiety and other “symptoms” might arise from trying to get there first and get the items we are after – they are most likely on a limited time or quantity.


5It is within each of us to decide what is best for us. If Black Friday works for you, then go for it and enjoy it!

I will stay within the quiet, calm and safety of my home and assess when I need things and whether they are absoulutely necessary right now, or can I wait to get them when I’ve saved up for them.

I prefer to save my hard-earned cash to go on holidays and meals out with my husband.

Making memories and eating good food is my priority over shopping for the latest gadget or joining on on popular shopping days like Black Friday.

Black Friday can work for some people, but not for others (like me!)


6The take-home message I would like to leave you with in this post can be summed up in these bullet points:

  • Do what feels right for you.

  • Look after yourself by having your priorities clear and acting accordingly.

  • Curb your enthusiasm in regard to “shiny objects”, but if you really want said shiny object, then go get it! You only answer to yourself.

  • Have a budget.

  • Set boundaries with others but also with yourself, this will keep you from resenting yourself for an unnecessary purchase or doing something that you don’t want – learn to say no!


To end this post, I’d like to leave you with some articles to read about Black Friday. I found these interesting and light reading!


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20 Self-Care Habits – Book Review #1 ***Presales begin 2nd July *** bonus video in this post!

20 self care habits pinterest

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

Karin Brauner’s recently published book on Self Care is the first and only book you will need to buy on self care. Whether this is the first time you have dipped your toe in the world of wellness and self care or you are well versed on the subject, this is the only book you’ll even need. Well written,  with easy to follow instructions on how to reframe your life, this is a self care book with a difference.

The author is honest with the reader right from the beginning , she doesn’t sugar coat the reality, that living your true life, will require hard work, and dedication to understanding yourself.  That is just one of the reasons why this book is different from the rest, she is not offering a quick fix, there are of course little exercises that can be done in times of needs, but she is offering much more than that, she is offering a mindset reset, one that will change your whole life and you’ll finish the book knowing yourself better than you ever thought possible .

The book starts out by concentrating on the importance of boundaries in your life and highlights the tools needed to start structuring your own life with boundaries, dealing with ‘your mind, body, sprite and relationships’. You will learn how to structure your life in a way that is dictated by your needs and not societal demands.

As you realise that you too are worthy of happiness, the author guides you through the difficult relationships you may have to navigate, by not shying away from conflict, but meets them head on bringing about a new respect for both you and your relationships.


Click here to find out more


Each chapter has a different theme that you can dip into at any time you are struggling with that particular issue in your life. You are given tips for improving the situation, but more importantly how to reduce the likelihood of coming across these situations again, you will have learned the tools to deal with the next step when needed. Each theme is fully explored,  then you will be lead through a series of visualisation exercises and given options for alternative outcomes, it’s the ultimate learning tool.

As you continue your journey into self awareness, it will become easier to identify old patterns, and make new behaviours.  The author gives you the power to say No, and in a world where saying yes is the only answer, you are helped to take back your power and own your own destiny and regain that control of your life.

Through a series of visualisation exercises, meditations, reframing and life hacks , you will learn how to take responsibility for your decisions. You will end up confident in your identity and living a life that is true to who you are at the core.

You learn how to trust yourself, after all who knows you better than you do, it’s time to start listening to yourself and this book gives you the tools to do so.

A.L.


Watch this video to find out more about the book…

 

 


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New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Update to my blog and website privacy terms

Dear readers,

This week I want to talk about new data protection legislation that will come into force this month.


There is a lot of buzz going around about GDPR and the changes that businesses have to make to their privacy, cookie and contracting policies.

I am working hard behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly and that you are not affected by any changes to legislation.


From May 25th, I will need to let you know how I use

your information and details, which I have started writing in my

draft Privacy and Cookies Policy.


In regards to subscribing to this blog, there will be no changes to how I use your email details when you signed up.

In brief, your details are kept in the WordPress subscriber log and won’t be passed on to any other parties.

I will continue to send blog posts in the same way, so you don’t need to change anything.


I do need to give you the option, through this post, to keep your subscription as it is, or remove yourself from the list if you wish to do so – I will miss you if you decide the latter.

I will possibly be sending another post to remind you of this before the 25th of May. I am still working on what I need to have in place. I am nearly there but want to cover all my bases! 


Here is the Information Commissioner’s link to the GDPR guidance, and the link to my draft Privacy and Cookies Policy.

As a member of BACP, I also leave you this link – Article by Peter Jenkins and how new GDPR legislation will affect those of us in private practice.


***I am a member of the ICO, as I hold data on

clients for my counselling practice, as well as subscribers to this blog***


Please send me any questions you might have, and I will do my best to answer them.

Be patient with me though, I am also learning as I go!


World Autism Month

This month is World Autism Month, and to honour the amazing people that live with Autism Spectrum conditions, I am dedicating this post to them.

I first started working with people with disabilities — different abilities — back in 2004 when I worked as a volunteer, training people with physical disabilities so they could get into the workforce, in Guatemala.

This was very rewarding as I could use both my teaching (IT programmes) and counselling skills (support group), and get to speak to people and hear their experiences first hand.

Supporting people has been something I’ve always wanted to do, and this opportunity was great to start my journey in supporting people with disabilities.


Read more about my journey on my post in support of Common Hope,

and do give if you feel moved to, it’s a great cause!


Move forward to 2008, I started my journey into the world of Autism. I got hired to work as a supported living support worker for people that lived at home with their families.

This job gave me a chance to work with some amazing individuals, some of whom I still keep in touch now – a couple of them came to my Wedding, which was lovely!

I am now crossing over to working with people on the Spectrum not only as a support worker but also as a counsellor.


I’ve learned so much from every person on the Spectrum I’ve met and supported.

  • Taking time to self-care.

    • Something as simple as having a bath to help relax and ease pain and stress.
  • Finding creative and new ways to communicate.

    • Many of the people I’ve supported are non-verbal.
    • Learning Makaton and other communication skills has been part of the journey.
    • Reading non-verbal cues and paying attention to the small nuances and eye-gazes has become routine in my work. I love it.
  • Counselling people on the Spectrum – Aspergers mostly so far, is so rewarding.

    • It’s a chance to bring me – a neurotypical – a deeper understanding of how the “Aspie” mind works, and therefore how to best support someone work through their issues in therapy.


Meeting one’s needs and setting clear boundaries is something I am big on, and it is a great duty of care, responsibility and honour to be able to support people with this.

Part of working with ASD and other disabilities is helping the clients/service users to live in this world as it is – easier said than done!…

….but I also believe a great part of working with this group of people, and getting them out in the community (Social Inclusion) is getting us “neurotypicals” and the general public to understand and accept that there are people among us that deserve the same rights and their needs being met as everyone else.

Understanding and acceptance of difference is a great first step to take, to realise how wonderful each person with disabilities and ASDs is. Everyone is an individual, and this applies here as well.


We forget that we are all individuals. “They are all individuals”.

There is a lot to learn from people on the Spectrum and with other varied disabilities…

The struggles each one faces, and yet they are smiling and enjoying life as best they can.

Autism has its ups and downs, it’s not all smiles and fun.

There are meltdowns and medical emergencies (to say the least!).

There are frustrated, confused and sometimes depressed parents and carers.


The world of Autism is really incredible.

I wouldn’t change any of the people I’ve met, for anything in the world.

They are great as they are. They have a purpose as they are.


let’s embrace the differences each person on the Spectrum brings to society…

let’s embrace the greatness that is within those differently-functioning brains and bodies….

let’s learn from the way they are, the way they themselves embrace life and make the most of it…


Let’s accept and understand rather than stigmatise and isolate.


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Reblog Digest

Collaborations (1)


If you have been following my blog, you might have read my two-part miniseries on working through your first counselling session (click to read).

There is so much to consider when choosing your therapist, what to expect and how to go through the process and trust in the therapeutic relationship and the process itself.

Therapy Route discusses the different aspects of what therapy is, what to expect, and other questions you might have regarding your counselling process. Click here to read.

 


Never give up the struggle in life, written by a colleague in LinkedIn, gives us an idea of how we can get stuck in our ways and restrict ourselves without actually needing to.

The metaphor of the elephants and the rope is a lovely reflection.

 


Dealing with conflict in a positive way is something couples might struggle with more often than not.

Nathan Gould talks to us about how to have these discussions without ending up in an argument.

Read his blog post here.

 


Book Recommendation:

Diet, exercise and mental health: How to control your anger, anxiety and depression, using nutrition and physical exercise


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Reblog, Exposing scapegoating, by Paula Newman

Collaborations


In this week’s reblog post, Paula Newman writes about scapegoating and what this means.

A scapegoat is the one who gets in trouble and distracts from the real problems. It hides, for example, a parents’ relationship problems, by putting all the problematic stuff on one of the children in the family.

I could really relate to what Paula was talking about, and can remember a few incidents where either myself or people close to me where scapegoated. It doesn’t feel very nice at all!

Leaving or seeking counselling are a couple of suggestions Paula makes to escape these kinds of situations.

Read more here.


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Reblog: Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource library

Collaborations


Following up on my post about loss and grief, I found this lovely library of blog posts related to the same topic.

It contains a variety of posts, from poems to more serious ones, from authors all over the cyber-world.

I leave you the link here for you to look at at your leisure.

Loss, Grief, Bereavement and Life Transitions Resource Library


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Mental Health Media “The sinner” Series – by Holly Tootell

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There are a few programmes on TV and Film that discuss mental health related topics in their plots. The Sinner is one of them.

As Holly Tootell describes in this post, it is definitely gripping to watch!

But what is most gripping is the reality of abuse and trauma and how it can manifest in our lives even years after it happened.

The good news, as Holly reminds us, is that there is a way to heal from abuse and trauma in childhood and other stages in life, it just has to be the right way for each individual!

Read more here.

 

Working with the person, not the diagnosis – by Nathan Gould

Collaborations


In this post, Nathan Gould discusses how uncomfortable, unfair and unhelpful labelling someone with a diagnosis can be.

It can’t be like when we have a physical ailment – a broken arm, the flu, something else. It’s not as straightforward as that.

Nathan discusses this in depth. It is helpful for both professionals but also for people suffering with mental health and feeling disheartened by getting diagnosed and treated as a diagnosis rather than as a person.

There are many of us out there that want to help the person not the diagnosis.

I highly recommend reading his post, and other posts he has written, by clicking here.

Welcome 2018!

calendar freebieFree 2018 Calendar


Dear readers,

I am so pleased to be starting 2018 with you all on board.

It really does make me smile every time I see an email alerting me of someone new following my blog!

So I just wanted to thank you all for your trust and for reading my posts and sharing them with your friends and family!

From next week, I will have lots of new content, one for every day of the week. Check out the image below to see what to expect each day of the week.

If you have any suggestions or any topics or questions you want to ask, don’t hesitate to message me.


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Setting Reasonable Resolutions for 2018

calendar freebieFree 2018 Printable Calendar!


We have all been there…we make a list of what we plan to do in the New Year – stop smoking and doing more exercise are favourites.

How many of us break these resolutions on the 2nd of January?

So why not set some reasonable resolutions for 2018?


Here are some ideas that you might actually want to keep, and achieve without much hassle or thinking about:

  • keep life as simple as possible

    • remove those things that cause clutter in your home or mind.
    • think about each situation and weigh wether you want or need to stress about it, and decide for how long to stress about it.
  • Don’t make something a problem unless and/or until it actually is a problem!

    • this is one thing I try to make sure I do in my life to keep myself from getting overwhelmed when nothing is actually happening.
  • Make short-term plans

    • 3-monthly plans seem to work best for many people, and this means that you won’t get overwhelmed with gigantic goals
    • break those gigantic goals into parts and give yourself flexible deadlines to meet them
    • prioritise and don’t try to do everything at once, you will get overwhelmed and most likely not do any of them!
  • Take care of your mental health

    • read up on what worries you or ask a professional
    • go to counselling short term even if nothing major is happening – getting to know yourself better is a great thing and will benefit you and your relationships
    • read my blogs – and others’ blogs – on working through various issues in therapy
  • Other things that might impact positively on your life might be things that I’ve spoken about in my self-care blog posts

    • travel more

    • spend time with people that support and make you happy – spend less or no time with people that you might feel are taking your energy away or are actually toxic

    • read more

    • try new things – foods, activities, tv shows, etc

    • save

    • tweak your diet and exercise routines – or come up with one that fits your schedule and that you will actually achieve!


That’s it from me for 2017, I shall see you around the corner!

2018 here we come!


Have you downloaded my free calendar 2018 yet?


It’s been a learning curve for me since starting my blog this august, I am hoping to improve on what I’ve already done and offer some more freebies, books, and more great content the next year.

If you have any suggestions or comments, do leave them via email or via the contact form.

Have you subscribed to my blog? Make sure you don’t miss a thing this 2018! 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Reflect, meditate, think about all the joy, grace and love you’ve received this year.


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Wishing you the best, celebrating what goes best with your beliefs and being.

Stay true to yourself and who you were created to be.

Enjoy, Indulge, Laugh, Love


Free Calendar 2018 – click here to get it! 


 

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Got more questions than answers this December? / ¿Tienes más preguntas que respuestas este mes de Diciembre?

Q&A


2I have created this post as an opportunity for you to ask me any questions related to counselling, mental health, and other lifestyle and health related topics, and I will do my best to answer them in a series on Wednesdays starting January 10th 2018.

Looking forward to hearing from you! click here to send your questions


1He creado este post como una oportunidad para que me hagas las preguntas que quieras en relación a psicoterapia, salud mental y otros temas de estilo de vida y salud. Haré todo lo posible por contestarlas comenzando en Enero 10 2018.

Espero tus preguntas! haz click aqui para enviar tus preguntas


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Free Calendar – Click Here! / Calendario Gratis – Haz Click Aqui

 


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Fin de año – tiempo de recapitular

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¿A dónde se fue este año? Siento como que pasó bastante rápido.

Es esa época del año donde comenzamos a pensar acerca de lo que este año trajo a nuestras vidas, lo que logramos – y lo que no logramos.4

Estamos bajo presión de planear nuestras resoluciones de Año Nuevo.

Quizá nos sintamos obligados a ir a varias celebraciones y a comprar regalos.

También es esa época del año en donde algunos nos podemos sentir algo solos o melancólicos. Si te identificas con esto, te recomiendo leer mis posts acerca de Ansiedad, 6y Pérdida y duelo. Estoy segura de que te ayudaran en estos tiempos.

 

 


En este post, quería dejarte con algunos tips para cuidar de ti mismo en esta época (puedes leer mis posts acerca de autocuidado para más tips):

  • Haz lo que se sienta bien para ti.

    • Di “no” cuando hay muchas demandas sobre tu tiempo, especialmente cuando lo que realmente quieres hacer es pasar una noche tranquila en casa. Puede que tus amigos se sientan defraudados porque no saliste con ellos, pero estarás siguiendo tus necesidades y estarás cuidando de ti mismo.
    • Di “sí” cuando estés feliz de hacer algo. Se notará si realmente quieres hacer algo, y lo podrás difrutar también.7
  • Haz lo que puedas permite economicamente.

    • No te sientas presionado a comprar regalos o comidas caras porque es lo que los demás esperan en esta época.
    • Haz un presupuesto para este fin de año, asi tendrás suficiente para pagar todos tus gastos sin preocupaciones.
    • Planea en anticipación del largo mes de enero – ahorra lo que necesitas y un poco mas si puedes – a muchos nos resulta difícil esperar la fecha de pago a finales de Enero!
  • Sé creativo con tus actividades de fin de año

    • Haz una caza o búsqueda de regalos!
      • Mi esposo y yo nos damos un presupuesto pequeño y elegimos una calle con tiendas o un centro comercial y nos damos una hora para hacer nuestra compra. Luego de una hora, nos reunimos a tomar o comer algo (según nuestro presupuesto!) e intercambiar nuestros regalos. Esto nos ayuda a mantenernos dentro de nuestro presupuesto, y los regalos suelen ser divertidos y curiosos, cosas que no nos compraríamos de otra forma; también ahorramos en papel de regalo y pasamos un buen rato juntos!
    • Pleanea fiestas en tu casa
      • Consigue un rompecabezas – o desempolva alguno que tengas guardado – y que todos contribuyan.
      • Consigue juegos de mesa o inventa algun juego tu mismo
      • Haz una fiesta “de traje” – en donde cada persona invitada trae algo de comer y/o beber, asi todos comparten los gastos y posiblemente también haya más comida y bebida para todos
  • pasa tiempo con tus familiares y amigos, pero no olvides pasar tiempo contigo mismo tambien!

    • renueva tus energías para iniciar bien el año nuevo
    • date metas realísticas para los primeros tres meses del año (dividiendo tus metas en cuartos puede ayudar a que no te agobies)
    • piensa de nuevo cuáles serán tus prioridades para este año que viene
    • lee un libro o haz algo que no has hecho el año que pasó
  • Da algo que ya no te sirva a caridad

  • Da a las personas de la calle

    • He tenido conversaciones y momentos agradables con las personas que desafortunadamente viven en la calle. Es triste el hecho de que estén en esta situación, pero dar un poco de tu tiempo y tal vez comprarles un sandwich puede hacer que amobs se sientan bien!

 


¿Ya bajaste mi calendario imprimible para 2018?calendar freebie

 

 

 


 

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End of year – time to recap!

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Where has this year gone! It feels like it has just flown by.

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It’s that time of the year where we begin to think about what this year brought to our lives, what we achieved – and what we didn’t.

We are urged to plan our New Year resolutions.

We feel obliged to attend a variety of parties and buy presents.

5It’s also that time of the year where we might feel a bit lonely or melancholic. If you are feeling this way, do have a look at my In Therapy posts on Anxiety and Loss and Grief, I am sure they will help you during these times.

 


In this post I just wanted to leave you with some Self-Care tips during this time:

  • Do what feels right for you.

    end of year bilingual post

    • Say “no” when a lot is demanded of you, when what you really want to do is just to spend a quiet evening in. You might disappoint some people, but will be true to yourself and your needs.
    • Say “yes” if you are happy to say yes. If you really want to do something, it will show and you will enjoy it even more.
  • Do what you can afford to do.

    • don’t feel pressured to buy expensive gifts or meals because it’s what’s expected at this time of year.
    • Budget this end of the year, so you have enough to pay for everything and not have any worried.
    • Plan ahead for January – save what you need and a bit more if you can – many of us struggle waiting for payday at the end of January!
  • Be creative with your end of the year activities

    • Go gift hunting!
      • My husband and I set a small budget and a set of shops (maybe one street or one shopping centre) and give ourselves an hour to go get something. After an hour, we meet at a restaurant we like for a drink or a meal (depends on our budget!) and exchange our presents. We stay within budget, we get quirky, fun things that we wouldn’t have bought otherwise, we save on wrapping paper and we get to spend time together!
    • Plan a party at home
      •  get a puzzle and get everyone to pitch in.
      • get some board games or make up your own.
      • get everyone to bring something to the party so the expenses are shared and there is more to share
  • Spend time with loved ones but don’t forget to spend time with yourself!

    • renew your energies for the start of the New Year
    • give yourself realistic goals for the first three months of the year (doing it in quarters might work better and you won’t get overwhelmed)
    • rethink your priorities for the next year
    • read a book you’ve left on the side the past year
  • Give to charity

  • Give to the homeless

    • I have had some great conversations with people on the street. It is unfortunate that they are in that situation, but giving a bit of your time to have a chat, or buy them a drink or a sandwich – it won’t break your budget – will feel good to both of you.


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Reblog: The stories we tell ourselves, by Sabrina Friesen

Collaborations


In this reblog post, Sabrina Friesen leads us to reflect on the stories we tell ourselves.

Are we re-telling the stories of our lives with facts or fact-filling those gaps with what makes sense to us?

Is what we know as a fact really the whole story?

Sabrina poses some questions to check whether the stories we know and might have told for a long time are accurate, and how to reframe so we don’t lose a relationship or friendship over it.

Read more here.

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