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Why managing your own expectations keeps your sanity intact.

Are we nearly there yet?

Boris Johnson’s next announcement on the ‘roadmap’ for England, out of what can be described as this pandemic ‘siege’, is expected to be Monday 22 February; however, he has said he will be led by data, not dates. So, if the data isn’t available and the number crunching hasn’t been done, the announcement will be later in the week.

The Prime Minister, flanked by his team – the usual suspects being Sir Patrick Vallance – the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Chris Whitty who is Chief Medical Officer for England, will be at their podiums, armed with all the data, and the PowerPoint slides to illustrate them (I read recently there are mugs, placemats and more, bearing Chris Whitty’s now famous phrase: ‘Next slide please.’). We anxiously await news of how Lockdown will be eased and although Boris Johnson has apparently said he doesn’t want to release any details early, we...

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Another Valentine’s Day victory? Why it’s actually all about you.

Violets are Blue, Roses are Red. These flowers are really for me, yes – that’s what I said!

So, Valentine’s Day has been and gone and many have enjoyed bunches of flowers that’ve been bought for them. Only they weren’t in fact bought for them. Their loved one actually bought them for themselves.

Eh? How’s that then?? How can buying flowers for someone else mean we’ve actually bought them for ourselves?!

Allow me to explain. We are never doing something for someone else, we are always doing it for ourselves, (I thought I’d cut to the chase fairly soon!) it’s just that a lot of the time, many people will benefit from it. Many people think the right thing to do is to always do things for others – to put their needs above theirs but in fact, that’s never the case.

We will always do what sits most emotionally comfortable with us at that time, compared with any other choice we might have. In other words, we always choose...

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Why how you show up each day will affect the quality of life you lead.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Time after time

I’ll be honest with you, I am finding this Lockdown rather wearing now and I think that’s the general consensus.

I hear so many people say they're finding it harder than the ones before and I totally get it. It’s the third one. It’s Winter. We almost feel like we can touch the freedom of being able to go out and about, yet it seems just out of reach, which means we can find it that bit more frustrating.

The goal posts seem to constantly move – we have a date when we might be out of Lockdown, it gets reviewed and then extended. Schools are going to go back mid-February in England but that changes to March. Schools in Scotland are to go back 22 February – so, might the date change for schools in England? Who knows, it’s all under review. I make no political comment on decisions that are made because with the ever-shifting sands of this pandemic, I’m sure...

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7 magic steps to making the most out of your life

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Tip of the iceberg

The subconscious mind, understandably, is huge area of fascination in research and study. Over the past two centuries, there have been conflicting studies about the power of the subconscious mind but more and more is being understood about it.

Much research points towards a figure of around 95% of our thinking being subconscious and if this is the case, it means as we go about our everyday lives, our daily conscious thoughts are but a minor percentage. It’s frightening really. Frightening because most of what we do, is through habit and most of that is reactive – another whopping statistic - approximately 95%!

Think of it this way: when you drive a regular car journey, do you sometimes find yourself thinking: “I didn’t realise I’d already passed the service station back there,” or when you need the loo in the middle of the night, you don’t really need the...

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Why challenging the way you speak about others will improve your self-esteem.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Talk of the town

There are obviously so many things I miss doing because this wretched COVID-19 situation has put a stop to them, and that includes the simple pleasures, such as watching the older members of my community all bump into one another at the village shop and then proceed to have a good ole natter. Sometimes they then take themselves off to the café across the road, to continue their chat over a cuppa and I have been in the café before now and whilst nursing a lovely mug of hot chocolate, and watching the world go by through the café’s wonderful almost panoramic windows, I amuse myself listening to the fellow café goers’ banter.

It’s usually all harmless stuff, discussing the general comings and goings of the village, who’s died, who’s moved out, how everything is changing – usually not for the better in their opinion, and everything in...

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In a good mood today? What? Haven't you heard? It’s Blue Monday.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

In case you haven’t heard…

You may very well have woken today feeling great, (or maybe that’s pushing it a bit in the current climate, so we’ll go with that you’re feeling OK). Perhaps you feel like today is going to be a good day. Maybe you have something exciting planned – a Zoom call with a loved one, a walk with a friend (that is still allowed in England I think!), you’re planning to launch an exciting project at work, or maybe you’ve a moviefest with popcorn and chocolate all set up and ready to go this afternoon.

Let me stop you right there. Have you not heard? It’s the third Monday in January!!! That means it’s Blue Monday. And a very specific algorithm tells us that due to the fact many are in between pay days of a very long month, the days are shorter and darker with weather most likely to be wetter and greyer, we’re post-Christmas...

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It’s a free country - isn’t it?

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

I was chatting to someone recently who was bemoaning the fact that although we are told we live in a free country in the UK, that’s just nonsense. I responded by saying that you can do what you like in this country provided you have two or more options to choose from, that there is no physical coercion and that it’s possible to do whatever it is - unlike flying without some external aid or running a mile in under two minutes.

She disagreed and proffered some examples:

“You can’t build a home extension without planning permission.” - “Some people do”, I said.

“You have to pay your taxes.”- “Some people don’t,” I replied.

“You can’t murder people!” - “Some people do,” was my answer.

“You have to look after your children.” - “Some people don’t,” was again my reply.

“You have to drive...

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How to successfully achieve your New Year’s Resolutions!

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

2021 will soon be upon us and for many, our thoughts turn to the New Year and what our Resolutions might be…

We read much doom and gloom about the custom of making these resolutions and why they're not worth signing up for because we never stick to them. Making the resolutions in the first place is just a knee jerk reaction to the whole ‘New Year, New You’ theory and it’s just a waste of time because for many, they never come to fruition.

The problem is, too many people trust in ‘willpower’ which will only get you so far. That’s why when you look back, you'll notice gyms are so busy in January and February and then the numbers starts to drop...

What we need is a daily routine that keeps us on track without needing to push ourselves daily to give things up; rather that's it's about doing things that in time, will serve us well and that as they become part of a routine, they...

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2020’s most viewed – The Mindset Blog Greatest Hits!

This time of year is very often one of reflection. In amidst the hurrying and scurrying, I have been thinking about the Mindset Blogs I have written and decided to take a look at the stats – which Mindset Blogs have been the most viewed and it’s no surprise really that the ones written during Lockdown Part 1, were the most looked at.

We had no reference point for how to feel at the very beginning of all this. When something happens, or we’re told something, we become aware of it and process it and then decide how we want to feel about it – we attach an emotion to the situation. This is all going on in our subconscious and how we choose to feel will depend on our past experiences, our values, morals and beliefs. For example, one of my daughters was telling me about something she’d read on Instagram (I lose count of how many conversations in my house start with: ‘The other day, I saw on TickTok/Instagram…’!). She said that she’d...

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Why it pays to pay it forward because we all gain something from that

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Goodwill to all men

In my last blog, I wrote my own version of the The 12 Days of Christmas, the premise being that it’s important to think about the gifts you can give to yourself to ensure your mental wellbeing is kept in check. It has after all, been a year quite unlike any other and so, to bolster ourselves against whatever 2021 might bring us, it’s about making sure you use the oxygen mask first, before helping others.

A reminder of one of the gifts I suggest you give to yourself:

A good deed for my neighbour

A chat on the doorstep, taking the bin back, some homemade baked goods – each small act of kindness can help to lift the spirits of someone who might be in need of some good cheer. Sometimes, we’ve no idea the impact it can have on another, to make time for them, to hold space for them in your day. And the effect on you is warm and fuzzy, that you could have made the difference to...

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