In the current climate, stress has become an inevitable companion for many. I often find myself emphasising the profound impact that self-compassion can have on overall well-being. In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of self-compassion and delve into practical exercises to nurture this crucial aspect of self-care.

Understanding Self-Compassion

At its core, self-compassion involves treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we would offer to a friend facing challenges. Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneering researcher in the field, defines self-compassion as comprising three key elements: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.


Embrace the practice of treating yourself with warmth and understanding rather than harsh self-judgment. When faced with setbacks or difficulties, acknowledge your feelings and respond with kindness, just as you would to a dear friend.

Common Humanity

Recognise that suffering and challenges are universal experiences. Understand that everyone encounters obstacles on their journey, and you are not alone in facing difficulties. This sense of shared humanity can alleviate the isolation often felt during tough times.


Cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness allows you to observe your inner experience without getting entangled in self-critical narratives. It creates space for self-reflection and fosters a more balanced perspective.

The Importance of Self-Compassion

Research consistently demonstrates that practising self-compassion is associated with improved health, increased emotional resilience, and greater overall well-being. When we approach ourselves with kindness and understanding, we create a supportive inner environment that enables us to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease.

Practical Exercises to Develop Self-Compassion

Comic Strip Therapy:

Create a comic strip starring none other than yourself! Depict your challenges, but add a superhero twist—turn your flaws into superpowers. Embrace the quirks and imperfections, and watch yourself triumph in a burst of self-compassion!

Dance of the Affirmations:

Dance like no one’s watching, but this time, let your body groove to positive affirmations. Make up a funky dance routine incorporating moves that represent self-love. Bonus points for adding a catchy self-compassion anthem to your playlist! Here are some of my favourites:

  • ‘Just Like Fire’ by P!nk
  • “Roar” by Katy Perry
  • “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
  • ‘Good Vibrations’ by The Beach Boys
  • ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ by Bobby McFerrin
  • ‘I’m Still Standing’ by Elton John

DIY Self-Love Potion:

Channel your inner wizard and concoct a DIY self-love potion. Mix ingredients that represent your strengths, achievements, and happy memories. Take a sip whenever you need an instant boost of self-compassion magic! Well OK, maybe a small bucks fizz! For a grown-up non-alcoholic drink I do like the Gin Zero and a little light Fever Tree Tonic.

Mirror Pep Talk Olympics:

Turn mirror pep talks into a sport! Stand in front of the mirror, and with enthusiasm worthy of an Olympic commentator, cheer yourself on for the day’s achievements. Award yourself imaginary medals for self-compassion prowess.

Emoji Emotion Journal:

Express your daily feelings using emojis in a creative emotion journal. Illustrate your self-compassion journey through a visual diary of smileys, hearts, and even the occasional dancing pineapple. It’s like a fun, personalized emoji movie of self-love!

Gratitude Graffiti Wall:

Transform a wall (or a piece of paper) into your gratitude graffiti masterpiece! Write down things you love about yourself, moments of self-compassion, and achievements. Add doodles, colours, and glitter—because self-compassion should sparkle! I’m on a temporary glitter hiatus at the moment though. 40 Christmas cards later, all with glitter. It keeps turning up all over the house. Mind you, it makes the duster sparkle after dusting the rooms!

Karaoke Kindness:

Pick your favourite uplifting song and turn it into a karaoke session. Belt it out with passion, and remember, in this performance, you’re the rockstar of fun-loving self-compassion!

Fantasy Compassion Island:

Close your eyes and imagine your very own Compassion Island. Picture serene beaches of self-love, confidence mountains, and rivers of resilience. Take a mental vacation to this magical place whenever you need a boost of self-compassion.

Remember, self-compassion doesn’t have to be serious—it can be a playful and joyful adventure!

In the journey toward optimal well-being, self-compassion is an invaluable companion. By embracing self-kindness, recognising our shared humanity, and practicing mindfulness, we create a resilient foundation for navigating life’s ups and downs. I encourage you to integrate these exercises into your daily routine and witness the transformative power of self-compassion in enhancing your overall quality of life.

For more hints and tips and also an insight into my daily routine of  Self-Compassion and Lasting Wellbeing, do take a look at my Instagram, where I share some of my routines on video.

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.