Showing posts from November, 2015

Conquering Christmas Week #1

Become a Scientist of Your Own Experience. Now that November is quickly drawing to a close, it's getting harder and harder to ignore the fact that Christmas is well and truly on its merry way. However magical and exciting the festive season can be for a lot of people, it can also be a seriously challenging time to others.  Plenty of us know only too well that trailing right alongside all the fabulous festivity comes a significant splattering of stress, anxiety and loneliness. So much to do, so many people to face, a busy, crowded hubbub surrounds the day and as the countdown looms, some may be more inundated with dread than delight. We don't need to take a look at the stats to know that some extra support at this time of year wouldn't go astray. So for the next few weeks on the blog, we're going to explore ways to provide this and challenge the various worries that crop up as Christmas approaches.  As with any challenge, we can of course overcome it. We can find

Perfectionism: The Enemy of Good

'I think perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it's just terrified.' Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic. Perfectionism. It's an all-consuming idea that can hold onto us with an iron grip, suffocating the creativity and enjoyment inside that is just itching to get out. It comes with a list of rules and a raised hand ready to strike at the first instance of imperfection. Growing up, it could be schoolwork where it would point an accusing finger at every flaw. Ninety nine out of a hundred was not good enough. Throughout the teenage years, it could spread into everything about us - what we're saying, doing, how we look, our bodies, our clothes, our life choices. Constantly chasing something that didn't exist. Which from experience, I can now wholeheartedly confirm, is a significant waste of time. If I had to define perfect I don't even know what it'd look like, what words would fit the picture that I

Create the Things You Wish Existed.

This blog post was written before Friday's tragedy in Paris, and I don't wish it to seem like it's insensitive, as it is a societal issue yet on a much larger scale. However the sentiment remains the same. We've got to positively promote what we love instead of bashing what we hate. We need to focus on the light even when there's darkness.  What happened there and what is happening all over the world on a constant basis can definitely increase the feelings of hopelessness. I know I personally found it very upsetting, But akin to the blog post here, we need to focus on the positive; the sense of community and solidarity that spread across the world. After such violent darkness, there was such a beautiful culmination of light. People spread support and hope and the sense that there is so much more good in the world than bad. It is tragic and scary and it can make the world feel very unsafe and unpredictable, but that's not all there is to be seen, there is so

5 Ways to Love Yourself More

When the suggestion of self love is thrown out, it can be incredibly unappealing. Coming from a place of fluent self hate quickly diminishes the belief that loving ourselves is possible, let alone in any way tangible. I know I've definitely balked at this concept in the past, talking myself out of it with my stock phrases of self-criticism. Coupled with a connotation of cockiness, this topic is one that can be easily pushed down on the list of priorities; left down at the bottom gathering dust. I can't stress enough the importance and value in brushing that dust off and giving self love a shot. Being who you really are is an absolute privilege. But when we're not feeling great about ourselves, low self esteem and self doubt team up to deny us of that privilege. We become accustomed to seeking to be anybody but ourselves. We don't feel good enough or worthy, and risk losing our authenticity by trying to transform into whatever version of perceived perfection we have

A Little Tail.

I was recently out walking with our little pup when the following came to mind... Up to recently we had two dogs. A 14 year old collie cross golden retriever and a 3 year old bichon frise. The bichon, Alfie, was introduced 3 years ago to our family and had never been on his own, never slept on his own and never had to amuse himself.  On the other hand the 14 year old, Sooty, had spent 11 years on his own. He was self-content and happy when we came home from school/work. He was intelligent, he was great company and he was cheeky - eating full chickens off the counter and half a Christmas cake on another occasion! Embrace change. But when the two dogs came together no one could predict what would happen. Would they embrace each other? Would Sooty reject this new little needy yappy pup; would there be jealousies or would they look to each other for strength and happiness? For three wonderful years they looked to each other for fun, company, warmth and happiness. Alfie was qui

Let the Past Pass.

Many of us go through recovery of some sort throughout the course of our lives. Whatever curveballs life chooses to throw at us, we have to pick ourselves back up each time and carry on. Be it the recovery of the passing of a loved one, the recovery from a physical illness, the recovery from a mental illness, the recovery from an addiction or even just a particularly rough night out. Sometimes it's challenging to let go of the memories of how we were before recovery. Our behaviour, frustration, low mood or whatever we did when we weren't our true selves can reverberate around our heads long after. And not only that but we if we let ourselves consider those around us who saw us like that, the guilt coupled with cringing can be pretty crippling. When we choose recovery, we choose to let the past go. But when it's been such a big part of our life, how we can do that? Acknowledge - Bring awareness to the fact that yes, what happened in the past wasn't ideal but yes, it ha