Do you often find yourself putting off tasks until the last minute, feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, and struggling to meet your goals? If so, you’re not alone. Procrastination is a common challenge that many of us face, but the good news is that it’s something we can overcome with the right mindset and strategies.

I’ve seen firsthand how procrastination can take a toll on mental health and overall happiness. That’s why I’m here to help you understand the root causes of procrastination and provide you with practical tips and techniques to overcome it.

Understanding Procrastination:

Before we dive into solutions, it’s essential to understand why we procrastinate in the first place. Procrastination often stems from a combination of factors, including fear of failure, perfectionism, lack of motivation, and poor time management skills.

Fear of Failure:

One of the most common reasons for procrastination is the fear of not meeting expectations or making mistakes. This fear can paralyze us, causing us to avoid tasks altogether.


Striving for perfection can be a double-edged sword. While it’s essential to do our best, perfectionism can lead to unrealistic standards and a fear of not measuring up, which can result in procrastination.

Lack of Motivation:

When we lack motivation or interest in a task, it’s easy to put it off in favor of more enjoyable activities.

Poor Time Management:

Sometimes, procrastination is simply a result of poor time management skills. Without a clear plan or structure, it’s challenging to prioritize tasks effectively.

Overcoming Procrastination:

Now that we’ve identified some common root causes of procrastination let’s explore practical strategies to overcome it:

Break tasks into smaller steps:

Large tasks can feel overwhelming, making it tempting to procrastinate. Break them down into smaller, more manageable steps, and tackle them one at a time.

Set SMART goals:

Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Setting clear objectives can help you stay focused, motivated and improve productivity.

Practice self-compassion:

Be kind to yourself when you encounter setbacks or challenges. Remember that nobody is perfect, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

Use time-blocking:

Allocate specific blocks of time for different tasks and activities. This technique can help you stay organized, make better use of your time and boost productivity.

Combat perfectionism:

Embrace the concept of “good enough” and focus on progress rather than perfection. Recognize that mistakes are opportunities for growth.

Find your motivation:

Identify why the task is important to you and how it aligns with your values and goals. Visualize the positive outcomes of completing the task to boost your motivation.

Practice mindfulness:

Stay present and focused on the task at hand, rather than getting lost in distractions or worrying about the future. Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help calm the mind and improve concentration.

Reward yourself:

Celebrate your progress and accomplishments along the way. Treat yourself to something enjoyable after completing a task to reinforce positive behavior.

Procrastination is a common challenge, but it doesn’t have to dictate your life. By understanding the root causes of procrastination and implementing practical strategies like breaking tasks into smaller steps, setting SMART goals, and practicing self-compassion, you can overcome procrastination and unlock your full potential.

Remember, progress takes time, so be patient with yourself as you work towards building new habits and achieving your goals. With persistence and determination, you can conquer procrastination and create a more fulfilling and productive life.

Here’s to your success!

Today we are talking about self-care and different ways to detox the body as spring begins, from the Chinese New Year perspective. Spring means new beginnings, so it is an ideal time to refresh the body and get it moving.

I wanted to share my self-care routine as I thought it might inspire others to try it and gain the same amazing health benefits that I have gained since starting the routine. I follow this routine to boost my vitality. What I love about Chinese medicine is that simple tools used on the outside of the body also have an amazing effect on healing and detoxing inside the body.

I have experimented with a variety of different tools and techniques over the years, but Chinese Medicine is my go-to these days. For me, I see the greatest benefits and see the best health from these techniques I am about to share with you.

I encourage you all to experiment and find what works best for your health and vitality. Who knows, you might settle on Chinese Medicine too.

I am not a trained medical practitioner. I am an avid follower of Katie Brindle and her Hayou Method techniques and tools. They are great quality, last a lifetime and for me, they really work well.  I did not invest in all my tools at once but built up tools over time. If you find it works for you then I encourage you to do the same. Here is Katie’s Website and that of Hayou Method. Katie has expanded her Hayou Method tools to include other trusted practitioners and their tools, so some of the things I use are from the extended family.

I went to see Katie back in 2018 when suffering from Fibromyalgia, low energy and constant migraines. These days I do not suffer fibromyalgia symptoms, my energy levels are good and migraines are rare. what I am going to share with you about my daily routine is just a fraction of what I learned from her on that day. However, I have been taking better care of myself ever since. this is my morning routine. It takes me just 15 minutes every morning. I’m not fanatical about it, I do not do it religiously every day, but I do it most days. It helps boost my energy, clears my mind and body and sets me up for the rest of the day.

A lot of the routine is about flushing the lymphatic system. Healthy lymph flow is crucial, as it supports the immune and circulatory systems, maintaining fluid balance, fighting infections, and removing toxins and excess fluids from the body.

My Self-Care Routine

Step 1 – Body Combing

I get out of the shower and, while I am still wet, I use the jade comb to body comb from top to toe. It slides along the skin easier and by the time I have finished I am dry. No, I did not take a video of that step. I use body combing to treat cellulite, help with lymphatic drainage and boost circulation around my body. It leaves a tingly, energised feeling on the skin and I am sure it does me loads of good. I definitely feel more sluggish when I don’t do my self-care routine.

If I am out of the house and do not have my jade cob with me then I just tap my body gently. If you are just starting with this routine then you can gently. Just use a relaxed fist and tap over the body. Up and down the arms, over the gest and stomach, down and up the legs and on the lower back over the adrenals. everywhere you can reach.

Step 2 – Brush and Tap

Next, I use a facial brush and the bamboo facial tapper to give my skin a wonderful glow, remove dead skin cells and increase circulation. This is a gentle massage for the skin which enlivens the skin and brings down any puffiness. It prepares my skin for the next steps. It helps release any tight facial muscles and enables lymphatic draining too. What is not to love?

Before I had the facial tapper and brush I just used to do gentle tapping with my fingertips to relax and enliven the skin. You can do the same.

Step 3 – Gua Sha

The Gua Sha stone is the first self-care tool I bought. Apply oil to the skin and then use the gua sha tools. Both the main tool and the precision tool as well. So I have had a lot of practice. The gua sha tools lift, plump and sculpt and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  I use my tools quite hard on the skin and I am used to seeing a red flush. It goes down really quickly and I feel and look fabulous afterwards. I literally see the wrinkles disappearing. This technique reduces inflammation, increases energy flow and boosts lymphatic drainage and circulation.

Like reflexology, working the face also has an amazing result for the body. As I mentioned in the video, I work particularly deeply into the Gallbladder areas of the face. I had gallstones diagnosed in 2022 and the pain was excruciating. My pain lasted 3 months and then stopped so I declined surgery. However, I do work into the Gallbladder area regularly and I am convinced it helps. Have the gallstones gone? Nope! Many people have gallstones but not everyone has issues. I like to think I am avoiding another painful episode with regular gua sha.

The skin does go red. This is normal and it settles down again very quickly. I can see a difference in my skin by the end of my self-care routine. I work well into my throat and neck as I sit at a desk most days. It helps release any tension I might not even be aware of.

If you can only afford one item then I would recommend starting with gua sha. Just buy one tool and see how you get on. You can add other elements later. I am sure your skin and body will thank you for it.

Step 4 – Cupping

Cupping, an ancient practice from Chinese Medicine, historically used for pain relief and healing, also offers significant benefits for facial rejuvenation. Facial Cupping utilises suction to refresh the skin, promoting lymphatic drainage and energy flow, resulting in tightened and toned skin, improved circulation, reduced inflammation, diminished fine lines and wrinkles, stress relief, collagen stimulation, and a natural glow.

These cups are new additions to my routine, having only bought them a few months ago. I have noticed that, since adding them into my routine, the dry skin I still used to get on my nose has gone. I also used to be prone to block pores on my nose resulting in yellow spots. these have also gone. My skin feels even smoother and looks clearer. So I am very happy with my purchase.  Anything that helps me feel fabulous is worth the effort as far as I am concerned.

This step can be added later. Just remember to build your self-care kit slowly. You do not have to run at 100 miles an hour and buy everything at once.

Step 5 – Remove Excess Oil

I use the Rice Paper Beauty Blotting Tissue as it has a lovely silky feel and it leaves my skin feeling balanced and pampered. I also keep it with me in the summer to blot with if I overheat. you could just use a tissue. It just ensures you do not end up with oil on your clothes.

Step 6 – Cryo Sticks

Cryo sticks are my last self-care step. I have only recently added them to my routine. They have been fabulous the last few days, as I have fought off a cold but seem to have ended up with a couple of days of sinusitis. Being wonderfully cold and soothing, they helped with the sinus headache, and now my sinuses are nearly back to normal.

Cryotherapy soothes puffiness, calms inflammation, and helps achieve a smoother, firmer, and brighter complexion. It is great to cool the last remnants of any redness left over from the Gua Sha, making it the perfect last step. It works by increasing blood flow and oxygen, firming, sculpting, and toning the face instantly. They help drain toxins beneath the skin and shrink large pores with regular use.

You can get the benefits of the coldness by having a bowl of water with ice on hand, then immerse a flannel in the water, and then place it over your face.

Self-Care: Is it all too much of a faff?

You might be thinking that this all seems like a lot to get through every morning. Had I tried to do all of these steps from day one I would have agreed with you. But I have not, I have built up the techniques and the tools over 5 years. This is the key to lasting health benefits and lasting change. just make very small, manageable steps, one at a time. Get competent with that technique. Decide if it works for you. If yes, great, keep doing it and add to the routine. If not, stop doing it and go find something that works for you.

We are all individuals and we are all different so find out what helps energise you, what makes you feel great, and above all what works for you. Then go put a plan in place and take it one small step at a time.

Self-care is a must. A daily routine of self-care can significantly contribute to overall well-being, helping you lead a healthier, more balanced, and fulfilling life!



Is stress a friend or foe?

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of why managing it is not just a luxury but a necessity for your overall well-being. I’ve got some hints and tips that’ll not only inform you but also add a sprinkle of fun to your stress-busting journey.

So, picture this: stress hits, and your body turns into a chemical factory, churning out adrenaline and cortisol. Now this might sound helpful in a crisis, but when these things stick around for too long, trouble brews. Your body starts releasing glucose, prepping you for an escape, but in our modern world, it’s more likely you’re escaping deadlines than trouble.

Now, here’s the kicker – prolonged stress levels can wreak havoc on your body. Your metabolism goes haywire, storing more belly fat and making it a stubborn companion. It’s almost like stress is the unwanted guest that rearranges your furniture and leaves you with extra weight to carry around.

And if that’s not enough, this can also affect your appetite. Suddenly, you’re reaching for fast food and milkshakes instead of a well-balanced meal. It’s a craving carnival, and cortisol is the ringmaster. Or in my case, the chocolate and wine were my nemesis. I don’t do that anymore though.

But wait, there’s more! Stress isn’t just playing havoc with your waistline; it’s also giving your gut a rollercoaster ride. Short-term, it messes with your appetite and slows down digestion, while long-term stress can trigger gastrointestinal dramas like constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. Talk about a gut-wrenching situation!

And here’s the twist – a stressed-out gut isn’t just about physical discomfort. It can mess with your mind too. Stress and anxiety can trigger gut symptoms, and having a digestive condition can amp up your stress levels. It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario, and neither is particularly enjoyable.

when I was off work with burnout in 2011 I went from fit and healthy to comfort eating. I gained over 3 stone in the process, so I know just how damaging stress can be when left unchecked.

How can I overcome stress?

I’ve got some simple tricks up my sleeve to help you reclaim your Zen. Try diving into a yoga class, embracing mindful meditation, or indulging in some deep breathing exercises. Learn the magical art of saying “no” more often – it’s liberating, trust me.

And don’t underestimate the power of self-care! Whether it’s a 15-minute escape or a luxurious hot bath, find what works for you. It’s not just about beating stress; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that keeps stress at bay.

So, let’s flip the script on stress, have some fun along the way, and reclaim control over our bodies and minds. You’ve got this!

In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, sleep is often the first casualty of our busy lives. Stressed professionals, in particular, frequently find themselves sacrificing sleep in favor of work, meetings, and endless to-do lists. However, this relentless pursuit of productivity often comes at a steep cost. Quality sleep is not just a luxury; it’s a non-negotiable component of optimal performance and well-being. In this blog, we will explore the importance of quality sleep and offer practical tips on creating a sleep-friendly environment. As a professional coach, my aim is to help you reclaim your sleep and, in turn, your vitality, focus, and overall success.

Lack of sleep has the same symptoms and feelings as being very drunk. Not just tiredness but also the inability of the brain to function properly. Almost like a brain fog. After prolonged bouts of bad sleep the body also starts to feel achy and tired.  All in all, a very bad place to be.

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Enhanced Cognitive Function

Sleep is when our brain processes and consolidates information acquired throughout the day. It is the ultimate cognitive reset button. A well-rested mind is more alert, creative, and able to make sound decisions.

Improved Emotional Resilience

A good night’s sleep equips you with the emotional resilience to handle stress and challenging situations. Without it, stress can become overwhelming, leading to burnout.

Physical Health Benefits

Sleep is vital for physical health. It aids in the repair and regeneration of cells, enhances immune function, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Lack of sleep is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Increased Productivity

Contrary to the popular belief that sacrificing sleep leads to higher productivity, consistent, high-quality sleep boosts productivity and efficiency. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish with a rested mind.

Creating a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Establish a Consistent Sleep ScheduleWoman sleeping comfortably

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency helps regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Optimize Your Bedroom

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for resting. Ensure your room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Invest in a good quality mattress and pillows to provide optimal comfort and support. Make sure your pillow gives adequate neck support for the position you lie in most often.

Limit Exposure to Screens

The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, and computers can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Aim to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime. I also advise against having a TV in the bedroom. The temptation to watch it while falling asleep is too great. Watching TV before sleeping can also affect your sleep quality. It is one of the things we changed when we moved. No TV in the bedroom.

Watch Your Diet

Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime. These substances can interfere with your quality of rest. I find that alcohol in particular is very dehydrating so I do not sleep as well if I have had alcohol in the evening. I do drink lots of water but I can still feel the subtle difference. Also women in menopause, if you are like me, the alcohol will lead to hormone imbalance and make any hot flushes worse when you go to be, so a double reason to limit alcohol. Everything in moderation.

Develop a Relaxing Pre-Bedtime Routine

Engage in calming activities before bedtime, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practising mindfulness or meditation. These activities signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. A foot soak with some Epson Salts is also great for relaxing and helps rebalance the body. All you need is a bowl, some warm water and some Epson Salts, which you can get in any supermarket. It is a great way to wind down. You can even listen to music or read at the same time.

Manage Stress

Stress can keep you up at night, so it’s crucial to manage it effectively. Engage in stress-reduction techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, or journaling, to ease your mind before sleep. Journalling is particularly good as it gives the brain the opportunity to download everything you are thinking or worrying about. It allows the brain to release all those thoughts. It is also a great creative pursuit.

Get Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity can improve sleep quality. However, avoid intense exercise close to bedtime, as it may energize you and make it harder to fall asleep. An early morning walk is particularly good for resetting your body clock and helping you sleep at night. HAve a listen to Michale Mosley’s just one thing on BBC for more info. Early Morning Walk

As a professional coach, I understand the immense pressure and demands on your shoulders. But sacrificing sleep is not the solution. Lack of sleep can exacerbate the challenges you face. To perform at your best, you need quality sleep. By implementing these sleep hygiene tips and creating a sleep-friendly environment, you can take a significant step towards improving your overall well-being and professional success. Prioritise your sleep, and watch as your vitality, focus, and resilience soar to new heights. Remember, in the pursuit of success, quality sleep is amost valuable asset.

In the fast-paced world of professional commitments and personal responsibilities, achieving a harmonious work-life balance has become an elusive goal for many. As a stress management and well-being coach, I understand the challenges individuals face in juggling demanding careers and personal lives. In this guide, we will explore practical strategies to help you strike a healthy work-life balance, preventing burnout and promoting overall well-being.

Set Clear Boundaries

Establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life is crucial. Define specific working hours and resist the temptation to bring work home. Communicate these boundaries to colleagues, friends, and family, helping them understand and respect your designated time for relaxation and personal pursuits. If you absolutely must work outside of hours then make sure it is only for a defined amount of time or you will start to feel the effects of burnout. Everyone needs some time to rest and recuperate. the body is not designed for full-on all the time.

Prioritise Self-Care to Achieve Balance

Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Schedule regular breaks throughout the day, and engage in activities that rejuvenate your mind and body. Whether it’s a short walk, meditation, or a hobby you enjoy, these moments of self-care are vital for maintaining balance and preventing stress from accumulating. I am looking forward to completely disconnecting until 8th January. I have planned a craft day, meeting friends for coffee in the local village, having everyone around for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and looking forward to some quality family time. The rest of the days will be spent in quiet contemplation, taking a walk in the local countryside and chilling out with some favourite Christmas movies and some mulled wine.

Effective Time Management

Efficient time management is the cornerstone of a balanced life. Prioritise tasks based on urgency and importance, and be realistic about what you can achieve in a given timeframe. Utilise productivity tools and techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique, to maintain focus and prevent burnout.

Learn to Say No

One of the most challenging aspects of achieving work-life balance is the ability to say no when necessary. Assess your commitments and avoid overloading yourself with tasks. Politely decline additional responsibilities that may compromise your balance, ensuring that your energy is directed toward priorities. Can be a little more tricky if you are self-employed. turning work down can feel very risky. Still equally important though. When you are the only person in your business it is even more important to look after yourself.

Create a Dedicated Workspace

If you work from home, establish a separate and dedicated workspace to create a clear distinction between your professional and personal life. This physical boundary can contribute significantly to mental separation, allowing you to “leave work” when you step away from your workspace. Even go as far as putting on work clothes, walk around the block and come back in, sit at your desk. When you finish, do the opposite and then change into your loungewear. It can help the feeling of separation between work time and personal time.

Unplug and Disconnect

In the age of constant connectivity, it’s essential to unplug regularly. Set specific times to disconnect from work-related emails and messages. Establishing digital-free zones, especially during meals and before bedtime, can help you recharge and foster better relationships with those around you. Now that we all have email on our phones, the temptation is even greater to just quickly check to see what has come through.

Invest in Personal Relationships

Nurturing personal relationships is paramount to a fulfilling life. Allocate quality time for friends and family, and make an effort to be present during these moments. Building a strong support system outside of work can provide the emotional resilience needed to navigate professional challenges.

Regularly Assess and Adjust

Work-life balance is dynamic and requires regular assessment and adjustment. Periodically evaluate your priorities, goals, and commitments. Be willing to make changes to your schedule or workload as needed, ensuring that you maintain a balance that aligns with your overall well-being.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is an ongoing process that requires mindfulness, dedication, and self-awareness. By implementing these strategies, you can proactively prevent burnout, enhance your overall well-being, and create a life that harmonizes professional success with personal fulfilment. Remember, it’s not about finding a perfect balance but rather creating a sustainable and fulfilling rhythm that works for you.

Nourishing Body and Mind with Zoe

Embarking on a journey toward better health and nutrition is a personal and transformative experience. My path took a significant turn when I discovered the Zoe Program. A comprehensive approach to understanding and optimising my body’s needs. I’ll share how this programme has become an essential part of my wellness journey, offering unique insights into my body’s dynamics and fostering a deeper connection between nutrition and overall well-being. I will do periodic updates to share what is happening, as I embark on this year-long journey to discover better health.

Understanding My Body:

The Zoe Programme is not a diet plan; it’s a personalised roadmap to better health. The programme leverages cutting-edge research in microbiome science, genetics, and nutritional analysis to provide a tailored approach to individual needs. By examining my unique biological markers, Zoe revealed a wealth of information about how my body processes different foods, allowing me to make informed choices that resonate with my physiology.

Personalised Nutrition:

One of the standout features of Zoe is its commitment to personalisation. The program doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions; instead, it recognises the diversity in our bodies’ responses to various foods. Armed with insights from my gut microbiome and my body’s ability to process sugar and fat, Zoe created a plan specifically designed to optimise my energy levels, support my fitness goals, and address any potential dietary needs.

My sugar score was better than I expected, while still a score of poor I expected it to be worse than it was.. However, my microbiome score is bad. My blood fat control is also poor. My diet assessment is also poor. Not enough fibre and not enough plant diversity. A little too much fat and too much meat that does not lead to better gut health. Now remember these are the scores for my body only and are not advice for anyone else in any way, shape or form.

Gut Health and Well-Being:

Zoe places a strong emphasis on the role of gut health in overall well-being. Through the programme, I am gaining a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between my gut microbiome and various aspects of health, from digestion to immune function. The personalized recommendations not only improved my digestive comfort but also positively impacted my mood and energy levels, demonstrating the interconnectedness of gut health and holistic well-being. I am also implementing the information further by listening to the Zoe podcasts when I am at the gym. It is helping me to deepen my understanding and look at many different aspects of health.

Educational Empowerment:

What sets Zoe apart is its commitment to education. The program doesn’t just provide a set of rules to follow; it equips participants with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their nutrition. From deciphering food labels to understanding the science behind dietary recommendations, Zoe empowers individuals to take control of their health journey, fostering a sense of autonomy and self-discovery.

Why I Started this Journey

In 2011 I was diagnosed with burn-out and was signed off work for six months. On returning to work I was so tired all the time and my brain felt like it was full of cotton wool. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  Here is where my resilience journey started. Healing myself and learning to manage stress. Changing my mindset to be positive and supportive. My weight slowly went up though and I struggled to lose it. Several diets later, I discovered Zoe and decided that, like all things, sustainable change comes not from a quick fix, but from a different approach. This started with the 2 week Zoe tests. A glucose monitor and tests were sent to the lab for gut microbiome and blood fat responses. It was comprehensive.

I have all the results and now start the journey of changing the way I eat and how I view food. This morning I had a wonderful nutritionally balanced brunch of almond pancakes and stewed apples.


I am in the habit of eating quite a lot of meat, which, for my body, is not so great. I am transitioning slowly to more beans and pulses. But I am also balancing cooking for my husband too, and taking into consideration his food preferences. It is not always plain sailing, but it is a learning process.


My Zoe journey has been a revelation. Unveiling a personalized approach to nutrition and health that extends far beyond conventional dieting. By harnessing the power of science and technology, the programme has empowered me to make choices that align with my body’s unique needs. Leading to improved well-being and a renewed sense of vitality. If you’re ready to embark on a transformative journey toward better health, Zoe might just be the personalised guide you’ve been searching for too.

Check back for future blogs to see how I am getting on.

For more information on Zoe click here. Or for their block click here. Even if the full programme is not for you, the website contains a wealth of useful data.

Journaling, a helpful development tool

In the journey of self-development, one powerful tool often underestimated is the simple act of journaling. As a coach who has personally experienced transformative benefits through journaling, I can attest to its profound impact on changing mindsets, uncovering unconscious patterns, and fostering positive change. In this blog, let’s delve into the world of journaling and explore the myriad ways it can become your compass on the path to personal growth. When I coach, I remind my students what a powerful tool it is towards enabling a growth mindset and changing patterns of behaviour.

Mindset Shifts Through Reflection

Journaling serves as a mirror to our thoughts and emotions, providing a platform for self-reflection. As a coach, I have witnessed the incredible power of this process in shifting mindsets. By putting pen to paper, we engage in a dialogue with ourselves, allowing us to explore our beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions. This reflective practice unveils patterns of thinking that may be limiting our potential or hindering personal growth.

Unmasking the Unconscious

Our minds are vast landscapes, with many thoughts residing in the unconscious realm. Journaling acts as a guide, helping us navigate these uncharted territories. As we pour our thoughts onto paper, we often stumble upon hidden fears, unresolved conflicts, and deeply ingrained habits. Bringing these aspects into conscious awareness is the first step towards understanding and ultimately transforming them.

Creating Awareness for Positive Change

Awareness is the cornerstone of personal development. Journaling not only brings attention to negative patterns but also highlights positive aspects of our lives. Acknowledging our strengths, achievements, and moments of gratitude fosters a positive mindset. The act of regularly noting down positive experiences can reshape our outlook on life, making us more resilient and open to opportunities.

Setting Goals and Tracking Progress

As a coach, goal-setting is a fundamental aspect of the work I do. Journaling provides a tangible space to set and track personal goals. Writing down aspirations, breaking them into actionable steps, and recording progress helps maintain focus and motivation. It serves as a roadmap, guiding us towards the desired destination while celebrating the small victories along the way.

Embracing Emotional Intelligence

Understanding and managing emotions is a key component of personal development. Journaling allows us to explore our emotional landscape, identifying triggers and patterns. By expressing and processing emotions on paper, we develop emotional intelligence, enhancing our ability to navigate complex situations with grace and resilience.

In the realm of self-development, journaling is a versatile and accessible tool that empowers individuals to shape their narrative. I encourage my clients to embrace this practice as a means of self-discovery and growth. The act of journaling is not just about recording events; it’s a dynamic process that unfolds the layers of our inner selves, fostering a profound transformation in mindset and behaviour. So, grab a notebook, let your thoughts flow, and embark on a journey of self-discovery that has the potential to reshape your life in ways you never imagined.

To make it even more special, go and find a notebook that feels special. One that really talks to you. Maybe it is a hand-crafted leather, or maybe something colourful. Now go find a quiet nook and get writing.


In the quest for a fulfilling and stress-free life, there’s one crucial factor that often goes overlooked. As a well-being and stress coach, I’ve witnessed time and time again the profound impact of shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. In this blog, I’ll guide you through the importance of this transformation and provide you with actionable steps to make this empowering shift.

I have just started reading Ellen Langer: The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Lasting Health. She is a mindset genius. It reminded me though, of just how much my mindset has changed in the last 12 years. I was a great one for catastrophising. After being off with burnout in 2011, I had a lack of self-confidence and was constantly worried about what other people thought. thus started a journey to health and well-being. One of the greatest tools I learned how to use – yes, you guessed it, a growth mindset.

Understanding Mindset

Before we dive into the transformation process, let’s clarify the two mindsets at the heart of this discussion: fixed and growth mindsets.

Fixed Mindset

This mindset is characterised by the belief that your abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits. People with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges, shy away from effort, and are discouraged by setbacks. They may fear failure and often view it as a reflection of their inherent capabilities.

Growth Mindset

In contrast, a growth mindset is all about seeing your abilities as qualities that can be developed and improved through effort, learning, and perseverance. Those with a growth mindset embrace challenges, enjoy putting in the effort, and view setbacks as opportunities for growth.

The Importance of Shifting

Why does making the shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset matter so much, especially in the context of well-being and stress reduction?

Resilience in the Face of Challenges

When you adopt a growth mindset, you’re more likely to see challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles. This resilience is a vital asset in reducing stress and improving your overall wellbeing.

Continuous Self-Improvement

A growth mindset fosters a desire for self-improvement and lifelong learning. By continuously evolving and developing your skills, you increase your sense of purpose and fulfilment.

Reduced Fear of Failure

Fear of failure is a significant stressor for many. A growth mindset helps you embrace failures as learning experiences, reducing the fear associated with making mistakes.

Enhanced Problem-Solving

Shifting to a growth mindset enhances your problem-solving abilities. You become more adaptable and creative in finding solutions to life’s challenges.

Making the Shift: Practical Steps

Now that we’ve established the importance of shifting, let’s explore some practical steps to help you make this transformation:

  • Self-Awareness: Begin by recognizing your current mindset. Reflect on your beliefs and attitudes towards your abilities and potential. Self-awareness is the first step in any transformative journey.
  • Embrace Challenges: Challenge yourself in areas where you may have held a fixed mindset. This could be in your career, hobbies, or personal life. Take on tasks that push your boundaries and force you out of your comfort zone.
  • Cultivate a Learning Attitude: View every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether it’s a success or a failure, focus on the lessons you can extract from it.
  • Replace Negative Self-Talk: Be mindful of the way you talk to yourself. Replace negative self-talk with affirmations that promote growth, such as “I can learn from this” or “I’m capable of improvement.”
  • Seek Support: Consider seeking the guidance of a coach, who can help you navigate this shift. They can provide valuable insights and support to accelerate your progress.
  • Practice Patience: Remember that changing your mindset is a process, not an overnight transformation. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way.


In the realm of well-being and stress reduction, the journey from a fixed to a growth mindset is nothing short of a game-changer. By choosing growth, you empower yourself to embrace challenges, reduce the fear of failure, and continuously improve. Your newfound resilience and adaptability will not only benefit your overall well-being but also lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying life. Start your transformation today, and watch as your stress levels decrease and your sense of empowerment soars.

A growth mindset has helped me rebuild my shattered self-image and regrown my confidence. I continue with growth and learning today. It is a never-ending journey. I am always looking at challenging my views and looking at what I can change for the better.

One of the key tools in my arsenal is journaling. We’ll talk more about that next time.

Enabling productive meetings is an art we can all adopt. In today’s fast-paced business world, the demands of professional life can often leave us feeling overwhelmed and stressed. The never-ending cycle of meetings can be a significant contributor to this stress, especially when they are unproductive and time-consuming. As a well-being and stress coach, I’m here to share some valuable insights and strategies that will help you transform your meetings into efficient, well-structured, and productive sessions, ultimately enhancing your overall well-being. Let’s explore these time-saving strategies that will make your meetings a breeze!

I have lived experience of when life gets overwhelming, having been off with burn-out in 2011. I was off for six months. Many of the tools and techniques I share in my posts and blogs are the tools and techniques I learned that helped me on my road to recovery.

Set Clear Agendas and Circulate Pre-Read

One of the most common reasons why meetings become a waste of time is the absence of a clear agenda. Without a well-defined purpose and a list of discussion topics, meetings tend to drift off course, leading to confusion and frustration among participants. To ensure productive meetings, I advocate for setting clear agendas for all meetings. An agenda not only keeps everyone on track but also helps in identifying whether the meeting is truly necessary. It helps decide who needs to attend too.

Before the meeting, take a moment to prepare an agenda that outlines the objectives, topics to be discussed, and the desired outcomes. Distribute this agenda to all participants in advance to ensure that everyone is well-prepared and knows what to expect. This simple step can significantly reduce the time wasted on irrelevant or off-topic discussions, contributing to a more efficient use of your valuable time.

If you want input from people, send around anything you want anyone to read at least a week ahead of the meeting. This is especially important for introverts. Introvert does not mean shy, introverts just need more time to think about things before they respond. So any preparation you can send in advance will help everyone prepare and ensure that all your team have something valuable to add.

Implement Time Limits

Time constraints are another essential component of successful meetings. Without time limits, discussions can drag on endlessly, leading to frustration and reduced productivity. I emphasise the importance of setting specific time limits for each agenda item.

Set the meeting for 50 minutes, not 60. Allow people time between meetings for a cup of tea, a bathroom break, or just a few minutes to arrange their thoughts and be ready for the next one.

For instance, if you have five agenda items for a fifty-minute meeting, allocate a specific time frame to each item. Stick to these time limits, and if necessary, defer unresolved topics to future meetings or allow people to delve deeper offline or in a meeting with fewer people. This practice not only ensures that meetings stay on track but also respects the time and energy of all participants. It allows them to plan their schedules better and be more present during the meeting, ultimately reducing stress and promoting overall well-being.

Embrace TechnologyA professional online and in person business meeting

In today’s digital age, there are numerous technological tools available to help streamline meetings. From video conferencing platforms to collaborative document sharing, these tools can significantly enhance the efficiency of your meetings. As a well-being coach, I encourage you to embrace technology and leverage it to your advantage.

Use video conferencing for remote participants, which can save travel time and reduce stress associated with commuting. Utilise document-sharing and collaboration tools to keep everyone on the same page and foster productive discussions. Experiment with meeting scheduling and planning software that can automate the process, leaving you with more time to focus on the content of the meeting and your well-being.

Encourage Active Participation

To make your meetings not only efficient but also engaging, foster a culture of active participation. As a well-being coach, I firmly believe that active participation can reduce stress levels and create a more inclusive environment.

Encourage all participants to contribute their ideas and opinions. Assign roles, such as a timekeeper or note-taker, to keep the meeting organized. By involving everyone and making them feel valued, you create a more enjoyable and less stressful meeting experience. Adopt ways of including people who are less inclined to speak out in a meeting. Use anonymous polling in Zoom for example, to capture feedback. Make use of the whiteboard and let everyone annotate. Use a Google doc that everyone can contribute to. It anonymises the names.

Review and Reflect

After each meeting, take a moment to review its effectiveness. I suggest reflecting on what went well and what could be improved. This practice helps you fine-tune your meeting strategies over time, making them more efficient and less stressful.

Consider sending out a brief post-meeting survey to gather feedback from participants. This not only shows that you value their input but also provides valuable insights into how to continually improve your meetings.

Mastering the art of productive meetings is not only about saving time but also reducing stress. By setting clear agendas, implementing time limits, embracing technology, encouraging active participation, and regularly reviewing and reflecting on your meeting practices, you can significantly reduce stress and make your professional life more enjoyable and rewarding.  I am here to support you on this journey to more efficient and stress-free meetings. Remember, your time is precious, and it’s up to you to make the most of it!

Somatic movement refers to a type of movement therapy that focuses on improving the mind-body connection and releasing chronic muscle tension. It involves a series of gentle, mindful movements that aim to retrain the brain and nervous system to restore natural alignment and relieve pain.

How Somatic Movement Can Help

Here’s how somatic movement can help align the body and potentially alleviate pain:

Sensory Awareness

Somatic movement practices emphasize developing sensory awareness of the body. By paying attention to subtle sensations and movements, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their body’s patterns, tensions, and imbalances. This increased awareness is crucial for recognizing areas of misalignment and pain.

Release of Chronic Muscle Tension

Somatic movement techniques often involve slow, gentle movements designed to release chronically contracted muscles. These movements help to reset the resting length of the muscles and alleviate habitual patterns of tension that may contribute to pain and misalignment.

Neuromuscular Re-Education

Somatic movement aims to retrain the nervous system and brain to restore optimal movement patterns and alignment. By engaging in specific movements that target areas of dysfunction, individuals can improve coordination, balance, and posture, leading to better alignment and reduced pain.

Mind-Body Connection

Somatic movement practices emphasize the integration of the mind and body. By incorporating mindful attention and intention into movement, individuals can develop a more conscious relationship with their body. This mind-body connection allows for greater self-awareness, self-regulation, and the ability to make conscious choices that support alignment and pain relief.

Stress Reduction

Chronic pain can often be exacerbated by stress and tension. Somatic movement practices can help individuals relax, reduce stress, and release emotional and physical tension. By calming the nervous system and promoting relaxation, somatic movement can contribute to pain reduction and overall well-being.

While somatic movement can offer significant benefits, it’s important to note that it may not be a cure-all for all types of pain. It’s always advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or movement specialist, to address individual needs and develop a comprehensive pain management plan.

Why I Became a Teacher of Somatic Movement

As a teacher of somatic movement, I chose this path after overcoming personal stress and chronic pain. My journey began with a deep desire to find a way to heal my own body and mind. Overcome the relentless grip of chronic pain.

For years, I had been trapped in a cycle of physical and emotional suffering. The weight of stress seemed insurmountable, manifesting itself as tension, anxiety, and a constant sense of unease. At the same time, chronic pain was an uninvited companion that followed me everywhere, dictating my movements and limiting my abilities. Nearly three migraines a week! Sciatica that just would not go away!

In my quest for relief, I stumbled upon somatic movement. Through gentle and mindful movements, I discovered a profound sense of release, both physically and emotionally. It was as if I had unlocked a secret door within myself, leading to a realm of freedom, vitality, and resilience.

Delving Deeper

As I delved deeper into my own somatic practice, I couldn’t help but notice the transformative impact it had on my life. I felt empowered, no longer a victim of my circumstances but an active participant in my healing journey. My chronic pain diminished, replaced by a sense of ease and grace in my movements. Furthermore, stress no longer controlled my thoughts, as I learned to cultivate mindfulness and presence.

The realisation that somatic movement held the key to my liberation was a pivotal moment. I felt an overwhelming urge to share this profound gift with others who were suffering, just as I had been. Therefore, I wanted to guide them toward the path of self-discovery, helping them uncover the innate wisdom of their bodies and unleash their own potential for healing.

Becoming a teacher of somatic movement was a natural progression in my personal healing journey. It allowed me to fuse my passion for movement, mindfulness, and compassionate guidance into a purposeful vocation. Witnessing the transformations in my students’ lives. Watching their pain subside, their stress dissolve, and their bodies awaken to newfound freedom. Additionally, it’s a humbling and gratifying experience.

The Resilience of the Human Body

Each day, I am reminded of the incredible resilience of the human body and spirit. I am inspired by the courage and dedication of my students as they embark on their own healing journeys. Consequently, through my teaching, I strive to create a safe and nurturing space where individuals can reconnect with their bodies. I help them cultivate self-awareness, and tap into their inner wisdom.

I chose to become a teacher of somatic movement because I believe in the power of this practice to liberate individuals from the shackles of stress and chronic pain. My personal experience has taught me that true healing comes from within. I am honored to be a guide and witness to the transformative potential that lies within each of us.

Unlocking Resilience: How Coaching Can Help You Navigate Stress

Life can be filled with exciting opportunities and inevitable challenges

Hey there, fellow small business warriors! Life in the world of entrepreneurship can be exhilarating, challenging, and at times, downright stressful. As a resilience coach, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the incredible power of coaching in helping individuals manage and relieve stress. Today, I want to share with you why coaching is an amazing tool for stress relief and how it can benefit you as an employee in a small business setting. So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back, and let’s dive in!

Understanding the Stress Beast:

Stress is a sneaky little creature that can creep up on us when we least expect it. Tight deadlines, high expectations, and a never-ending to-do list can all contribute to stress. But fear not! Coaching provides you with a safe space to explore and understand the sources of your stress. It helps you identify your triggers, recognise patterns, and gain clarity about what really matters to you. By shining a light on the stress beast, coaching empowers you to take back control.

Crafting Your Stress-Busting Strategies:

Coaching isn’t just about understanding stress; it’s about taking action. Through thought-provoking conversations and powerful questioning, your coach can help you uncover your strengths and resources. Together, you’ll develop personalized strategies to manage stress effectively. Whether it’s setting boundaries, practicing mindfulness, or honing your time management skills, coaching equips you with practical tools to combat stress head-on.

Nurturing Emotional Well-being:

In the fast-paced world of small businesses, emotions can run high. Coaching offers a non-judgmental space to express and process those emotions. Your coach will listen attentively, providing empathy and support. Ultimately, acknowledging and validating your emotions, coaching helps you build emotional resilience. You’ll discover healthy coping mechanisms and develop a deeper understanding of yourself, which ultimately leads to a more balanced and fulfilled life.

Enhancing Self-Care Practices:

As employees in small businesses, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and neglect self-care. Coaching serves as a friendly reminder to prioritize your well-being. Your coach will encourage you to carve out time for self-care activities that nourish your body, mind, and soul. Whether it’s taking regular breaks, practicing self-compassion, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy, coaching empowers you to invest in yourself. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup!

Building Resilience for the Long Haul:

Running a small business is like riding a rollercoaster—full of ups and downs. Coaching focuses not only on stress relief but also on building resilience. Your coach will guide you in reframing challenges as opportunities for growth. Also, they’ll help you cultivate a growth mindset, strengthen your problem-solving skills, and bounce back from setbacks with renewed determination. With coaching by your side, you’ll develop the resilience needed to navigate the unpredictable twists and turns of entrepreneurship.

Coaching is a transformative tool for managing and relieving stress. It provides you with a supportive partnership, empowering you to understand the sources of stress, develop effective strategies, nurture emotional well-being, prioritize self-care, and build resilience. So, don’t hesitate to seek out a resilience coach who can guide you on this incredible journey. Remember, stress may knock on your door, but with coaching, you’ll confidently show it the way out.

Stay resilient!

Starting a new garden from scratch

Gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, and it can also be a therapeutic activity that helps reduce stress and promote relaxation.

When we moved into our new house last year, I had no idea I would end up completely redesigning the garden. That was certainly not my plan. But it sort of evolved from changing a few things to doing a complete redesign. It was a daunting task but has bought me so much joy to see the plans all come together. There is still a lot to do, but it is a project that will continue to evolve over the next few years. Of course, any gardener knows, you are never ever really finished anyway, there is always something new to try.

Gardening also has many practical benefits, such as providing fresh produce for your family or beautifying your home. I did have an allotment when I lived in London because the garden was so small. Now I hope to be able to combine beauty, a lovely outdoor space for entertaining, and a space for fresh produce too. It won’t have rectangular beds with produce in military rows though, but more an idea I picked up from watching Alys Fowler from Gardeners World. The idea is that vegetables and herbs can be beautiful too. A little bit of creative companion planting can work wonders.

I am delighted to say that the front garden is completed, except for regular maintenance. We have the most beautiful scented roses growing over the front of the house. some wisteria too. Spring and summer are an absolute joy!

If you have never gardened before

If you’re thinking about starting a garden, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, you’ll need to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has good drainage.
  • Then, you’ll need to select the right plants for your climate and soil type.
  • Once you’ve got your garden started, be sure to water it regularly and keep an eye out for pests or diseases.
  • With a little care and attention, your garden will soon be thriving!

Small Spaces

If you only have a small space then never fear. A few well-placed window pots or some pots dotted around to add colour and variety can be fabulous. Here are a couple of books that inspired me when I had a tiny garden. If you have a larger space then all the better.

Vegetables in a Small Garden: Simple Steps to Success

The Small Garden

Where to find inspiration and help

One of the biggest challenges can be knowing where to start so a couple of good books to help you along and give you some ideas can be terrific. Visiting some of the RHS gardens, if you have one near you, can be a great way to get inspiration, as well as great help and advice. They run short courses now too. This summer I attended one because I want to create a flower bed in the back garden. I wanted to know a bit more about planting borders. I thought I wanted to create a cottage garden, but I learned that the type of planting I like is actually called a herbaceous border. Good to know! It is still in the design phase, but that is the thing with gardening. There is no rush and if you try it and it does not work you can change it.

So why do I love gardening?

Well, for starters, it’s a great way to get some fresh air. And who doesn’t love breathing in the sweet, earthy aroma of fresh plants? Plus, gardening is also a great way to get your hands dirty – and who doesn’t love that? Plus, there’s just something satisfying about seeing your hard work pay off in beautiful flowers, herbs and vegetables.

It is great for exercise. Gardening can be a challenging and physically demanding activity, but it sure is worth it when you see the results in a healthy garden. Knowing that it was all your own work is very rewarding.

Gardening is great for your mental health. Gardening can be a solitary activity, but it can also be a rewarding experience when you share your garden with other people. I can get lost in the moment when I am in the garden.

It is a fantastic way to express creativity and individuality. Gardening is a great way to show off your unique flair and create something beautiful from scratch. There is something about seeing a garden that was created with love and care that just makes my heart happy.

So, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener, I encourage you to give gardening a try! You will not be disappointed.


I moved exactly a year ago this month. I went from being in the busy East End of London to a quiet village in Essex. Best thing I ever did! In fact, the picture you can see behind the text is the view I am looking at right now, out of my office window. I feel expansive here, there is a big sky and I have space to think. Of course I have my wonderful studio too where I see my Somatic Movement clients and stress management and resilience coaching. A year on I am so happy my husband and I took the plunge and moved. Definitely have no regrets.

Why a Village

I had a view of village life that there would be much more of a supportive, caring neighbourhood.  In London, neighbours were mostly anonymous and came and went quite regularly. Of course we had local friends but there was no sense of community where we were. So much hustle and bustle and busy days. Everybody getting on with life almost in a bubble. Especially since the pandemic. I wanted something more. A slower pace of life, cleaner air, open spaces, countryside, and probably a feeling that is more in keeping with what growing up in the 60s and 70s was like. Was I after something that was real or was it just a pipe dream?

I am glad to say it was real. We have wonderful neighbours, open spaces that are cared for and looked after, and we can get into nature by just taking a short walk down the road.

Going Local

When we moved my husband and I both agreed that we wanted to support the local economy and immerse ourselves in local village life. It was also a way to consider our own carbon footprint too and how we could reduce it. Climate change is very real for me and I want to do everything I can to reduce waste, plastic, and what goes into our water system. It was more than that though.

It is really easy to buy everything you need online these days. Everything from food and other everyday essentials to luxury goods, clothing, and everything in between. I started to think about what the price was of this convenience. What was I missing with my online shopping? The clothes I ordered online, sometimes they were great, sometimes they were disappointing. The material was not as nice as it looked in the pictures, or the fit was not great. I was missing being able to touch and feel things.

However, that was not what I missed the most. It was the human interaction that I was really lacking. While I have never been a massive shopper, I really love walking into a small local shop, talking to the owner, finding out about them and their products and services. What do they have that might be different? What do they rave about in their own store?

I am not talking about shopping in big anonymous department stores that you have to drive to a shopping mall for. I am talking about finding out what is on your doorstep. From the local corner shop to someone baking cakes in their kitchen at home. More cottage industry to businesses.

We are really, really lucky in our village, we have all the essentials. Some villages suffer these days when too many houses are bought by holiday makers and there are not enough permanent residents to support the local shops. Luckily that is not the case in Great Wakering. We have a couple of good takeaways, some great pubs, a fabulous local general store, a great butcher and some fabulous coffee shops. There are some other local shopping communities close by too. I only have to drive about 15 minutes and I can be in Leigh-on-Sea or Westcliff to shop in some wonderful small local stores.

So what are the benefits?

Surely you’re paying a premium price, aren’t you? This is the cry I hear from so many people when I talk about shopping locally. Well, maybe, but I think the little extra is worth it for a friendly face and some personal service. I also notice that the quality is often superior and the products last a lot longer. Not in all instances but certainly in many. So extra pennies spent now save money in the long run.

You cannot beat walking into a store where you know the names of the owners and employees and they know you. A friendly hello goes a very long way. They’re also getting their stock from local community, so you’re effectively supporting a whole local supply chain. That in turn keeps the village alive and the people connected.

Here are a couple of my favourites, the local shops and pubs support and provide produce for each other too:

Nanny Egg’s Tearoom and Bakery

Whether you’re looking for tasty lunch and afternoon tea, or some local produce, they have a great selection. Or even some local honey, they have it all. They also bake the most delicious cakes and will cater and deliver to your events. They are friendly and they are about local and community. Thank you to Christine Egbury, owner of Nanny Egg’s, for also agreeing to be in the photo. We do seem to have unwittingly synchronised our colour scheme.

If you would like to know more about them, here is their facebook page:

Nanny Egg’s Tearoom and Bakery

Marsh butchers

So much nicer than the supermarket meat. You will not cook and find your pan full of water and the meat has shrunk to half its size. All the meat here is traditionally reared and it is healthier for you too. (There is a massive difference between animal fat from a traditionally reared animal and an intensively farmed animal, traditionally reared being a much healthier fat).

Depending on what you are cooking, they will prepare the cut of meat for you, ready to your personal specific specifications and needs. They also stock a lot of locally based products, again supporting the whole local supply chain and therefore the vibrancy of the village and surrounding area. Thank you to Kevin Booker, owner of Marsh Butcher’s, for also agreeing to be in the photo.

If you would like to know more about them, here is their facebook page:

Marsh Butchers Ltd

The Royal British Legion – Great Wakering

A great place for an evening out or just a lunchtime with family or friends. Great summer BBQ’s. Super friendly members. They also have live music on Saturday night, as do many of the local pubs. Prices are reasonable and there is a real heart of the community feel here. It is not just for ex military people anymore, albeit that I am ex military, but membership is open to all.

If you would like to know more about them, here is their website:

Great Wakering & District Royal British Legion (

I hope you can see why I love my new village life.

What changes have you made in the last year and why?

You Catch it!

The curveball is the life opportunity to experience things that are out of your comfort zone. They come at you unexpectedly and throw you out of balance. This is exactly what happened to me recently. Not one but three, in quick succession, and they were both major and really threw me. Two seriously impacted my business and one was a health scare that had me in A&E.

Life can be like that though! Everything is going great and then you just have one of those months where nothing falls into place and everything feels wrong. It is called Life!

Knowing that I needed to take a step back and see what I needed to do to maintain my sanity and my business, I did just that. This is one of the keys to Real Resilience. Noticing when you are experiencing the stress response and doing something about it.

When life throws you curveballs, catch them with both hands and see what learning and development opportunity exists within them. There always is at least one.

What to do when life gets difficult and stressful

Step 1

The first question I asked myself was, what do I need to do for my business and myself to stay resilient and not collapse under pressure?

Looking after my health and that of my employees is always my first priority. Making sure that I have the headspace and the personal space to think about what is happening. Then I can formulate a plan and think about what needs to be done to manage the various situations.

The first curve ball also felt quite personal, so it was really important to manage my mindset and stay positive. I did some deep breathing and got my brain and body out of panic mode.

Like most people, in stressful situations, I feel stressed when they have just happened. However, I notice my stress responses almost instantly and immediately start following the process to get back to balance.

Deep breathing sends the right signals to the brain to turn off flight or flight mode. You cannot think straight when you are in fight or flight, the body shuts down to only be able to manage essential body functions. Thinking rationally is not one of them. Such a simple step but so critical to maintaining Real Resilience.

Step 2

The next process I go through to manage whatever curveball has been thrown is a bit of root cause analysis. Basically, what I wanted to know was why these things had happened, and could I have done anything to avoid them?

For the first situation, I realised that my communication around expectations could have been more detailed. This was really good information to have. It meant that this was situation I could avoid in the future. While it did not resolve my current issue it was still a great lesson learned that would help me in the future. I am comfortable with making mistakes and learning from them, it is how we grow and develop as leaders.

For the second curveball, I understood that there really was nothing I could have done differently. It really was an unexpected situation. However, I could make sure that I had all the correct processes and procedures in place to manage the situation. A quick call to my HR legal go-to person confirmed I had followed all the right steps and had all the right things in place. So the question now was, what could I do to minimise the impact on my business and not keel over with extra work myself? What was my Plan B?

Now I felt like I was in control and taking action. While I could not throw back the curve balls by having a plan and lessons learned, I still felt I was in control. This was a really important step. So often when we feel fear, anxiety, or want to resist change, it is because we feel we have zero control. That is a very uncomfortable place to be. However, it can be a great place for learning and changing things around. Streamlining and coming up with new ideas. Never miss the opportunity to catch a curve ball.

While I could not avoid the situation, I could definitely take ownership of my response. Then I could make a plan and take action which put me back in control and able to move forwards.

So how could you apply this to your business or personal situations? What is keeping you up at night?

Take these simple steps.

  • Breathe.
  • Manage your mindset.
  • Carry out root cause analysis.
  • Plan alternatives,
  • Take positive action.

If you have employees resistant to change, you can also apply this process. People resist change because they’re out of their comfort zone and feel like they have no control. Talking to them, explaining things, getting them involved in the way forward. Can often resolve resistance.

Step 3

Personal health care. So after being in A&E and finding out I might have gallstones I immediately researched what I could do to manage the pain. A quick trip to my go-to acupuncturist and I feel much better. I have to go through a few more tests and will have to change my diet for a while. There is a silver lining though – weight loss. I’m sure this topic will be the subject of a future blog. I have also found that the somatic movement of the arch and curl is very helpful for relieving the pain. Another bonus!

May Mental HealthWhat is happening in the UK?

In the UK we have a whole month focussed on Mental Health, but last week was specifically in the focus of Mental Health Awareness week.  There have been a multitude of programmes, articles and blogs.

Theresa May also announced her ‘sweeping´ reforms to mental health policy. It is definitely a long time coming. A lot has changed since the 1983 Mental Health Act. Unfortunately the largely unpopular reforms for Dementia sufferers followed swiftly afterwards. Let’s hope they back track on that one. There is nothing like adding to stress worrying about the inheritance that you were building up for the children. Now it might betaken by the state to support you in your time of need.

Prominent people speaking out

Prince Harry got a great dialog started by talking about his own person mental health issuesHe sought counselling after 20 years of not thinking about the death of his mother.In fact, along with Prince William and Kate they started a charity called Heads Together back in 2016.It is really great to see the Royals leading the charge.

William also talked about the shock of losing a loved one, especially in difficult circumstances. It stays with you always but managing it gets easier. Bereavement can affect everyone and I will be dedicating a whole blog to that later in the year.

Kilmarnock’s Kris Boyd urged fellow players to speak up about mental health problems a couple of days ago.  He suggested that mental health problems were a “massive” problem for football.

It is great to see very visible people in public life speaking out.  The Royals set up their charity to help remove the stigma of Mental Health issues.  Yet in business this still is a massive issue.  Working with a company last year that was going through massive transformation and having to make a very large number of redundancies, the workforce has a double whammy.  They are worried about job security, finances and the future. This directly leads to stress, the longer it goes on the more stress the person feels.  They can be suffering from mental health problems like stress, depression and anxiety. Employees often feel worried about talking the issue through with their employer, because they they might be the one chosen for redundancy.

Help for business

Having independent support that staff can talk to is absolutely critical in these times of change.  They can provide unbiased advice.  They can help employees with coping strategies, enabling them to cope better, whatever the outcome.  Most importantly they are a confident that enables the person to open up and talk about their problems without fear of repercussions.

It is very encouraging to see the spotlight on Mental Health, but there still remains a stigma for people to admit that they are struggling.  While I agree with a lot of the comments about Mental Health should be a focus all year round and not just for a focussed short period of time, having that focus does help target the issue and allows for people to focus on a topic that might not have been on their radar before.  So many people suffer from mental ill health. The likelihood is that you know, or have suffered yourself with stress related illness, depression, anxiety and other common mental health related issues.

If you are in business and going through a big change do remember that staff will often benefit from independent support and this will help them stay positive and supportive throughout the transition.  Making their transition easier and your too.

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