We all go through difficult times – if you are engaged in life, you can’t avoid them no matter how strong you are, or enlightened.
So, since they can’t be avoided, the real question is what you can do to help yourself pull through a difficult time. There are three principles I want to share with you that should make the transition easier.
There are many reasons why someone may be carrying more weight than they want to. And it’s rarely as simple as calories-in versus calories-out.
Our relationship with food is complicated. We first associate food with comfort when we are born and nurse at our mothers’ breast. Most of us have experienced an adult offering us a biscuit or a sweet to cheer us up. So that link between negative feelings and using food to soothe is reinforced as we grow. the more it happens, the more it becomes a habit.
It isn’t a decision we consciously make. Nor is it one Continue reading
The expectation of Christmas is one of perfectly orchestrated joy, goodwill, hearty food and glorious gifts. We try so hard to achieve perfection that it really interferes with achieving it at all. Christmas TV ads are tugging at our heartstrings (and our purses); magazines are filled with tips on how to make the best of the festivities, Christmas songs are playing on the radio; shops are filled with gifts to delight our loved ones; and the supermarket shelves are filled with produce to grace our tables and expand our waistlines. It seems that all that’s missing is the snow. The pressure to spend and please are enormous. Yes, Christmas can be stressful.
It can feel overwhelming, and for some, a lonely time. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to turn the pressure off and The Real Spirit of Christmas on, especially for those who are going through a hard time. Here are my tips:
I was reading an article about The Crown star Claire Foy for whom the stress of filming, motherhood, and the breakdown of her marriage left her with exhaustion and infection, necessitating six weeks off work.
If you are someone who pushes yourself through stressors, or find that too many things are happening at once, the stress can come out in physical symptoms such as fatigue, migraines, IBS, or a lowered immune system, amongst other things.
The problem is that when self-care is so far down your list of priorities, you put yourself at risk of burnout (in Claire’s case) or breakdown. It’s just too big a burden for the body to carry.
As Claire said “You can keep yourself going for a long time, and that’s what I have pretty much been doing since I gave birth. My body has paid the price.” Continue reading
Are you the kind of person who allows life to unfold? Or the kind who likes to plan your route?
There are pros and cons to both. With the former (allowing life to unfold), you can enjoy the scenery, and any surprises on the way. Some of the surprises will be good ones, others less so. But you may end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. And you may also find that you experience more problems that you had expected. More an unravelling than an unfolding. Continue reading
Long working hours, job insecurity, reality TV, materialism and the economy can distract us from what is really important.
Whilst we are living in a world where we have many ways of communicating, we are bombarded with so much information – as well as demands on us by our families and work – that we may find ourselves feeling distracted and isolated. As the years go by, there appears to be less connection between individuals, people are less patient and strangers view each other suspiciously. The world seems to be turning into a lonelier and harsher place.
When two people argue and there seems no way to resolve it, there are factors at play which interfere with the truth. Continue reading
Sometimes we sail through life at such speed, we are unaware of what’s happening to us or the effect this is having. However, stress has consequences on your life, your relationships , your career and your health, often by stealth.
Stressors have multiple minor sources (eg losing your keys); or a couple of things which are low level but consistent and slowly eroding your resilience (eg a neighbour who keeps taking your parking space); or it may be something huge which has happened to you, whether long ago, or recently. Continue reading
Most of us have habits we want to break, traits we want to refine or skills we want to develop. But it can be hard. Why? Because we are working against ingrained programming that have developed over our lifetime. Some of them are inherited traits (nature) and others have formed through the passage of time (nurture).
However, just because this is part of your programming, doesn’t mean you are stuck with them for life. The principles of neuroplasticity prove that you can, literally, change your mind.
The brain forms connections each time something is Continue reading
It is both Stress Awareness Month and IBS Awareness Month. I am sure this wasn’t planned but it couldn’t have been more apt because they are very linked. Although it is possible to have IBS symptoms purely because of poor gastro-intestinal health or food intolerances, I have found that most of my clients symptoms are much worse when they are stressed.
So, what is IBS? Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a collection of symptoms which are connected to the gut. Common ones include diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, stomach cramps and wind.
It can be both painful and embarrassing and some of my clients have a severely impacted social life because of it, or days off from work when it is at its worst. Continue reading