Top Ten Stress Busting Tips

Stress is “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.” (HSE UK)

The pressures you’re dealing with may come from a number of different sources, and when their combined effect is overwhelming, stress occurs. Stress is an unhealthy state of body or mind or both.

Managing the stress of work and life are essential to your wellbeing.

So how can we manage stress?

Here are ten positive approaches to managing stress (ISMAUK – International Stress Management Association)

1. Learn to manage your time more effectively
We waste a lot of time doing unimportant tasks, especially when stressed, so prioritise your day and do the important jobs first. The unimportant ones can wait, and often they will disappear completely leaving you time to do other things. Also, do not put off the unpleasant tasks – avoidance causes a great deal of stress. Give unpleasant tasks a high priority and do them first.

2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
If we eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and ensure we get adequate sleep and rest, our body is then better able to cope with stress, should it occur. If this is not the case, then this may be a warning sign so don’t ignore it. Engaging in some form of physical activity may help you by working off the biochemical and physical changes that occur within your body due to stress. Relaxation also helps your body return to its normal healthy state. Good relaxation techniques, include breathing exercises, massage and a variety of complimentary therapies can all help.

3. Know your limitations and do not take on too much
We can cause ourselves a great deal of stress because we do not want to let people down. We then end up doing more than we should. Learn to delegate effectively and be assertive so that you can say ‘No’ without feeling guilty yourself, or upsetting or offending others.

4. Find out what causes you stress
Take time to discover what is worrying you and try to change your thoughts and behaviour(s) to reduce it. A stress assessment can help you to fully understand the causes, the implications to your health and how to manage, cope and make any necessary changes.

5. Avoid unnecessary conflict
Do not be too argumentative. Is it really worth the stress? Look for win – win situations. Look for a resolution to a dispute where both parties can achieve a positive outcome. Find out what the real cause of the problem is and deal with it.

6. Accept the things you cannot change
Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on all that you do have control over. Managing change effectively is essential or else performance will be reduced.

7. Take time out to relax and recharge your batteries
You will perform more effectively during work if you regularly take a short 10 / 15 minute break, easily making up the time you used relaxing. Alongside this, at least one annual break of at least 10-14 continuous days is recommended.

8. Find time to meet friends
Friends can ease work troubles and help us see things in a different way. The activities we engage in with friends help us relax and we will often have a good laugh. It boosts the immune system that is often depleted during stress.

9. Try to see things differently, develop a positive thinking style
If something is concerning you, try to see it differently. Talk over your problem with somebody before it gets out of proportion. Often, talking to a friend/colleague/family member will help you see things from a different and less stressful perspective. You may also need to consider professional help in order to achieve the desired outcome and prevent ill health and / or burnout.

10. Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine as coping mechanisms
Long term, these faulty coping mechanisms will just add to the problem. For example, caffeine and nicotine are stimulants – too much and the body reacts to this with the stress response, increasing or even causing anxiety symptoms. Alcohol is a depressant!

**Download free PDF**
Top-Ten-Stress-Busting-Tips-F2-ISMAUK

10 Days Of Wellbeing

10 Days Of Wellbeing

A WELLBEING BOOST

Is it just me or does anyone else find January a bit grim? 

Christmas is over. New Year is over. And even both of those were quite lonely times this year, with most of us separated from family and friends. The days are short and it’s dark and cold (at least up here in the winter of the Northern Hemisphere).

And in the run up to the New Year, everywhere we look we’ve been bombarded with messages to set resolutions, set goals, lose weight, be successful, earn more money, be a better person. 

New Year, New You… oh the pressure. When all I want to do is curl up in slouchy clothes/jammies with the heat blasting, candles lit and devour the remainder of the Christmas chocolate (okay, okay, chocolate that I keep buying throughout January!)

I started to do Dry January. But then I remembered that January is dry enough! So I did a drier January. A Dry-ish January if you will.

I still found that my mood dipped. I felt low at times and had moments/days of anxiety.

But some cold, wet days in isolation gave me even more time for reading, reflection and planning. 

 

FEBRUARY BOOST

So now that we’re into February, even though I know that there’s a whole lot of winter yet to come, I’m already starting to perk up and think ahead.

And I thought we could all do with a great big helping of Wellbeing goodness so I’m running a FREE Wellbeing Boost / Challenge / Commitment. Call it what you will, but I hope you choose to gift yourself 10 days of tips, advice, practice and exercises to boost your wellbeing.

I’ll share things that will help you focus on your mental and emotional health, physical health, mindset, decisions, productivity, confidence and mindfulness. A menu of options, a smorgasbord of Wellbeing options to put yourself at the heart of what you do for a few moments each day.

 

A WELLBEING COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF

All you’ll need is a journal, notebook or paper. I know we all have online and mobile notes these days but there is something personal, effective, releasing and powerful about taking the time to write these and then having your own handwritten notes to reflect on. 

 

JUST 15 MINUTES EACH DAY TO IMPROVE YOUR WELLBEING

I don’t know about you but when I sign up to some challenges and they have a 50 minute video each day which is then followed by exercises or homework, I quickly fall behind then can’t find the time to catch up. 

So if I do share a video it will be a few minutes to explain something, 5 minutes maximum. And when there is reading, it will be just what you need to know to complete the task.

The daily exercises or tasks won’t take long.  Most of the exercises will take 15 minutes. Some aren’t even exercises as such, just taking some time out entirely for yourself.

So let’s get started…


DAY ONE: REFLECTION & INTENTION

Grab yourself a cuppa, your journal and a quiet spot. Consider these few questions below and write the answers in your journal along with any other thoughts these might prompt.

How are you feeling right now?
You can use the Mind:Body:Life:Soul holistic framework to guide you through a deeper contemplation of this. Or just consider the areas that are important to you.
* How are your mood, your emotions, your energy?
* How are your relationships?
* How are you feeling in general about your life?

 

SET YOUR INTENTION 

If you’ve chosen to make this commitment to yourself to spend some time over the next few weeks on boosting your Wellbeing, you can set your intention now.

What would you like to focus on improving over the next 10 days?
* If you dedicate 15-20 minutes each day on yourself, what would you like to find, decide, discover or do?
* How would you like to feel at the end of this Wellbeing Boost?

That’s it for today. Well done on recognising that you deserve this and deciding to prioritise yourself. You deserve it.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the next Wellbeing Boost

Make Working From Home Work For You

Make Working From Home Work For You

WORKING FROM HOME WELLBEING TIPS

It looks like working from home is likely to continue into the New Year for many of us.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, your company allows you to work remotely, or you’ve had no choice but to work from home during lockdown, more and more of us are working from home.


The GOOD

There are lots of positives. No stressful commutes, fewer interruptions, and often, more flexibility with less structured work hours.


The potential downsides

But if there is one potential pitfall of working from home, it is overworking and never truly switching off from thinking about work. There’s just not the same closure of walking out of the office every evening and segueing into your home life.

So how do you keep a balance between work and “you” time?


1. Work regular hours

Set a start time, a finish time and break times and try to stick to those.

  • Allow yourself a little flexibility, things can come up and let’s face it, this is one of the perks of home-working.


2. Schedule in breaks
too, and make sure you take them.


3. Establish a morning routine

This is probably one of the most important, for me anyway. If my morning routine slips, the whole day slips. I walk the dog, come back and shower, do some yoga, make a coffee, sit on the balcony and write my journal, then make another coffee and it’s time to sit down to work.


4. Get dressed for work

I’m not talking dresses, power suits and heels (unless you really want to) but get out of your PJs, get out of your slouchies and get into work appropriate gear. You’ll be glad of this when you get an unexpected Zoom call, you’ll always be camera ready.


5. Productivity – Work out when you’re most productive
so you know when you’ll get most done and plan your more difficult tasks for the time of day when you know you’re in the right headspace for them.


6. Set boundaries
or rules with other people in your home so that they respect your space and time during your working hours.


7. Remove distractions
and try to structure your day with blocks of time where you will be uninterrupted.


8. Write a realistic To-Do list and try to complete it every day.

Try to avoid procrastinating and don’t carry it forward to the next day as that just leads to a daunting start with even more to do.


9. Eat The Frog

If you haven’t heard of this Brian Tracy book, it’s simple yet genius. If you have a row of frogs that you have to eat, then you’re best just eating the biggest, ugliest one first. Then your day can only get better. So do what you’re dreading most. Then enjoy the rest of your day.


10. Pomodoro Technique

If you’re anything like me, sometimes it’s difficult to get in the flow or concentration and there are so many things at home you could be doing, should be doing. My house is never cleaner than when I’m procrastinating on work I don’t like doing. I use the
Pomodoro Technique to keep me focussed for short periods.

– Set a 25 minute timer.
– Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break away from your screen or work.
– Repeat this 4 times then take a longer break.


11. Have a dedicated work area

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a spare room we can use as an office. But work in a space that you can assign solely to work and walk away from at the end of the day. If you have to work at your kitchen table or dining table, then clear all the work away at the end of the day so that you’re not looking at it when you should be switching off. 


12. Choose music to match your task and your mood

No fighting over what music to listen to. You get to choose your own music. I enjoy slower vibes for writing, funkier vibes for inspiration and sometimes I really enjoy pure silence.


13. Get fresh air

Whether it’s a walk in the morning, a bit of exercise in your lunch break or a run when you finish for the day, try to get outside, get some natural light, fresh air and breathe.


14. Go work in a local coffee shop

Going somewhere else to work means you get exercise, air and a change of scenery. The background noise can simulate your normal work environment. It also removes the chance of you being distracted by any household chores. My apartment is never cleaner than when I’m procrastinating on a work task! Two hours in a coffee shop can really help get stuff done!


15. Get a proper chair

During lockdown, many people started working from home with little or no notice so didn’t have the chance to get the right furniture and equipment. You need a chair that provides lumbar support, preferably adjustable to fit it to support you. Many employers will provide these. And a proper monitor will save you back ache too so that you’re not crouching down over a little laptop screen.

16. Socialise (whatever way it’s possible)
You’re going to miss the social interaction from the workplace and it can feel isolated and lonely at times. You could use Zoom or Skype to stay connected for meetings. Working from a café occasionally can provide some human interaction, but maybe you could to arrange to meet friends more outside of work hours, exercise together or end your work day with a coffee and a chat. 

17. Find a way to end your day so that you can switch off from work mode to home mode. 

18. Plan your meals
I quite often find myself deciding to make a nice lunch then spend a lot of time prepping, cooking and cleaning up. Prepare your meals the night before, just like you would do if you were going to the office. 

19. Keep your weekends free
You need time off to recharge. You may need to work Saturdays and Sundays but try where possible to have 2 consecutive work free days to rest, reset and recharge.

 

Why Workplace Wellbeing Matters

Why Workplace Wellbeing Matters

Why is Workplace Wellbeing so important?

Well, firstly, because it’s the right thing to do. If you employee or manage people, why would you not want them to be healthy, happy, present, engaged, feeling valued, feeling proud to work for and represent your business and doing the best job they can?

But if you’ve found yourself in a position in your business where you are trying to convince other executives or leaders why they should invest time and/or budget in Workplace Wellbeing, then here are some other benefits that could help you convince them:

Reduced Turnover
People won’t want to leave their employment with you so you will have less turnover of good people. We all know the cost of turnover and it’s not just financial in terms of recruitment and onboarding. You’ll also lose knowledge every time someone leaves. Creating a Healthy Workplace and prioritising Workplace Wellbeing will mean increased retention.

Attraction
You’ll soon build a positive reputation as an employer who prioritise workplace wellbeing and become known as a company who invest in and support their people. And who wouldn’t want to work for a business like that? That will help you attract, recruit and retain excellent people to join your teams.

Better Employee Engagement
Not only do engaged employees create a working environment that’s better for everyone, but enhanced employee engagement has been proven to deliver better business performance as people are more motivated and committed to success.

Reduced Absence
Absence means lost working days and lower productivity. In turn these can result in other employees becoming unhappy as they have to pick up the slack for those absent, leading to the negative working relationships. A healthy workplace with a commitment to employee and workplace wellbeing will reduce absence and its repercussions.

Increased Productivity
Less absence and engaged employees motivated to deliver their best means your healthy workplace will show a boost in productivity.

Improved customer experience
Customers will be dealing with happy, engaged, motivated people. Workplace wellbeing means happy customers too.

Open culture with positive communication
A healthy workplace with an open culture, encouraging positive, open communication creates a better working environment for everyone.

Mental health and wellbeing
Open conversations around mental health will ensure your people feel understood and supported. This creates an inclusive, healthy workplace for them, particularly during times where they may struggle with their mental illness.

Less conflict at work
And if there’s less conflict, there’s much less time required to spend resolving issues. Freeing even more time to build a healthy workplace, focussed on wellbeing helping deliver all these benefits.

If you’d like any more information, please email me at jules@mindbodylifesoul.com

Or you can schedule a complimentary 30 minute discovery call: https://mindbodylifesoul.com/schedule/

How To Overcome Overwhelm & Take Back Control

How To Overcome Overwhelm & Take Back Control

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Stressed? Worried? Anxious?

 

There are certain times in your life when you can feel such overwhelm that it seems impossible to quieten your thoughts for long enough to be able to see a way through.

This FREE workbook will help you identify what is within your control so that you can let go of what is not.

 

It’s hard to set aside time to sit still when you’re spinning in overwhelm. Just give yourself 20 minutes to complete this exercise to help you take back control.

It’s short and simple but very effective. It will help you identify what is within your control so that you can let go of what is not.

 

STEP 1: WHAT’S ON MY MIND?

Calmly consider a list of all the things that are contributing to your worries and feelings of overwhelm.

It could be worrying about running out of food, worry about someone you care about, what’s going to happen, the dentist appointment you cancelled but can’t reschedule yet, homeschooling, feeling tired, work issues, lack of work, financial worries, feelings of guilt etc.

ACTION: Take the time to write EVERYTHING down no matter how small, irrational or ridiculous it might seem right now. Emptying this list onto paper is a very effective way of clearing that incessant chatter in your head.

These are your WORRY ITEMS.


STEP 2: EXERCISE

In your workbook, on the Circle of Influence image (page 6) you’ll see a larger version of the 3 circles or sections pictured below.

 

CONTROL, INFLUENCE OR CONCERN

One by one assess each WORRY ITEM and decide if:

– It is within my control (CONTROL)
– I can influence (INFLUENCE)
– Everything else (CONCERN)

ACTION: Next, work through the list of WORRY ITEMS you prepared in STEP 1.

1. Circle of Control:
Do you have complete CONTROL over the worry item?
Can you resolve it on their own without needing anyone else’s help or input?
If so, write the Worry Item down within the first circle labelled “WITHIN MY CONTROL” and move onto the next item.

2. Circle of Influence:
Do you have PARTIAL control or can you INFLUENCE the outcome of the worry item?
Can you partly resolve the worry item or can you influence the outcome through their actions or behaviour?
If so, write this item within the second circle labelled “I CAN INFLUENCE” and move onto the next worry on your list.

3. Circle of Concern: Everything else…
Is the worry item COMPLETELY OUTSIDE of your CONTROL INFLUENCE?
Is there nothing you can do or say that could directly impact this worry?
Write this item in the outside circle labelled EVERYTHING ELSE

Write each of your WORRY ITEMS in the circle that represents if you can CONTROL it, INFLUENCE it or it’s everything else (CONCERN).

 

S T E P 3 : T A K I N G  C O N T R O L

Once you’ve placed all of your ‘Worry Items’ in the circles, take a few moments to review your Circles of Influence.

ACTION: List the worry items you DO have CONTROL over and IDENTIFY an ACTION,however small, for each item.

TIP: It’s helpful to action ONE of these today…or even RIGHT NOW, to help you instantly feel better.

STEP 4: PLANNING TO INFLUENCE

Now, let’s review the items you have INFLUENCE / PARTIAL control over:

ACTION: Write down what steps you will take and exactly when you will do them – today or in the next few days.

 

STEP 5: LETTING GO

Finally…and most importantly…

LET GO of EVERYTHING ELSE!
 

QUESTION:  How does it FEEL to LET GO of things you have no CONTROL over?

TIP: After striking out the Everything Else items, you could cut out around the edge of the grey INFLUENCE circle. Then keeping the CONTROL and INFLUENCE circles, scrunch or tear up the rest of the page and put Everything Else in the bin. This is a powerful way to LET GO.

Grab the gorgeous free workbook here.

Recovering from Burnout

Recovering from Burnout

Burnout to Balance: Recovering From Burnout…Or How To Prevent Getting To The Point Of Burnout

It’s such a difficult time when you realise that you’re stuck and that your life just isn’t working for you anymore.

You’re crazy busy but feeling like you’re busy on all the wrong things and becoming more and more drained physically and emotionally.

It can be hard to see that there really is a way to find your way out when:

* You’re overwhelmed

* Burnt out

* Feeling like life is passing you by

* You want to change, but what and how?

* You don’t have time to stop and figure it out. You’ve things to do and bills to pay.

* You’re bursting with ideas for changing career or setting up your own business but that means leaving the career you worked so hard to build.

* Everyone else thinks you’re crazy. Your life looks so good from the outside.


That was me just a few years ago. But I eventually found my way…and my WHY. So I KNOW you can do this, because I’ve been there too.

My own journey of discovering a way to balance a career I love with a much healthier lifestyle helped me discover a process that really works.

That’s when I knew, I have to share this. That’s what inspired me to leave my career in HR to start coaching women who also feel they’re stuck.

But way before I got to that point, my burn out became a breakdown. TWICE! But I overcame that and you can too.

So how did I manage to overcome burnout and overwhelm and find peace, balance and much more happiness and pleasure in life?….


How did I recover from burnout?

1. I removed my biggest stressor. I LEFT MY JOB.

That’s when my breakdown happened. And unlike my idol Brené Brown, this wasn’t my Breakdown / Spiritual Awakening, it was a breakdown.

I’d been running on adrenaline for years and once that wasn’t needed to maintain the pace of life I’d been hammering through, it switched off completely and I was left in an exhausted, emotional mess. I felt like my world had imploded. I felt like my mind was imploding.

Maybe you’re really happy and inspired with your job but you just feel that it’s taking up way too much of your time and energy leaving you with nothing else for life and the people closest to you. In which case, you can take stock, have necessary conversations, establish boundaries and redress that balance. 

 

2. I took some TIME OUT.

I know taking time out of work isn’t a luxury that everyone can afford but in my case I sold my house, which gave me the financial freedom to take some time out. I knew I was giving up my financial security/pension but I figured if I didn’t have my health, I didn’t have anything and I chose to prioritise that over money.

 

3. I SLOWED DOWN.

Properly. For first time ever.

This is the hardest part for most people and it sounds so counter-intuitive, “How can I possibly slow down when I’m trying to balance all these things?!” But you really need to, in order to declutter that crazy To-Do List in your mind and to start to put it into some sort of manageable order.

In my case, I took solo weekend breaks away in a friend’s caravan on a remote beach in Wales where I walked, wrote, read and rested. I booked a week away to Turkey in a location where there was absolutely nothing of interest to do or see so that it would force me to sit and lie still.

 

4. JOURNALING

I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote.

It’s why I’m still such an advocate for journaling. It clears your head, helps you prioritise and helps you recognise repeating patterns of thought and behaviour.

 

5. I set BOUNDARIES

I learned to say no. I choose how I spend my time. I don’t do things I don’t want to (where possible).

And when I waiver, I remember that I made huge changes to my life to protect my mental and physical health and it’s vital that I don’t take backward steps to where I was before. I have difficult conversations. I explain to people how I feel, why I make choices and they’ve all been supportive and accepting. Mostly.


6. I distanced myself from NEGATIVE PEOPLE

Life is hard. That’s a given. But it’s how we deal with it that matters.

My way to deal with life is generally with optimism and positivity, once I’ve allowed myself to deal with and process the emotions. Personally, I find negative, pessimistic, competitive and angry people exceptionally draining. So once I realise that someone has that impact on me, I try to limit my time with them, to protect my own energy.

 

7. I spent time in NATURE

I spent a lot of time in nature. I walked along a local river, drove to the mountains, stayed by the sea.

Nature is grounding and I found stillness and balance when I inhaled fresh air.

8. I dealt with an unhealthy relationship with ALCOHOL

Even my counsellor commented that I didn’t drink that much. But it wasn’t the amount that I was drinking, I recognised that it was the ‘why’ I drank that was the problem. I was trying to numb things or take the edge off, escape from life or sometimes escape from me.

 

9. PERSONAL GROWTH

I read and read and read and read and read. I read about spirituality, personal growth, the law of attraction, psychology, how the brain works.

I also studied – Nutrition, Mindfulness, Yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Life Purpose – I just couldn’t get enough information.

I’m still learning…and growing. 

 

10. I found YOGA

Eventually.

Initially I even raced my way through yoga practices, doing high intensity yoga shred workouts.

It wasn’t until I almost broke my toe doing burpees – yeah, don’t worry, I get it. Burpees in yoga! – that I realised that what I needed to do was slow the feck down. Epiphany.

 

11. I discovered SPIRITUALITY

Or I finally opened up to spirituality. I’ve always been spiritually curious, possibly trying to find something I could grasp onto. But nothing connected. Maybe I just wasn’t ready.

But an Ayurvedic consultation led me to a daily practice of spiritual reading, yoga, pranayama and journaling.

I decided to go to India for yoga teacher training and spent a month in Rishikesh, the spiritual home of yoga.

I spent another month in Goa and Karnataka and immersed myself in yoga and spirituality.

Those of you who have been through a Spiritual Awakening will understand how I later found myself stuck in the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, a dark, empty period of personal growth and transition that made me want to turn the clocks back and make it all stop!

That led to breakdown number two. This one really was more of a Breakdown / Spiritual Awakening but I didn’t know that at the time.

I had five months where I experienced suicidal thoughts. But underlying it all, I knew I wasn’t depressed or suffering from anxiety. But when I had a few weeks of low mood, I was concerned that I couldn’t continue to fend away those thoughts and so I faced right into it and I reached out for medical support and counselling to try to finally uncover my thoughts, habits, behaviours, addictive personality and any other demons that were lurking. Medical support was poor but the counselling was transformative.

 

12. I let go of my PERFECTIONISM

I tried, okay I’m still trying, to let go of perfectionism.

I put enormous pressure on myself for things to be ‘just so’ or how I think other people expect them.

I’m trying to recognise when the perfectionist takes over and let her go pronto. It’s a work in progress.

 

13. I RELOCATED to a Mediterranean island

I’ve always had a very clear vision of how my life would be someday.

I imagined living by the sea, living simply, buying fresh food from the local market and spending lots of time outdoors.

I always believed that vision would be achieved when I reached retirement, but suddenly I realised, why wait until retirement? Why not live that vision now when I’m young enough (ish), fit enough (ish) and strong enough to deal with a big move?

So in February 2020 I did just that. I moved to Mallorca, to a gorgeous, light, bright, airy, spacious top floor apartment in Palma.

I can walk to the sea in 15 minutes, I shop at the local markets, I get out into the mountains, countryside and beaches regularly. I work from home and I work from co-working spaces or cafes when I know I need company. I’ve adopted a little dog so we walk to the sea every morning.

 

14. I LIVE SIMPLY

I don’t have a car. I don’t buy much stuff (I already have too much stuff and I don’t want to clutter my lovely space) My favourite social events are coffees and brunches. Okay, okay, I also love a glass of Verdejo in the sunshine but I’ve no interest in nights out, or even fancy dinners.

I became vegetarian during my time in India so even my food choices are more simple now. Every morning I enjoy coffee, writing and reading on the balcony and pottering about with a few plants.

I’m living the lifestyle I dreamed of. And I get to help other people find the lifestyle they dream of too. So really I guess I’m a lifestyle coach. Because I believe in a holistic approach to Mind, Body, Life and Soul. If anything is out of balance, everything is out of balance.


What would I do differently?

Everything has worked out great for me but I had a lot of ‘detours’ and it took time for everything to eventually fall into place.

If I had to do it all again, I would take more time to fully consider my options and plan my exit strategy so that I would have a lot more of the pieces in place before I left my job.

That’s why I guide people just like me and you through that process in my Burnout To Balance coaching programme and Burnout To Balance Online Self-Study Course. Find out more here….


The books that got me through this difficult time

*This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

I know I said I read a lot but I read far too much to be able to recommend everything right here so here’s a link to my reading list.

But if I had to select just a few, the books that had the most profound impact on me were:

The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

Lifeshocks: and how to love them, Sophie Sabbage

Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, Gabor Maté

The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle

Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Joe Dispenza, D.C.

Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson, Mitch Albom

Free MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live

Free MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live

MASTERCLASS: Love The Life You Live – Watch Here


Love The Life You Live: Uncover A Life Of Passion & Purpose


What is Love The Life You Live?

Love The Life You Life is a programme I developed after working with clients and recognising a strong repeating pattern in the processes that helped them.

The Roadmap is a step-by-step guide to assessing your life, finding purpose, making plans and how to take steps to achieve them.

Here’s a video talking you through the  exact process to help you to Love The Life You Live. 

You can also download a FREE copy of the Roadmap, and the Mind:Body:Life:Soul holistic framework (below). 

 I’d love if you could share your comments, particularly about anything you’d like to see more of. Happy to share anything that can help right now…🙏🌈💕

    FREE Downloads

    Mind:Body:Life:Soul – A Holistic Framework

    Mind:Body:Life:Soul Holistic Framework

    Roadmap: Love The Life You Live

    Roadmap: Love The Life You Live

    From Breakdown to Breakthrough… (part 2)

    Yesterday I told about the moment when I realised my life wasn’t working for me. When I started to make changes, even though these changes were positive, my burnout became a full-blown breakdown.

     

    How did I recover?

     

    1. I got off the hamster wheel. I LEFT MY JOB.
    That’s when the breakdown happened. And unlike my idol Brené Brown, this wasn’t a Breakdown / Spiritual Awakening, it was a breakdown. I’d been running on adrenaline for years and once that wasn’t needed to maintain the pace of life I’d been hammering through, it switched off completely and I was left in an exhausted, emotional mess. I felt like my world had imploded. I felt like my mind was imploding.

    2. I decided to take some TIME OUT to get a proper break.
    I know taking time out of work isn’t a luxury that everyone can afford but in my case I sold my house, which gave me the financial freedom to take some time out. I knew I was giving up my financial security/pension but I figured if I didn’t have my health, I didn’t have anything and I chose to prioritise that over money.

    3. I found YOGA
    Eventually. Initially I raced my way even through that, doing high intensity yoga shred workouts. It wasn’t until I almost broke my toe doing burpees – yeah, don’t worry, I get it. Burpees in yoga! – that I realised that what I needed to do was slow the feck down. Epiphany.

    4. I SLOWED DOWN.
    Properly. For first time ever.
    I took breaks away on my own in a friend’s caravan on a remote beach in Wales where I walked, wrote, read and rested. I booked a week away to Turkey in a location where there was absolutely nothing of interest to do or see so that it would force me to sit and lie still.

    5. I set BOUNDARIES
    I learned to say no. I choose how I spend my time. I don’t do things I don’t want to (where possible). And when I waiver, I remember that I made huge changes to my life to protect my mental and physical health and it’s vital that I don’t take backward steps to where I was before. I have difficult conversations. I explain to people how I feel, why I make choices and they’ve all been supportive and accepting. Mostly.

    6. I discovered SPIRITUALITY
    Or I finally opened up to spirituality. I’ve always been spiritually curious, possibly trying to find something I could grasp onto. But nothing connected. Maybe I just wasn’t ready. But an Ayurvedic consultation led me to a daily practice of spiritual reading, yoga, pranayama and journaling. I decided to go to India for yoga teacher training and spent a month in Rishikesh, the spiritual home of yoga. I spent another month in Goa and Karnataka and immersed myself in yoga and spirituality. Those of you who have been through a Spiritual Awakening will understand how I found myself stuck in the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, a dark, empty period of personal growth and transition that made me want to turn the clocks back and make it all stop! That led to breakdown number two. This one really was more of a Breakdown Spiritual Awakening but I didn’t know that at the time. I had five months where I experienced suicidal thoughts. But underlying it all, I knew I wasn’t depressed or suffering from anxiety. But when I had a few weeks of low mood, I was concerned that I couldn’t continue to fend away those thoughts and so I faced right into it and I reached out for medical support and counselling to try to finally uncover my thoughts, habits, behaviours, addictive personality and any other demons that were lurking. Medical support was poor but the counselling was transformative.

    7. READING
    I read and read and read and read and read. I read about spirituality, personal growth, the law of attraction, psychology, how the brain works. I also studied – Nutrition, Mindfulness, Yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Life Purpose – I just couldn’t get enough information.

    8. JOURNALLING
    I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote.
    It’s why I’m still such an advocate for journaling. It clears your head, helps prioritise, helps recognise patterns of thought and behaviour. 

    9. I let go of my PERFECTIONISM
    I tried, okay I’m still trying, to let go of perfectionism. I put enormous pressure on myself for things to be ‘just so’ or how I think other people expect them. I’m trying to recognise when the perfectionist takes over and let her go pronto. It’s a work in progress.

    10. I distanced myself from NEGATIVE PEOPLE
    Life is hard. That’s a given. But it’s how we deal with it that matters.
    My way is with optimism and positivity, once I’ve allowed myself to deal with and process the emotions. Personally, I find negative, pessimistic, competitive and angry people exceptionally draining. So once I realise that someone has that impact on me, I limit my time with them, to protect my own energy.

    11. I spent time in NATURE
    I spent a lot of time in nature. I walked along a local river, drove to the mountains, stayed by the sea. Nature is grounding and I found stillness and balance when I inhaled fresh air.

    12. I dealt with an unhealthy relationship with ALCOHOL
    Even my counsellor commented that I didn’t drink that much. But it wasn’t the amount that I was drinking, I recognised that it was the ‘why’ I drank that was the problem. I was trying to numb things or take the edge off, escape from life or sometimes escape from me.

    13. I RELOCATED to a Mediterranean island
    I’ve always had a very clear vision of how I imagined my life someday. I imagined living by the sea, living simply, buying fresh food from the local market and spending lots of time outdoors. I always believed that vision would be achieved when I reached retirement, but suddenly I realised, why wait until retirement? Why not live that vision now when I’m young enough (ish), fit enough (ish) and strong enough to deal with a big move?

    So this February I did just that. I moved to Mallorca, to a gorgeous, light, bright, airy, spacious top floor apartment in Palma.

    It’s too big for me but I wanted space for friends and family to visit, to feel like they have a home here.

    I can walk to the sea in 15 minutes, I shop at the local market, I get out into the mountains, countryside and beaches regularly. I don’t have a car. I don’t buy much stuff (I already have too much stuff and I don’t want to clutter my lovely space) and I’ve adopted a little dog. I work from home and I get out into co-working spaces or cafes when I know I need company.

    My favourite social events are coffees and brunches. Okay, okay, I also love a glass of Verdejo in the sunshine but I’ve no interest in nights out, or even fancy dinners. I became vegetarian during my time in India so even my food choices are more simple now. Every morning I enjoy coffee, writing and reading on the balcony and pottering about with a few plants.

    I’m living the lifestyle I dreamed of. And I get to help other people find the lifestyle they dream of too. So really I guess I’m a lifestyle coach. Because I believe in a holistic approach to Mind, Body, Life and Soul. If anything is out of balance, everything is out of balance. 

    How long did it take? 

    At the risk of sounding like an absolute cop out I really don’t know.

    The perimenopause hit me at the same time as the burnout. And perimenopause is the gift that just keeps on giving. It can last for up to 10 years, symptoms fluctuate and come and go and I still have days where I feel low or anxious.

    The major difference is that any changes in mood now usually last only a day or two. And surely that’s to be expected in life?

    The books that got me through this difficult time

    *This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

    I know I said I read a lot but I read far too much to be able to recommend everything here so here’s a link to my reading list.

    But if I had to select just a few, these are the books that had the most profound impact on me were:

    The Secret, Rhonda Byrne

    Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

    Lifeshocks: and how to love them, Sophie Sabbage

    Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, Gabor Maté

    The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle

    Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

    Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind, Joe Dispenza, D.C.

    Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson, Mitch Albom

    How to lose weight & keep it off

    How to lose weight & keep it off

    Hands up who put on weight during lockdown?

    I know some people do lose their appetite through stressful times so this won’t affect everyone.

    But many of you will be more like me. My daily exercise was regular trips to the fridge! I often found myself standing at the fridge door, looking in blankly, hoping for inspiration and usually settling for more chocolate! Or cheese, or bread, or whatever was closest, but then I literally inhaled everything I ate and found myself back on the hunt just minutes later.

    So firstly, if you’ve been beating yourself up about the weight. Give yourself a break.

    There was a global crisis, our routines were upended, our lives full of fear and uncertainty and food was a brief, welcome, comforting respite.

    But enough is enough! Let’s get these stubborn pounds shifted…

    1. First, and most importantly, you have to actually want to lose the weight. So find your WHY. And at times when you’re struggling, remind yourself of WHY you want to lose weight to help you keep focus and motivation.

    2. Sorry to be the bearer of bad, boring news but there are no short cuts to losing weight. Get organised. Plan your meals, buy healthy and prep plenty.

    3. FAD or lose weight quick diets might help you kick-start the weight loss, but they’re not sustainable, often not healthy and you don’t break your old habits. To maintain your weight long term, you need to learn how to eat. Find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle.

    4. Move it. Find an exercise you enjoy and get moving. It’s great for endorphins too which will help you feel so much better. But bear in mind, you can’t exercise away a bad diet.

    5. Drink lots of water. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. And it’s important to stay hydrated, helps with digestion too. But stick mainly to water, even fruit juices can be packed with sugar.

    6. Write down what you eat. It’s sometimes surprising how much more you’ve eaten than you thought. You might also find patterns of when and what you eat. I’m a grazer and snack constantly and eat throughout the day. That all soon adds up.

    7. Food is fuel for our bodies. Would you put cheap, nasty fuel in your car? Let’s treat ourselves as carefully by trying to eat more fresh, nutritious, unprocessed ‘fuel’. Read the labels, avoid high saturated fats, hidden sugars, high salts, E numbers and names of ingredients you can’t even pronounce.

    8. Don’t call it a diet. It’s a way of eating that will enable you to lose weight and a new way of eating that will make sure you stay at a healthy weight you’re happy with. My diet is how I eat, I’m not on a diet.

    9. Learn to love (and trust) food. Your body needs carbs, your body needs fats. No food is bad, in small amounts. Chocolate is good for the soul. Just not in the vast quantities that saw me through lockdown!

    10. Try smaller plates or portions. I don’t know about you but I was brought up to clear my plate. Whatever the size! So maybe fill a smaller plate at first. Eat slowly, eat mindfully and stop when you’re full.

    11. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. That’s bulls*t. And whoever said that had clearly never tasted Lindt dark chocolate with sea-salt, or meringue with fresh cream, or cheesecake, or freshly baked bread with butter, or cheese, or… you get my drift. HOWEVER, when tempted by any of the above or your own tasty pleasure, just take a moment to reflect on your WHY. Do you want that chunk of cake more than you want to lose weight? If the answer right now is yes, which sometimes it might be then either try having a little, or eat it with unbridled pleasure and savour each mouthful. You’ve made a choice. Own it and enjoy it.

    12. When you eat something ‘bad’, ENJOY it! Stop whatever else you’re doing, sit still and enjoy every last morsel. Don’t ruin it by eating it with a huge side-serving of guilt. Savour it with intention and satisfaction. Otherwise it wasn’t worth it. So if you’re out for your friend’s birthday lunch and you had a nice healthy meal but find you can’t resist the dessert menu, just have the cake/cheesecake/tart/cream filled pastry and enjoy it. Maybe you’ll share it with someone, maybe you’ll eat the lot. But you’ve made a choice to have it, so give yourself permission to accept that decision, lean into that and enjoy it!

    13. But don’t let that de-rail you. Don’t decide you’ll start your ‘diet’ again tomorrow, or the next day or after the weekend or whenever… Eat the next meal as you had planned and prepped. You’re making mostly ‘healthy’ food choices and sometimes you have treats. That’s life.

    Failing fast, failing forward

    Failing fast, failing forward

    *This page contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I have used and trust. All opinions are my own. For more details see my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

    When I was younger I was afraid of failure. I avoided things that I thought I wouldn’t be good at it.

    Maybe that was the perfectionist in me, not wanting to fail. Or the introvert, not wanting others to see me fail.

    I don’t know when I managed to leave that fear or failure behind but I was lucky to have spent some time working with a dynamic company where I was really encouraged to set very ambitious goals then try to figure out how on earth I was going to achieve them.

    I rarely achieved these goals first time, certainly not completely but there were no repercussions. I was ‘allowed’ to try then encouraged to try again. Through these experiences I learned how to fail.

    Recently I’ve faced fear again in fairly straightforward scenarios and tasks.

    Fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, fear of visibility and fear of failure.

    Realising this has made me reflect and make new commitments to myself:

    ✨ I will fail

    ✨ I will learn

    ✨ I will try again

    ✨ I will fail faster

    ✨ I will fail forward

    ✨ I will embrace failure as a stepping-stone to success

    🌈🙏🏼🌟💫✨

    #mindbodylifesoul #lovethelifeyoulive #onelifeliveit #onelife #sayyestolife #mind #howtofail #failforward #failfast #successmindset

     

    Creating a Personal Vision Statement

    Creating a Personal Vision Statement

    You might have heard this called a Life Purpose Statement. Both serve the same brilliant purpose…helping you discover your dreams and creating a personal statement that supercharges you towards living it.

    1. List two of your unique personal qualities, such as enthusiasm and creativity.

    2. List one or two ways you enjoy expressing those qualities when interacting with others, such as to support and inspire.

    3. What are your greatest strengths/abilities/traits/things you do best?

    4. What motivates you or brings you joy and satisfaction?

    5. Write down at least two things you can start doing more often that use your strengths and bring you joy.

    6. Combine your previous answers into a single paragraph or statement.

    Example:
    My purpose is using my creativity and enthusiasm to support and inspire others as I freely express my talent in happiness and love.

    My personal vision statement:

     

     

     

    Designing Your Perfect Life Plan

    Designing Your Perfect Life Plan

    Why do I need a life plan? I’ve managed without it all this time, why do I need one now?

    A life plan is like a map that helps guide us towards a more meaningful and fulfilled life. It’s one that we’ve considered and envisioned for our future. Without a clear life plan we can find ourselves drifting or meandering along with no real direction, vision or purpose.

      So how do I do it?

       

      Let’s look at some simple ways to begin developing your perfect life plan.

      Step 1:  Take stock of where you are now

      List the key areas of your life that you want to review and plan for. If you’ve watched the Masterclass you’ll already have started to consider these. 

      As a guiding example, when I’m doing my life plan review, I list my key areas under my holistic mind, body, life, soul framework. So for instance, in my case these key areas are:

      – Mental health (mind)
      – Personal growth (mind)
      – Emotional wellbeing (mind)
      – Physical health (body)
      – Physical fitness (body)
      – Nutrition (body)
      – Personal style & brand (body)
      – Career (life)
      – Finances (life)
      – Connection & belonging (life)
      – Where I live (life)
      – Spirituality (soul)
      – Life purpose (soul)
      – Personal life plan (soul)
      – Daily practice (soul)

      Everyone’s key areas are different, so it’s important that you choose what’s relevant and meaningful to you.

      • Rate each of these areas how they currently are on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best possible life.
      • Consider how you would like them to be. What would a 10 look like?
      • List the realities of your life such as your responsibilities, available finances, things that really make you happy or things that make you unhappy.

      Step 2:  Create a snapshot in your mind of your ideal life

      • Remember to dream big!  The sky’s the limit so don’t be afraid to be bold.
      • Use your list from Step 1 as a starting point then add anything and everything that gets you excited about your life like hobbies, early retirement, family time, charity work etc…
        Details are good here as it will help you visualise later.
      • Think about those things that you really love to do and notice any themes that might be recurring.

       

      Step 3: Take an inventory of your skills and talents, listing all of your professional and personal accomplishments, achievements and strengths.

      My blog post 15 ways to discover your natural skills and talents for tips on how to do this.


      Step 4: 
      Create a manifesto or personal vision statement, so you can boldly proclaim your wants, needs and desires

      This personal vision statement post shows you how to really get creative with this.

      Take into consideration your snapshot of your life (Step 2) and what you’ve discovered is important to you.

      This statement should be all encompassing and it should include everything you have already discovered about yourself and your dreams, bringing it all together in one clear statement.

      This enables you to make commitments to yourself and stand for something. It should capture the value you create and who you’re creating for, including yourself!

      As an example, here is my personal vision statement:
      “Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Be the best I can be. Use my enthusiasm and optimism to inspire growth and bring out the best in people. Have fun in my journey, keep learning. Open up, let people in, be brave enough to wear my scars on the outside. Maintain a sense of wellbeing and calm, be kind to myself and believe I deserve it.

      I review my statement every 6 months or so to make sure it still aligns but after tweaking my first few drafts, it hasn’t changed in almost two years, which shows that the initial time I spent in contemplation really got me thinking deeply and helped me create my personal guiding roadmap.


      Step 5:
        Hold this vision in your mind by contemplating it for a few moments, each and every day

      This is a vital step in the process because you are essentially reprogramming your mind towards this new way of life. The more you imprint this image in your mind, the more your mind will guide you towards it.


      Step 6:  Take small, actionable steps so you can begin moving towards this new goal

      If you take time to focus on your new way of life every day, your mind (and the Universe) will begin to create ways for you to get there.

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